Can You Watch Movies with Apple CarPlay? Exploring Entertainment Options on the Road

Can You Watch Movies with Apple CarPlay? Exploring Entertainment Options on the Road

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Apple CarPlay is known for enhancing the driving experience by allowing seamless integration of your iPhone with your car's infotainment system. With CarPlay, you can make calls, send and receive messages, navigate, and listen to music, all hands-free. However, a common question arises: Can you watch movies with Apple CarPlay?

The Short Answer: No, Not Directly

Apple CarPlay is designed with safety in mind. As such, it does not support video playback, including movies and TV shows, while the vehicle is in motion. This restriction is in place to ensure that drivers keep their attention on the road and avoid distractions that could lead to accidents.

Why CarPlay Doesn’t Support Video Playback

The primary reason Apple CarPlay doesn't support video playback is to prevent driver distraction. Watching movies or TV shows requires visual attention, which can significantly reduce a driver's ability to react to road conditions and hazards. CarPlay's interface is designed to promote safe driving practices by providing only the necessary features that can be used safely while driving.

Alternative Entertainment Options

While you can't watch movies directly through Apple CarPlay, there are several other ways to stay entertained while on the road, especially for passengers:

  1. Audio Books and Podcasts: CarPlay supports a variety of audiobook and podcast apps, such as Audible and Apple Podcasts. These options provide engaging content that can be enjoyed without taking your eyes off the road.

  2. Music and Streaming Services: You can access a wide range of music streaming services through CarPlay, including Apple Music, Spotify, and Pandora. This ensures that you have access to your favorite songs and playlists.

  3. Radio and News: Many radio and news apps are compatible with CarPlay, allowing you to stay updated with the latest news and listen to talk radio shows while driving.

Watching Movies Safely

For passengers who wish to watch movies during a road trip, there are a few safe alternatives:

  1. Portable DVD Players: These can be mounted on the back of the front seats, allowing passengers to watch movies without distracting the driver.

  2. Tablets and Smartphones: Passengers can use their own devices to stream movies and TV shows. Many streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+, offer the option to download content for offline viewing, which can be especially useful in areas with poor internet connectivity.

  3. In-Car Entertainment Systems: Some vehicles come with built-in entertainment systems that include screens for rear passengers. These systems often have the capability to play movies and other video content.

An Alternative Option: Android Box Installation

For those looking for more flexibility in their in-car entertainment options, installing an Android box is a viable alternative. Products like the CANBUS Box Adapter allow you to stream services such as YouTube and Netflix directly on your car's screen. This device integrates with your car's system, providing a seamless and user-friendly interface for accessing a variety of multimedia content. This setup can be especially beneficial for passengers, ensuring that they can enjoy their favorite shows and movies on the go without distracting the driver.

Future Possibilities

While video playback is not currently supported in Apple CarPlay, it's possible that future updates might introduce more flexible entertainment options, especially as autonomous driving technology advances. As self-driving cars become more prevalent, the role of the driver will shift, potentially allowing for new forms of in-car entertainment.


In conclusion, while Apple CarPlay does not support watching movies due to safety concerns, it offers a plethora of other entertainment options that can be enjoyed safely while driving. For those looking to watch movies, there are plenty of alternatives that cater to passengers, ensuring a fun and distraction-free driving experience. As technology evolves, the landscape of in-car entertainment will likely change, but safety will always remain a top priority.

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