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Can You Watch Netflix on Apple CarPlay? If So How?

Apple CarPlay starting up on an iPhone 8 connected to a new Skoda car.

If you are using Apple CarPlay the conventional way, then the short answer is no, you can’t watch Netflix with Apple CarPlay. Still, it is estimated that more than 80 percent of new vehicles sold in the United States have Apple CarPlay, and 34 percent of drivers with a built-in infotainment center will use Apple CarPlay. By 2023, approximately 240 million vehicles on the road will have Apple CarPlay.

That means that several million drivers are using Apple CarPlay. It is reasonable to conclude then that many of those millions will want to use their favorite applications on Apple CarPlay when driving. Today, Apple CarPlay is not compatible with any streaming service such as Netflix, or YouTube even.

But there are some ways to get Netflix in your car, even with Apple CarPlay. Learn more about Netflix and Apple CarPlay here.

You can’t watch Netflix with Apple CarPlay right now because Apple wants you to stay safe

Logo of Netflix in Smartphone on dry leaves.

The bottom line with this one is that Apple developed Apple CarPlay to keep drivers safer on the roads. There are an estimated 400 fatal crashes every year that are a result of texting and driving. Many of the problems on the road with texting and driving happen with teenagers at the wheel.

Many will argue that being able to stream videos on Apple CarPlay is a bad idea for everyone on the road. Apple CarPlay is designed to help drivers text and drive safely, using wireless and Bluetooth compatibility and voice activated commands to ensure a safe and handsfree drive. This is going to reduce the number of distracted drivers on the road, and does every year.

Apple CarPlay allows you to send and receive messages, listen to podcasts, hear the news, and navigate traffic with GPS applications and systems.

Streaming content while driving may not be legal in your state or country

Using phone while driving.

It is bad news for many drivers that they can’t stream content through Apple CarPlay, but it could be worse news for you if you try without checking the laws in your local jurisdiction. It can be illegal to stream content on your Apple CarPlay infotainment center, even if you have found a functional workaround. In Georgia, streaming and driving has been illegal since 2018

It has also been illegal to stream content on your phone in Washington since the same year. In Washington, drivers are also not permitted to even look at their phones at traffic lights, in the event that the lights change when they are texting or looking and cause a traffic problem.

Apple CarPlay is designed to help with traffic issues, not cause more of them

A man using phone while driving.

Apple CarPlay was innovated in order to reduce the number of collisions on the road. It has helped. It has been used in vehicles since 2014 and allows drivers to control the car safely while also controlling their own phones.

The apps that are compatible with CarPlay are the phone, music, maps, messages, podcasts, audiobooks, Calendar, and the Settings app. There are some other apps that are as well, but audio is largely the only thing you can stream when in the car and using Apple CarPlay. CarPlay uses voice commands through the voice activated personal assistant on iOS devices called Siri.

You use this to enter voice commands to your devices, so that you can make calls, check messages and respond to them with Talk to Text, and use Maps and other apps as well. You will very quickly find that while CarPlay can let you get into these apps quite easily, it won’t let you into Netflix or other streaming services such as YouTube. You also will have a very difficult time getting into Facebook now.

That is so that you can enjoy texting, calling, and listening to news or audiobooks in the same way that you would listen to the radio while you are driving. Other things that you can do with Apple CarPlay include charging your car if you have an electric car, or unlocking your car. There are some other applications that you can add, so it will take some time to customize your Apple CarPlay experience so that your drives are safer and more enjoyable.

Streaming is not one of the options through the conventional Apple CarPlay functionality though.

Yes, you can jailbreak devices for streaming in the car, or use an app for that

A driving woman facing a checkpoint to the authority.

You can jailbreak your device to make it compatible with streaming through CarPlay on your car, but you may not want to. It will compromise the functionality of Apple CarPlay, and you may not be able to use it effectively again. The most common workaround to streaming videos in the car with Apple CarPlay is to use an app for that.

There are many different apps on the market that can do that. Many third party apps will help you to stream Netflix in the car, even if you aren’t using Apple CarPlay. You’ll become more familiar with your Settings page as well, and how it can be used for different functions with your iPhone.

Under the General section you can use the setting for Background App Refresh. When you are driving using third party apps, you want to keep this setting on. You also need to make sure that you keep your Bluetooth capability on.

It is worth nothing that most third party apps that can work with CarPlay for streaming will require your vehicle to have Bluetooth capability as well. You are not likely to find these in the iOS App Store, on either your iPad or your iPhone. But you can go directly to the developer’s website and download them from there.

There are many apps on the market that are geared towards working with Apple CarPlay to provide in-car functionality that CarPlay doesn’t provide on its own. Before you get too engrossed in downloading and installing apps to work with Apple CarPlay, have your AppleID and password handy. It may help to test your password on the AppleID website to make sure that your password is in good shape.

It is all too easy to forget these, and you won’t be able to use CarPlay to stream with the apps you are locating without it, even though you aren’t going through the App Store.

The easiest way to watch Netflix videos and use Apple CarPlay is with the download button

Cropped arm installing audio in a car.

Like anybody that travels or expects to be on the road long enough to watch a video, the world of tech has come up with solutions for that. Download the content first. You are still able to use Apple CarPlay while using your phone for other things.

Download the content from Netflix before you leave on your journey. Then, you won’t have to worry about any workaround at all. You’ll have your Apple CarPlay, and your Netflix content too.

Use a multimedia box to stream Netflix and use Apple CarPlay at the same time

A multimedia box is a box that you can put into your vehicle, and stream videos, while using Apple CarPlay. It typically requires that your vehicle have Apple CarPlay, and is usually used by Android users. However, you can still get some developed for iOS devices.

You can purchase these online through many different retailers. With a multimedia box, or MMB, you can watch YouTube, TV programs, films, and many other things that you would normally stream on an MMB. You can have your MMB connected to your car stereo.

This converts the MMB into something that you can use as both a streaming device and Apple CarPlay. For that, you are likely going to need a Type A or Type C cord. Connect the Apple CarPlay and go to the Apps section on the CarPlay Settings.

Select “More Apps” and then you can Netflix to your heart’s content in the car from there.