Wireless Apple CarPlay on Ford F-150, how to connect (2021+, 14th gen)

Ford F-150 now supports wireless Apple CarPlay that lets you access your iPhone apps like iTunes, Google Maps and Spotify through the touchscreen of your vehicle without having to plug-in your USB cable. You can also make phone calls, send messages or use navigation with voice commands using Siri.

Apple CarPlay on Ford F-150 – 14th generation 2021+

Enable CarPlay and Siri on iPhone

You must have iPhone 5 or newer device with iOS 7.1 or newer version to use Apple CarPlay on your F-150. Before you begin, ensure CarPlay and Siri are enabled on your iPhone. Also, make sure that the “Press Home for Siri” option is enabled under “Siri & Search” in settings.

If you can’t see CarPlay or “Siri & Search” under your iPhone settings, then go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps, and make sure both CarPlay and “Siri & Search” are enabled.

Wireless CarPlay

Wireless Apple CarPlay on F-150 can be activated in a few simple steps:

  1. Touch Phone on SYNC 4 touchscreen in your vehicle.
  2. Touch Add Phone.
  3. Then on your iPhone, go to Settings and then Bluetooth.
  4. Select your vehicle name, which usually is “Ford F-150”, on your iPhone’s Bluetooth discovery list.
  5. A Bluetooth Pairing Request pop-up will appear on your iPhone with a pin-code. Make sure it matches the code displayed on your vehicle’s touchscreen and then touch Yes on the prompt, then press Pair on iPhone.
  6. Then touch Allow on Allow Contacts and Favorites Sync prompt if you want to download your phone contacts to the vehicle’s infotainment system.
  7. After a few seconds a prompt will automatically appear on your iPhone: “Use CarPlay with SYNC 4?”. Touch Use CarPlay.
  8. A popup message will appear on the vehicle’s touchscreen: “Would you like to enable CarPlay?”. Touch Enable button.
  9. A message “Connecting to Apple CarPlay” will appear and then CarPlay will launch on the touchscreen.

Which F-150 variants have wireless CarPlay?

Wireless Apple CarPlay is a standard feature on all 14th generation Ford F-150 models: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited.

Connect via USB

Although F-150 now supports wireless CarPlay, but you can still use CarPlay via USB cable.

  1. Connect your Apple iPhone to your Ford F-150 USB port using an Apple-approved Lightning-to-USB cable.
  2. Touch Allow on your iPhone when prompted. This allows the use of CarPlay with your F-150 while phone is locked.
  3. Touch Enable on SYNC 4 system when prompted.
  4. Apple CarPlay will launch automatically.
USB data port location on Ford F-150

CarPlay not working on Ford F-150

If Apple CarPlay does not start on your F-150 when you plug in the USB cable and there is no CarPlay icon in the list of apps in the infotainment system, it can be due to a number of reasons:

  • CarPlay is disabled in your iPhone, go to ‘Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps’ and enable both CarPlay and Siri.
  • The Lightning-to-USB cable you’re using is defective. Try a different cable, preferably original Apple cable.
  • The connected USB port on your F-150 does not support CarPlay. Try other USB ports.
  • A software glitch is responsible for the CarPlay problem. Reset the F-150’s infotainment system to its factory settings.
  • You’ve an older model of F-150 that does not support Apple CarPlay. Only 2017 and later model year Ford F-150 vehicles are compatible with CarPlay.

Using Siri on Ford F-150

Siri is Apple’s voice recognition feature that helps you to concentrate on the road while driving your F-150 as you can control the functions of the iPhone with voice commands.

The virtual assistant allows you to place phone calls, listen to and send text messages, play music on your iPhone, get directions and use other functions of your iPhone hands-free. You can even ask Siri for current weather conditions, stock prices or upcoming events on your calendar.

To access Siri, press and hold the talk button on the steering wheel of your F-150 until you hear Siri tone.

Voice command button is on the left side of the steering wheel on 14th gen Ford F-150 – press and hold to start Siri virtual assistant while CarPlay is active in the SYNC 4 system.

You can also access Siri by holding down the home button located at the bottom left corner in the CarPlay app.

If the Listen for “Hey Siri” function is enabled in your iPhone device under Siri & Search settings, you can also just simply say: “Hey Siri”. After hearing the audible alert, you can begin asking Siri for assistance.

For best results when using Siri, speak clearly and reduce background noise by closing the windows and moonroof. Also, direct the air vents on dashboard so that they are not pointing towards the vehicle’s microphone.

Which F-150 models support CarPlay?

2017 and later model year Ford F-150 vehicles are compatible with Apple CarPlay. Wireless CarPlay is only available from 2021 models in 14th generation.

Using Google Maps on Ford F-150 with CarPlay

If your iPhone has iOS 14+ operating system, you can freely use Google Maps in Apple CarPlay on your F-150. Apple now allows the use of Google Maps in the home screen. Apple has allowed the competitor’s map service in its car application since iOS 12, but the homescreen that was newly introduced in iOS 13 in 2019 could not yet be equipped with maps. Here, users were still limited to Apple’s own map service. With iOS 14 that changes. Now CarPlay automatically selects the last service used for the view.

Google Maps active on Apple CarPlay on F-150 SYNC 4

Using Waze navigation on Ford F-150 with CarPlay

You can use Waze navigation app in CarPlay if you have iOS 12 or higher operating system installed on your iPhone. Download and install Waze app from App Store on your iPhone, then start CarPlay on your F-150’s infotainment system display. Then touch Waze icon to launch the app.

You can choose Waze as your default navigation app after connecting CarPlay on F-150 14th gen

Using Spotify on F-150

You can use Spotify to stream music on your F-150. Just install the Spotify app from App Store and its icon will appear in the infotainment display when CarPlay is active.

You can use voice commands to play music hands-free on Spotify with Siri. Just add “on Spotify” at the end so that Siri knows which service you’re referring to (e.g. “Hey, Siri, play my ‘Your Mix of the Week’ playlist on Spotify”).

Siri can play songs, artists, albums, playlists, podcasts, and more. You can also “like” music, ask what’s playing, and control playback (e.g. volume, skip song, play / pause).

Do not disturb while driving

When driving, keep your eyes on the road. A quick look at the navigation device is of course allowed in order not to miss the next junction. The “Do not disturb while driving” function can be activated so that your iPhone does not distract you with unnecessary notifications while driving your F-150. iOS 13 extends this option to CarPlay as well. On your iPhone go to Settings > Do Not Disturb, then scroll down and touch “Activate” under “Do not disturb while driving”.

Not all apps are compatible with CarPlay

If you think you can use all your iPhone apps in your Ford F-150 with CarPlay, then you’re wrong. The selection of compatible applications is limited, and you have to live with restrictions, especially with messenger apps. iMessage and WhatsApp can be controlled almost exclusively via Siri. That means you cannot see your message history, but only have new messages read out to you or even dictate messages yourself.

The following apps can be used with CarPlay on your F-150, among others: Music, Phone, News, Podcasts, Audio books, Audible, Google Maps, Sygic TomTomGO, Whatsapp, calendar, Settings, Telegram, Waze, Spotify, TuneIn, Tidal, Pandora, Youtube Music and Amazon Music.

Sort apps in CarPlay

You can sort CarPlay apps in your F-150 quickly and easily through your iPhone. To do this, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, then select your vehicle under “MY CARS”. On the next screen you can rearrange app icons by touching and dragging them. You can also hide icons by touching the minus button on them.

Author: Nabeel K
Email: nabeel@wheelsjoint.com


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