Do I Need Subaru Starlink to Use Apple Carplay?

The goal of this article is to look at the Subaru Starlink and its integration with Apple Carplay as a matter of interest to new Subaru car owners and people who love technology. The advancement of vehicle technology today needs an understanding of how these systems work together to optimize your driving experience. This article specifically addresses do you need subaru starlink to use apple carplay.

This query is crucial for those who would like to enjoy various features offered by Apple CarPlay without dealing with unnecessary technological complexities. In this article, we will explore the characteristics, advantages and conditions that both systems have in order to get a clear picture of what these systems really are.

Subaru Starlink is a multi-purpose infotainment system aimed at enhancing the drive through advanced connectivity and convenient features. At its core, Subaru Starlink can be easily integrated with smartphones, where it supports either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. With this provision, you will be able to easily access your phone’s navigation, music, and calls via your car screen, thus making it safer than holding onto them while driving.

Regarding iPhone connection, Apple CarPlay provides an insight into some other details such as having apple music installed in your car; Google Map for turn-by-turn route guidance; Siri application that enables full voice-controlled smartphone functions, respectively while on board. Similar rich capabilities are contained within Android Auto for people using android devices.

Nonetheless, Phone integrations are not limited to Subaru Starlink I.T. also offers subscription-based services, which include advanced options like SiriusXM Traffic along with Vehicle service reminders apart from some security features such as remote start and concierge service. For instance, the newer models of Subaru cars, including the 2021 Onyx Subaru Outback, have high-resolution screens and wireless Apple CarPlay, meaning drivers are in line with state-of-the-art vehicular technology developments.

What is Apple car play?

Apple CarPlay is an advanced infotainment system that allows the iPhone to link seamlessly to your Subaru’s in-vehicle display. By integrating Apple CarPlay with Subaru Starlink, drivers can access a safer way to use the functions of their phone while driving. In addition, it supports Siri for hands-free smartphone operation so that in this manner you can remain focused on the road and still enjoy the full functionality of your mobile phone. With CarPlay, on the other hand, you have Google Maps with turn-by-turn route guidance and Apple Music, and you also make calls or send text messages without getting your hands from the steering wheel.

Apple car play compatibility advantages include both wired and wireless connections, especially in newer models with more connectivity options. This latest development means that drivers can easily connect their iPhones without necessarily using a cable through the wireless Apple CarPlay function being available. Among other things, Subaru Starlink provides these kinds of multimedia integration, making it easier for users to get up-to-date vehicle technology.

The most common question concerning adding Apple Car Play to enhance your driving experience in Subarus is, “Do you need Subaru Starlink for Apple Carplay?” Just as people may think, there is no requirement to own or subscribe to Subaru Starling for one’s Subaru vehicle in order to use this app. Onboard infotainment systems allow direct usage of Apple Music and Google Maps, turn-by-turn navigation directions, and other features that are part of an iPhone, like Siri on your car screen when using Apple car play.

As a safer, smarter way to use your iPhone while driving, Apple CarPlay is designed to work independently and independently of the Subaru audio system. In hands-free mode, an iPhone can be operated using a phone screen, mobile apps, or audio content without a Subaru Starlink subscription. CarPlay offers access to your favorite playlists, message sending, and turn-by-turn directions through the factory Bluetooth technology that most Subaru cars come with.

For anyone new to Subaru tech who just wants more technical details on what works with it and how to connect, etc., Apple CarPlay has a simpler range of choices based on an iPhone-to-car connection that doesn’t depend on the presence of the Starlink app or any kind of subscription linked specifically to Subaru cars. It should be noted here, though, that having both may improve the features involved in connectivity, thereby giving a wider range of services like remote start, security service, as well as a whole host of subscribing features, including SiriusXM Traffic and full SiriusXM.

Moreover, these days, newer Subarus often have both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment for advanced wireless connectivity, among other things, in models with wireless Apple Carplay enabled via Bluetooth without any wires required. This inclusion is evident, especially in discussions such as those seen in forums like The Outback Owners Forum.

There are some different options available for integrating Apple CarPlay into your life if you own a Subaru and do not want to drive with the infotainment system from Starlink. At least this way you can familiarize yourself with other ways an iPhone can be paired up with technology from Subaru when safety demands easy access every time you take off.

Direct Integration Through Built-In Infotainment Systems

Most new Subarus have infotainment systems that include Apple CarPlay as part of their software packages. Direct integration allows users’ phones to be connected by using a USB cable, which brings them into contact with Google Maps, Apple Music, or Siri on the in-vehicle display. This kind of access to your phone’s features is high-resolution and does not involve going wireless or using Bluetooth®; it is common with newer models such as the Subaru Outback Onyx Edition 2021.

Wireless Apple CarPlay

One of the latest trends among newer Subarus is wireless Apple CarPlay. It removes cables and makes things look neater for users. With their vehicles having an inner network that is wireless, drivers can use Apple CarPlay without needing to connect their phones to the infotainment system, thereby enjoying hands-free operation and voice-guided directions.

Aftermarket Solutions

For owners of older or pre-owned Subaru models that might not have Apple CarPlay built-in, aftermarket head units provide a practical solution. There are certain brands, including Pioneer, Alpine, and Kenwood, which make devices that can take the place of the original audio system found in a Subaru car. These systems often come packed with additional functionalities like SiriusXM Traffic, Bluetooth connectivity, enhanced audio system, etc., and are specifically designed to be compatible with Apple Carplay by default.

Using Mobile Applications

Although they cannot directly take the place of controlling your mobile phone from the dashboard of your car, mobile apps still have a significant role in the safety management of your smartphone functions as you drive. For instance, Android Auto can be employed as a substitute for Apple CarPlay for navigational purposes, music play, and attending telephone calls through voice commands and audio system controls of a motor vehicle.

In terms of automotive technology, integrating Subaru Starlink with Apple CarPlay represents a huge step forward in improving functionality and driver security. Both systems work together to make driving more connected and intuitive. In this post, we will discuss the collective advantages that can be achieved by using both Subaru Starlink and Apple CarPlay, including how they make each journey smoother and safer.

Seamless Connectivity and Control

The main advantage of joining Subaru Starlink with Apple CarPlay is seamless connectivity. The driver can access their favorite mobile apps via an in-vehicle display, which makes it easy and safe to use features such as Google Maps or Siri without necessarily having to touch their phones; this goes along with other applications like Apple Music. It supports both wired Apple Carplay Bluetooth hands-free calling for those who love cable-free operation. This, therefore, enables the user to drive safely while multitasking on his or her phone’s functions.

Enhanced Infotainment Features

Subaru Starlink is not only about providing crucial vehicle services and security but also adding value to the multimedia offer of your Subaru automobile. When combined with the presence of Apple CarPlay, users end up having more enhanced infotainment in their cars, which contains detailed information about things like fuel price updates, among others and even live traffic from Subaru itself. Thus, one can control various Subaru functions as well as related mobile applications all at once, making driving more fun.

Advanced Navigation And Route Guidance

Another major benefit is better navigation. Apple CarPlay can display turn-by-turn route guidance on the Subaru’s in-vehicle monitor using current data from applications like Apple Maps or Google Maps. On the other hand, when Subaru Starlink’s in-car navigation is combined with this system, drivers get real-time traffic updates, alternative routes, and even suggestions on which routes to use so as to avoid traffic jams. By adopting this dual approach, it becomes easy for drivers to choose the best and simplest ways to their destinations.

Safety And Security Services

Subaru Starlink provides a subscription-based service that incorporates various safety features such as emergency assistance and automatic collision notification which saves lives during accidents whenever they occur. Once connected to Apple CarPlay hands-free smartphone operation, they can make emergency calls or receive vital vehicle alerts without jeopardizing their safety by picking up the phone.

However, there exist certain limitations and drawbacks that users might encounter while integrating Subaru Starlink with Apple CarPlay. By addressing these limitations, one can make informed decisions about the infotainment system of their vehicle when buying new or used Subaru’s.

Dependence on Subscription-Based Services

A major limitation is the reliance on a subscription-based service provided by Subaru Starlink to access specific features. However, utilizing all functionalities of Subaru Starlink, like remote start, security service, live traffic updates, et cetera, means having an ongoing subscription, unlike in the case of Apple CarPlay, which provides numerous functionalities at no cost. This may not be attractive to people who want to buy once without a follow-up cost.

Compatibility and Connectivity Issues

However, despite having a high-resolution interface and advanced connectivity options, compatibility issues may arise, especially with older or less popular smartphone models. In some instances, users have noted occasional glitches in phone compatibility pop-up windows, thus interrupting the smooth experience that such sophisticated systems are expected to provide. There is also an aspect of wireless Apple carplay being so convenient, but it depends largely on how stable the phone’s network connection will remain. The user experience would be affected if there were any breaks in this connection.

Limited Customization and Control

While allowing significant control over various aspects of vehicles’ infotainment features, both Subaruscar Link and ApplesCar Play have limited flexibility regarding customization. The systems may lack openness to adjust display mode or audio settings as per individual requirements for instance. Also, even though many apps are compatible with Apple CarPlay; there are few available ecosystems which support the starling app hence limiting what services directly accessible via vehicle’s in-vehicle display.

Interface and Usability Concerns

Sometimes combining two intricate systems could result into overcrowded inter face. It may take time before mastering iphone connection as well as getting your way around the many features that both Subaru Starlink and Apple CarPlay offer. New 2021 Onyx and other advanced models illustrate this complexity through a plethora of high-tech functions which could be overwhelming for some drivers.

Impact on Vehicle’s Battery Life

Utilization of such sophisticated systems as Subaru Star Link together with Apple Car Play can noticeably affect the battery life of a vehicle. Heavy power consumption is experienced when using live navigation, streaming music via Apple Music, or turn-by-turn route guidance on Google Maps on behalf of your smartphone while driving , thus it might drain the battery faster than usual especially in older or pre-owned Subaru car models.

Coverage and Service Limitations

Lastly, satellite and data service availability determines the effectiveness of features like Subaru live traffic, SiriusXM Travel Link, etc., and thus can differ greatly across regions. Thus, people living in poorly served areas may not get the full benefit of these, thereby reducing the total system utility.


In a nutshell, the mix of Subaru Starlink and Apple CarPlay provides several advantages, such as better connectivity, improved navigation, and route guidance, as well as robust safety and security. However, some concerns must be worked on, like dependence on subscription-based services for full functionality, likely compatibility or connectivity issues, and limited possibilities for customization and control; you need to learn this interface first, or later, it will ruin your vehicle’s battery life along with service coverage limitations. The combination of these two systems, however, presents better driving experiences, but potential customers must consider what is positive and negative about them when they choose their car’s infotainment features. This choice can also optimize the overall experience of all these interconnected relationships.


Q: Is it necessary to connect Subaru Starlink so that Apple CarPlay can work in Subaru vehicles?

No mention was made about Subaru Starlink being necessary in order to use Apple CarPlay in Subaru vehicles.. Using Apple CarPlay does not require integrating with Subaru Starlink since it can operate alone while providing access to key apps and functions from your iPhone directly through the vehicle’s infotainment screen.

Q: Can I enjoy Apple CarPlay without having a subscription to Subaru Starlink?

Yes, it is possible to utilize Apple CarPlay without subscribing to Subaru Starlink apart from engaging other functionalities like navigation, phone calls,messages, and music streaming, among others, which do not come across any costs because of the non-subscription approach.

Q: How does connecting Apple CarPlay with Subaru Starlink benefit users?

Combining seamless integration of Apple CarPlay with its capabilities offered by Subaru Starlink enhances the experience at large. Users are able to remotely start their cars using their smartphones just in case they feel that something could go wrong when they approach them thus leading technological advanced drivings in 21st century.

Q: If I don’t have a connection with my car via a star link connection, is there any other way to play the Apple CarPlay in my car?

The road towards using Apple CarPlay on Subaru cars, which are not connected by Starlink, may be followed in a couple of ways. Simply follow the instructions shown on your vehicle’s screen before plugging your iPhone into the USB port or wireless connecting (if supported). It should be remembered that this should only be done when an iPhone is plugged into a USB port of a vehicle or wirelessly synchronized with it.