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CarPlay released in 2014 is an Apple standard that enables a car radio or head unit to be a display or a controller for iOS devices such as iPhones. You can mirror apps from your iPhone such as Maps, Spotify, Phone etc.
Android Auto is a mobile app developed by Google to mirror features of an Android device, such as a smartphone, on a car's dashboard information and entertainment head unit. Once an Android device is paired with the car's head unit, the system can mirror some apps on the vehicle's display.
When you plug in your phone via your cars USB port, the infotainment system will show an Apple or Android interface with applications from your phone such as messages, maps, music etc.
Some vehicles will display the interfaces automatically, others will require you to follow instructions on the infotainment system.
Once connected your infotainment system should show either of these interfaces: