How to Announce Incoming Text Messages With CarPlay


Another great use of Apple’s digital assistant

Image created by Jonathan Wylie

Some of Apple’s more recent headphones come with a somewhat unique feature: the ability to read notifications aloud. You don’t need to unlock your iPhone or tap on a message, it just gets read aloud by Siri as soon as it is received.

However, you can do this with more than just headphones. CarPlay also supports the ability to automatically read notifications aloud.

Normally, CarPlay only reads text messages when you tap on the conversation or notification, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have them read aloud automatically. Here’s how that works.

Announce Messages in CarPlay

To turn on incoming message announcements, grab your iPhone and go to Settings > Siri & Search > Announce Notifications and turn on the menu item at the top of the screen that says Announce Notifications.

Next, tap CarPlay. This lets you choose from one of three settings for how you want this to work when CarPlay starts up.

  • Announce New Messages: Each time you start CarPlay, messages will be read aloud by Siri.
  • Silence New Messages: Each time you start CarPlay, messages are silenced, but you can enable them later in CarPlay if you want.
  • Remember Previous Setting: CarPlay remembers which of the above settings you last used and starts defaults to that.
Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

What Does This Look Like in CarPlay?

When you turn on Announce Messages in CarPlay, you see a bell icon appear above your stack of recently used apps. This is your visual reminder that you have this feature turned on.

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

If your announcements are silenced by default, you can tap on any conversation in Messages to turn them back on. The Announce button appears in the top right corner of the screen and can be enabled or disabled by tapping on it.

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

How to Announce Incoming Calls in CarPlay

If you want, you can take this one step further and announce phone calls too. Once enabled, Siri will announce the caller (if they are in your contacts) or the number of the person calling you.

To turn that one, go to Settings > Siri & Search > Announce Calls and choose Headphones & Car.

Screenshot by Jonathan Wylie

Do You Announce Calls or Notifications?

I only came across the ability to announce notifications in CarPlay recently, but I like it more than I thought I would. It helps me stay focussed on the road, and that isn’t a bad thing for anyone. What about you?

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