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Frustrating iOS 15 bug causes one of the best iPhone features to crash

Published Sep 30th, 2021 4:28PM EDT
iOS 15 CarPlay bug
Image: Apple

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Every year, Apple releases a new version of its mobile OS with a bunch of exciting changes. This year, iOS 15 introduced SharePlay for FaceTime, refreshed notifications, improved Maps and Weather apps, and Focus. These are all welcome additions to the iPhone ecosystem, but the update appears to have added just as many bugs as new features. We have covered several of these already, but the hits just keep on coming. Now, iPhone 13 owners on iOS 15 have found an infuriating CarPlay bug.

As spotted by MacRumors, dozens of iPhone 13 owners on Apple’s support forums are each reporting the same CarPlay issue. When those with an iPhone 13 running iOS 15 try to play music using CarPlay, the app crashes. This issue doesn’t seem to affect any older iPhone model. The only people reporting this iOS 15 bug are attempting to use CarPlay with an iPhone 13.

Here’s one iPhone 13 Pro owner describing the problem in detail on Apple’s support forums:

I have an iPhone 13 Pro running the latest version of iOS 15. I have a 2019 RAV4 that runs CarPlay via plugging my phone into the USB port. When I plug my phone into my car, CarPlay starts as normal. All CarPlay features run as normal except two things. First: when trying to play music through Apple Music, CarPlay will crash and CarPlay will restart. Second: when making a phone call, the call will work as normal until I end the call. When I end the call, CarPlay will crash and CarPlay will restart.

The CarPlay bug is perhaps the strangest iOS 15 bug yet just because of its specificity. As one forum goer recounts, CarPlay worked as expected when using Google Maps or Apple Podcasts. But as soon as they opened Spotify or Apple Music and clicked on a song, CarPlay crashed.

Unlike some of the other annoying iOS 15 bugs that have cropped up in recent weeks, there does appear to be a fix in this case. Some users claim that disabling EQ (the equalizer) causes CarPlay to stop crashing. You can do this on your iPhone by heading to Settings > Music > EQ and tapping Off. Based on this Reddit thread, this single adjustment works for most people.

It’s unclear when Apple will resolve this issue, but the company is apparently at least aware of it. On the MacRumors forums, one iOS user claims to have spoken to an Apple customer representative that revealed the bug is “a widespread issue,” and that there’s no current timetable for a fix. With iOS 15.1 still in beta testing, perhaps this bug can be addressed before it rolls out to the public.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.