The biggest news today is undoubtedly the local launch of the new 2016 Honda Civic – the tenth-generation of Honda’s iconic C-segment mainstay has been completely revised for this year with a fresh new look, a new turbocharged engine and a slew of new technologies.

One of the key additions is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, making the Civic one of the first cars in Malaysia – together with new Volvo XC90 and the W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the latter also launched today – to come with the functionality straight out of the box. We’ve put together a short video explaining how the system works with CarPlay (and only CarPlay, for reasons you’ll see later on).

Starting up CarPlay is easy enough – just connect your iPhone to a dedicated USB port, located underneath the (very HR-V-esque) gearlever “bridge,” and the icon will pop up on the Display Audio infotainment system’s main menu. Tap on it (remembering to unlock your phone beforehand) and voilà – the display now shows an iOS interface built specifically for a car.

2016 Honda Civic 1.5T Premium Display Audio 5

Once in, however, you’ll find that there really isn’t all that much to do. You can make a call by pressing the Phone icon – this jumps straight to Siri, which enables you to say the name or number that you intend to dial; if you prefer, you can also access your contacts or an old-fashioned keypad to dial the number by hand.

Want to dictate a message, or have one read to you through Siri when you’re on the road? You’re limited to SMS and iMessage on the built-in Messages app – there’s no support for other services like WhatsApp or Line at the moment.

You also won’t be able to access Waze or Google Maps for navigation – yes, you’re stuck with the not-very-accurate Apple Maps to guide you to your destination, which must be a scary thought for some people. There’s also no multitouch support for the seven-inch touchscreen, so you can’t pinch to zoom into the map.

Apple CarPlay in the Maps (left) and Music (right) apps

Music options are, thankfully, a lot more fully-featured. Apart from built in Music app – which houses songs bought from the iTunes Store, as well as the Apple Music streaming service – you’ll also be able to use Spotify and Deezer, as well as listen to podcasts and audiobooks through their respective apps.

So, what about Android Auto? Well, the new Civic does support the system, but unlike CarPlay, it’s not built into the phone from the get-go – it’s an app that you’ll have to download from the Google Play Store, and it’s not available in Malaysia. It could be worth the wait for it to arrive here, however – you get to use the handy Google Maps instead, and the even handier Waze will make its way to the system in the coming months.

The best news? The Display Audio system is available on all Civic variants sold in Malaysia – yes, even the base 1.8S – so they will all have support for CarPlay and Android Auto from day one. For more information on the new 2016 Honda Civic, read our full launch story here; you can also find out how it drives in our review, which you can find here.

GALLERY: 2016 Honda Civic 1.5L Turbo Premium

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