Pay for gasoline with your iPhone? Apple iOS 16 revolutionizes trips to gas station

Apple CarPlay
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 14 (opens in new tab) looks set to launch with iOS 16 and the update is compatible with the iPhone generations (opens in new tab) from 8 and newer, meaning most Apple fans will benefit from the new software. This is good news, as there’s a plethora of new features to look forward to, including a new feature for Apple CarPlay – which runs via iPhone – which will give US drivers the ability to pay for petrol directly from their car’s infotainment screen. Super convenient and very Apple – it’s just a shame that Apple users in countries where smartphone use is still banned at gas stations, such as the UK and Australia, won’t get to benefit. 

The iOS 16 upgrade to Apple CarPlay was mentioned by Apple at WWDC 2022 (opens in new tab) but its only now, thanks to a Reuters report that we are starting to understand the specifics. According to Reuters, HF Sinclair, which sells its fuel at 1,600 stations in the US, is planning to support CarPlay purchases later this year, when the new feature goes live as iOS 16 is released to the public. The public launch of iOS 16 is scheduled for September this year, when Apple will also release the iPhone 14. 

"Purchase fuel from their vehicle navigation screen"

Jack Barger, HF Sinclair

"We are excited by the idea that consumers could navigate to a Sinclair station and purchase fuel from their vehicle navigation screen," Jack Barger, HF Sinclair's senior vice president of marketing, said to Reuters.  

In order to use the technology at HF Sinclair stations, as well as having an iPhone with iOS 16 customers will need to sign up for an account in the HF Sinclair app, and register their payment details in advance. From then on they should be able to pay for fuel directly from their car. We expect more US fuel businesses to come forward and announce they will be supporting the iOS 16 upgrade to Apple CarPlay shortly. 

Next Generation CarPlay

As well as US customers soon being able to pay for fuel via CarPlay, Apple has announced other ways the iOS 16 update will allow CarPlay to more deeply integrate with cars’ hardware. Next generation CarPlay will be able to provide content for multiple screens within a vehicle and allow users to do things like control the radio or change the climate directly through CarPlay. Furthermore, using the vehicle data, in iOS 16, CarPlay will seamlessly render the speed, fuel level and temperature, on the instrument cluster. 

Apple has also announced that CarPlay in iOS 16 will allow users to personalize their driving experience by choosing different gauge cluster designs. We can also expect new support for widgets, giving users at-a-glance information from Weather and Music right on their car’s dashboard. 

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Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on www.digitalcameraworld.com (opens in new tab), she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including T3.com and TechRadar.com and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of 5GRadar.com - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.