Road Pizza? Dominos Adds CarPlay Support for Quick Food Orders

Dominos CarPlay Credit: Dominos
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While nearly every major iOS release is packed with fun stuff for iPhone fans to enjoy, sometimes the best new features aren’t entirely in Apple’s hands. Often, the company opens up new capabilities for third-party developers, hoping that once they build it, the apps will come.

In most cases, there’s no shortage of developers who have been champing at the bit to take advantage of these enhancements. For instance, when Apple finally introduced widgets in iOS 14, developers eagerly jumped on board, with hundreds of apps ready with their own widgets on the same day iOS 14 was released to the public.

Other new capabilities have been less enthusiastically received, to the point where they may have been entirely forgotten. Perhaps one of the best examples of this was also found in iOS 14 when Apple added support for several new types of CarPlay apps to handle parking, EV charging, and quick food ordering.

Despite being added over two years ago, very few apps have embraced the new food-ordering capabilities of CarPlay. Dunkin’ added it in 2021, and Panera followed suit last year, but to say the uptake has been slow would be an understatement.

However, under the heading of “better late than never,” Dominos has joined the party, announcing today that customers can now “conveniently order pizza from the comfort of their car.”

CarPlay and Quick Food Ordering

Before you jump in and start ordering your pizza on the road, there are a few things you’ll want to be aware of. For one thing, it’s only available in the U.S. (sorry, fellow Canucks).

More importantly, Apple doesn’t let just any developer stick whatever they want on your CarPlay dashboard. For obvious safety reasons, you’ll likely never see YouTube come to CarPlay — at least not for playing videos. Instead, Apple has a very specific set of categories for CarPlay apps  and controls exactly what those apps are allowed to do through the CarPlay interface.

In other words, don’t expect to browse the whole Dominos menu on your in-vehicle display — Apple’s rules for quick food ordering apps don’t allow for that. Specifically, they can show “a list of recent orders or favorites limited to 12 items each.”

In the case of Dominos, you can access a few of your most recent orders or whatever “Easy Order” you’ve saved in the app using your iPhone. However, that’s not just for the menu items — selecting a previous order or Easy Order will also use the exact store location, payment information, and carryout option or delivery address from that order.

If you want something different or prefer to change your carryout/delivery preference, you’ll need to use the “Call to Order” option to speak with a human. This will let you get in touch with a nearby store of your choice, although it’s unclear whether that’s much different from making the call normally via Siri.

On the upside, Dominos notes that the Domino’s Tracker will now work via CarPlay, so you can keep tabs on when your pizza will be ready for pickup or when you can expect it to show up at your home.

In light of this new CarPlay development, it’s kind of amusing to think that Road Pizza was also the codename for Apple’s original QuickTime Video codec in 1991. While ordering Dominos from the car may not appeal to everyone, we’re hoping this will encourage more businesses to embrace CarPlay for quick food ordering (we’re looking at you, Starbucks).

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