This is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’s the single most important thing to happen to infotainment since the advent of GPS and streaming media. Why do you ask? Simple. Car manufactures royally suck at making infotainment rigs. We all have felt it. They are slow, cumbersome, maddeningly frustrating and in all cases…simple voice commands are an utter pain in the ass. Do you know why? Because they are always behind the times.
Think about it. You swap out your phone once year or so. That steady upgrade in technology is innate in us. We expect and get the newest, fastest and most up to date software on our handset. Now for an automaker that’s every 5 years or so. Because that’s when a product life cycle begins for a car and by the time the new shiny car lands on showroom floors….the technology is out of date.
Google and Apple developed their own respected software for cars after seeing this loophole. You simply plug your phone into your car and now your phone is your infotainment rig. Or more simply….the headunit is now your display and controller for your phone. It handles your maps, music, calls, texts, calendar and most anything else. The best part is all the computation is done ‘on the cloud’, so by simply pressing the voice key on the steering wheel you have access to Google Now and/or Siri.
As you can see from the pictures…your phone display is mirrored on the screen. So interacting with it comes naturally instead of awkwardly. There is no more pulling out the manual, flipping to the index and then cursing when trying to figure out how to play Spotify. You just click on the Spotify icon and everything is there.
The 2016 Sonata and Accord already have it, but it will bleed out to the rest of the field in the next two years or so. There is also many aftermarket companies making headunits that offer Android Auto and CarPlay, so you can update your current ride and take advantage.