General Motors, citing statistics provided by Strategy Analytics, reports there are more than 2.3 billion smartphones in use globally, and that number continues to rise. On the road, customers are demanding better integration between phones and their vehicles.
Apple and Android Auto are similar in that you can take your smartphone into your car in a smarter safer way that keeps your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, says Dan Kinney, director, user experience, global connected customer experience. GM has been working with Apple and Google to find the best way to integrate smartphone functions into cars for two years.
“The personalized experience drivers have gotten used to on their smartphones is brought into the car,” said Kinney.
Kinney says most functions can be completed using the voice button on the steering wheel using voice commands, which helps the driver to stay focused. GM has been working with Google and Apple through partnerships to make sure that the voice commands work within the applications.
To see how the software works on the 2016 Chevy vehicles, car buyers can take their smartphones, either iPhones or Android devices, to their dealership to test how either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto works, notes Kinney.
The smartphone interfaces are integrated into the Chevy MyLink car infotainment system. An icon on the Chevy MyLink dashboard in the center stack screen changes to show that either CarPlay or Android Auto when a compatible smartphone is connected via the USB port.
Apple CarPlay functions can be activated by Siri, Apple’s voice assistant. Apple CarPlay is compatible with about 82 percent of iPhones and allows for voice calls, sending/receiving messages and music listening. Apple Maps in CarPlay offer turn-by-turn directions, traffic conditions and estimated travel times. The software suggests addresses from the owner’s contacts and calendars. CarPlay requires an iPhone with a Lightning connector.
Android Auto is similar in style to Android Phones, connects to the USB port and requires newer Android smartphones with Android 5.0 Lollipop software. Android Auto allows for the use of Google Maps, Google Now, text messaging, phone calls and music, using voice commands.
The first car model available at dealerships with Apple Car Play is the 2016 Corvette, followed by the 2016 Tahoe with most other Chevrolet models available in the fourth quarter of this year.
The 7-inch screen MyLink infotainment systems on the 2016 Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Camaro and Silverado will at first be compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto. The 8-inch version of MyLink will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year. Android Auto which is still in testing may be available on 8-inch versions of MyLink later in the 2016 model year. Models with 8-inch screens include Cruze, Malibu, Impala, Volt, Camaro, Corvette, Colorado, Silverado, Tahoe and Suburban.
“Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are the natural extension of your digital life from your smartphone into your car. It was important that we made them simple and vehicle-appropriate in the best way possible,” said Kinney.
— Lynn Walford, Motor Matters
Manufacturer Photo: Whether they have an Apple or Android phone, Chevrolet is providing Apple and Android connected driving experiences to owners across the globe. For the 2016 model year, Chevrolet offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility in more models than any automotive brand.
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2015