Most modern cars nowadays come with touchscreen infotainment systems, and it has become a key selling point among buyers. Each one features various multimedia functions, such as listening to AM/FM radio, playing your favorite tunes through the auxiliary, connecting via the USB ports, and even streaming music via Bluetooth. While some car brands settle with other screen mirroring apps, phone integration has been made easier all thanks to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Notably, many vehicles in the Philippine market now have this feature, but is it really worth the extra cost? Let’s find out.
Seamless phone integration
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make it easier for you to connect your Apple device or Android smartphone to the infotainment system. All you need is a USB cable to plug into the infotainment system and your device will successfully connect to it. With your phone and the head unit synced up, it will give your car access to your contacts, applications, and even to your music playlist to keep you entertained while driving.
Notably, some cars have wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, meaning, you wouldn’t be needing a USB cable to successfully project your apps, contacts, and other phone assets on the screen. Locally, the Ford Territory is currently the only model in the economy market to have wireless Apple CarPlay.
Both Apple CarPlay and Android auto work better with smartphones as they are built-in features with the device’s operating system. This gives them an advantage over other screen mirroring applications thanks to the optimized system. It also comes with the benefit of being easy to use and quick to pair as simply plugging in your phone will automatically trigger the application.
Gives you better access to other applications
Some infotainment systems available in the market come with a built-in navigation system and other standard applications, but having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto opens more doors to other applications. It’s not all the time you get to see Google Maps, Waze, or Spotify readily available on your car’s head unit, that’s why you have the choice of downloading your preferred applications from the App Store or Play Store. In this manner, you get a lot of customizability with your user experience integrated straight into your car’s infotainment system.
Siri and Google Assistant are your companions
For a more convenient and safer trip on the road, Siri or Google Assistant will be your driving companion. Both are virtual voice control assistants with Apple devices open to the two while android phones only have access to Google Assistant. Regardless of whichever is available, you can actually instruct them to make a call, compose a text message, or even play your preferred music through voice command. This helps you avoid going through your phone or infotainment screen while driving allowing you to become less distracted on the road.
Is my iPhone compatible with Apple CarPlay?
Any iPhone 5 or newer can be used for Apple CarPlay. Moreover, having iOS 9 will also allow you to connect your iPhone through wireless Apple CarPlay. This gives Apple users a little more wiggle room when it comes to their devices as even older model smartphones can come with the application ready.
Is my smartphone compatible with Android Auto?
Smartphones running on Android 10 and above will have the Android Auto application built in. For smartphone users that are running a much older operating system such as Android 9 and below, you will have to download the Android Auto application from the Playstore in order to successfully pair it with your infotainment system. It may add another step in the smartphone to the infotainment pairing process but it will still function in the same way.
Should I use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto?
Your choice of a phone should not depend on this, as both phone integration systems provide seamless connectivity and better access to other applications. That said, any will do, it’s just a matter of knowing the type of phone you have in your pocket. If you’re an iPhone user, then you’ll be using Apple CarPlay, if you have an Android phone, then you’ll be using Android Auto. It is important to note that not all vehicles available on the market today will be compatible with both applications. Some models will only have Apple CarPlay available while others will only have their own screen mirroring application that requires a third party app. In either case, a Bluetooth connection is still a good alternative in case neither is available.
The answer is yes, not only are you rewarded with better convenience throughout your drive, but it also saves you from probable distractions, therefore giving you a safer environment. Notably, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have been spreading across several models in the local market. Even affordable cars like the Kia Soluto and Kia Picanto can be had with these features. So you really don’t have to pay that much just for you to get this wonderful feature.