While it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long, both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS devices support integration beyond a standard Bluetooth connection to modern infotainment systems. Apple calls their setup Car Play, and Google calls their Android Auto. While some OEMs fully support both products, it’s time for all of the car makers to get on board.
Adoption of the technology was slow in the beginning, but is now rolling out at a steadier pace. For a period it was just Hyundai and Ferrari with integration; now many OEMs support it. But there are a few who haven’t added the technology to their infotainment, and it’s about time they do.
I was speaking with a rep awhile ago about this very subject, and they brought up an interesting point. Have you ever, in the history of the automobile, see a manufacturer adopt new technology as the companies that have adopted this technology have? It’s true. Just a couple of years ago nobody supported it; now many do. Consumer preference has definitely pushed the rollout.
The systems aren’t without their bugs, either. I’ll admit to occasionally running into a problem or issue with Android Auto that’s annoying. But I also run into an issue every now and again with factory infotainment systems, and I feel that the development of Car Play and Android Auto has advanced enough that issues are kept to a minimum.
But the real reason why more OEMs need to get on board is because of everyone’s favorite word — millennials.
The generation that’s glued to their phones are buying cars, and they want to bring their favorite apps into the car with them. Being able to access Google Maps, for example, creates a much more reliable navigation experience than many factory OEM units, with the most accurate traffic and mapping data available. Why try to reinvent the wheel when Google has done the work for you?
Infotainment systems that support Android Auto and Car Play out of the box also can mask any other inadequacies with factory systems. If you spend any time driving a variety of different cars you’ll quickly realize some systems are significantly better than others. Support for Android Auto and Car Play, in a way, is an equalizer for the playing field.
Yes, I know it’s been a fast shift. Yes, I know that it’s not an easy transition, and working with Google and Apple isn’t the most fun in the world. But if you want us millennials, for the long term, you’re going to need to adopt this technology. And soon.