While GM’s Mary Barra made waves at the Code Conference and Hyundai media exploded with reviews of Android Auto coming via an update to Hyundai 2015 Sonatas, Volkswagen announced availability of Android Auto, CarPlay and MirrorLink for in the United States and Europe.
“Volkswagen is using MirrorLink as a differentiator, porting applications to the platform without waiting for the support of the Car Connectivity Consortium that created MirrorLink,” wrote Strategy Analytics analyst Roger Lanctot on LinkedIn.
Volkswagen announced Android Auto, CarPlay and MirrorLink at CES, when Volkswagen demonstrated the Connected Golf. The e-Golf equipped with MIB II worked with multiple apps and connected to smartphones and tablets. Features and applications are organized into several clusters.
VW recently announced that the Car-Net platform will enable Apple Watch functionality for many new Volkswagen vehicles.
Many automakers are seeing their technology and compatibility with smartphones as being a selling point.
The release of Android Auto, CarPlay and MirrorLink seems to be quiet at this time, in California, because we called our local Volkswagen dealer who had not heard about the update, yet.
Lanctot noted that dealers should anticipate a wave of consumer confusion and questions regarding smartphone compatibility.
The VW dealer rep who answered the phone said, “You mean you want the cable? I’m not sure what you are talking about, I’ll have to call you back.”
We also are trying to contact the Volkswagen media contacts to see what’s going on.
We suspect, the update could arrive any time.
Android Auto hopefuls should note that you need the very latest version of Android for the system to work, Lollipop. There are compatibility issues with some popular Android models on different carriers. The Android Lollipop smartphone must be paired via Bluetooth and via a USB cable. Android Auto streamlines Android functions and adds voice commands for Google Maps, Google Now, messaging, phone calling and Google Play Music. ndroid Auto also will offer third-party audio apps that owners have on their phones, including iHeartRadio, Spotify, TuneIn, NPR, Stitcher, Skype, TextMe and many more.
CarPlay is simplified interface for iPhone uses 8.0+ via a lightning cable that allows for streaming media, voice calls, texts and “Siri” requests through the microphone and audio system.
MirrorLink mirrors what is on the Android smartphone to the car infotainment screen. The Car Connectivity Consortium announced that the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and HTC One (M9) are enabled to work with MirrorLink in vehicles. The smartphones that support MirrorLink are Sony’s Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3, previous HTC One models, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.
If you love your iPhone and want CarPlay, it has been reported that Volkswagen dealers are leasing Jettas for the same price as an iPhone on a major carrier $89 a month.
Are you Volkswagen owner who’s has MirrorLink, CarPlay or Android Auto? Please let us know in the comments below, you may need a special cable to connect.