Volkswagen of America announced the release of a new advertising campaign that shows off the MIB II infotainment system with App-Connect. App-Connect allows for smartphone connections through Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto and MirrorLink. VW is the first automaker to do so.
“For the 2016 model year, technology is a high priority for us,” said Darryll Harrison, manager of lifestyle, regional and innovation public relations for Volkswagen of America.
Harrison added “Many of our customers have smartphones and expect to use them in their cars. App-Connect allows Volkswagen drivers to use their smartphones comfortably with less distractions.”
When you plug-in in the iPhone or Android smartphone, the correct interface will launch. The infotainment system along with being compatible with MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will also be able to integrate tablets and smartwatches.
MirrorLink integrates the apps and operating layout of numerous smartphones including Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony into cars. Recently, 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.
CarPlay is a simplified Apple iPhone iOS interface with larger icons that works with touchscreens or Siri commands that was first introduced last year at Mobile World Congress in 2014.
Android Auto is a Google developed car interface with touchscreen controls that allows for voice control, Google maps and audio streaming from the Android smartphone.
App-Connect will be available on more than 75 percent of 2016 Volkswagen models sold in the U.S. The 2016 Tiguan and Golf R are the first two models to offer the new technology and are already available at Volkswagen dealers nationwide. The only 2016 Volkswagen models that will not have the technology available are the Touareg and the Eos
The campaign begins with two 30-second television commercials, titled “Party” and “Sorry” starring Adam Scott, Michael Peña and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. In each, they navigate App-Connect using voice commands, the vehicle’s touchscreen, and steering wheel controls. The ads tout the slogan, “The things you love on your phone, available on 11 Volkswagen models.”
GM offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay but not MirrorLink.
Available later this year, the VW Car-Net app for Apple Watch will allow VW customers to control a host of features and functions available through the iPhone app and Customer Web Portal, directly from their wrist. Apple Watch wearers will also be able to receive alerts directly to their Apple Watch from the app.