Hyundai may have been first to the party, but Chevrolet refuses to be left behind in the Google Android Auto department. Wednesday, the automaker announced that it will join the Android Auto connectivity club when the all-new 2016 Chevy Cruze rolls out this June. General Motors also says Chevy will also offer either Android Auto or Apple’s CarPlay, or both, in 14 of its 2016 models.
“For most of us, our smartphones are essential. Partnering with Apple and Google to offer Carplay and Android Auto compatibility across the widest range of models in the industry is a great example of how Chevrolet continues to democratize technology that’s important to our customers,” says General Motors CEO Mary Barra.
Android Auto and CarPlay will be offered across Chevrolet’s lineup from its entry level Spark with a 2015 starting price of $12,170 to its all-american muscle car the Corvette. They’ll be available through Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system which comes with either a seven-inch or eight-inch touch screen depending on the model. The seven-inch screens get both Android along with CarPlay right off the bat. The eight-inch version only comes with CarPlay until later in the 2016 model year when Chevy hopes to add Android into the mix.
Hyundai became the first to offer Android when it launched the system on the 2015 Sonata earlier this week. Both Android Auto and CarPlay systems work basically the same and are a way of directly connecting phones into the cars technology system to maximize productivity and minimize distractions while driving. The increase of safety comes from these systems abilities of allowing drivers to control phone features with the cars touchscreen, voice commands, and buttons directly on the steering wheel.
Both offer access to popular phone features. Android Auto uses apps like Google Maps and Google Now. It also uses the ability to talk to Google for audio control of things like text messaging through WhatsApp Messenger. Other apps, like Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify, and other podcast players, can be vocally controlled as well.
Apple’s CarPlay also allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music using the touchscreen and voice commands with Siri. It uses Apple apps like Phone, Messages, Maps, Music, and also other third-party apps like Spotify.
Android Auto began development last year in a Google-led group called Open Automotive Alliance that included Hyundai, Audi, GM, and Honda. So look for other automakers to join the club soon.