Starting in 2016 all Cadillac vehicles except the 2016 SRX – which is slated for replacement next spring – will feature enhanced smartphone integration with the introduction of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other GM brands including Chevrolet, Buick and GMC will also get the upgrade on most of their vehicles. As such we were able to get a first-hand demonstration of the new system in a 2016 Corvette Stingray.
According to GM’s director of global connected customer experience, Terry Inch, owners expect cars to be a part of their phone’s connected ecosystem. That’s why they’ve worked with Apple and Google to develop the technology to seamlessly integrate the two most prominent mobile operating systems into Cadillac’s CUE system, Chevy MyLink and GM’s OnStar platforms. Designed to make life easier, this new technology brings the ecosystem you use most into your car.
All you have to do is plug your phone into the system’s USB port and the touch screen replicates a simplified version of your phone’s screen. CarPlay brings in native iPhone applications like your calling, voicemail messaging, music, contacts, and maps, as well as Spotify, Audible, MLB.com and others. When you plug your phone it, all control is passed from the phone to the touch screen so you never have to look away from the road to control your phone’s functionality.
Siri is still there to help you find your music, get directions or make a call. In addition, messages are translated from text to speech to you don’t have to look at the phone to get your texts. You can also send texts, by using voice commands.
Inch said that GM has taken its time to introduce CarPlay and Android Auto to ensure the safety and security of the applications. Given recent news about hacks, erring on the side of caution makes sense. Combining this connectivity with GM’s 4G LTE WiFi capabilities provides a powerful technological platform that allows owners to access systems in the way that’s most convenient for them.
Apple CarPlay is rolling out in many GM vehicles this fall, why Android Auto won’t be available until later in the model year. Apple CarPlay requires iOS 7.1 or higher and an iPhone 5 or 6. Android Auto requires Android Lollipop operating system.