By Phillip Garton
The average American spends 162 minutes on their mobile device a day and 101 minutes in his/her car. The likelihood of these times overlapping is ever increasing as mobile devices become more and more integrated with our lives. The need to stay in constant contact, get directions or find the nearest place to get a burger becomes an everyday need.
It is no surprise that the most prevalent phone operating systems want to make life easier by offering features in your car, but it is also no surprise that car manufacturers want to bring these features direct to you from your dealer. Both Apple and Android announced this year that they will be offering in car systems straight from the OEMs for integration to their devices.
Apple has introduced CarPlay, a feature rich in dash information system for the OEM and Aftermarket that integrates with your iPhone 5/5C/5S/6/6 Plus. CarPlay extends many of the functions that you most commonly use while in your car to the cars in dash head unit making it easier to keep your focus on the road ahead.
CarPlay attempts to keep the road your main focus with putting controls within reach. Siri handles all your voice commands, allowing you to answer calls, send messages, ask for directions or request your favorite song. If you are more of a button pusher, CarPlay also allows for all of these controls to be accessed through on screen menus or operation through your in cars specific controls.
Apple knows that while driving you have enough to worry about so CarPlay brings you everything you need without having to search for it. Apple Maps is there to give you direction, traffic to make sure you get to your destination on time. Calling is there to make sure you never miss making that important call or taking one. In car Messaging is there to help you response to those texts or emails that just can’t wait and with Siri you never have to take your eyes off the road to respond. What would a car be without your favorite tunes playing over the radio, iTunes and iTunes Radio and there to make sure you never have to search the radio to find the music you want when you want it.
Apple also knows that your mobile device is personal and it’s not just used for placing calls and getting directions so CarPlay currently supports some of the popular iPhone apps such as Spotify, iHeartRadio, Podcast, Beats Music, MLB at bat, and CBS Radio to name a few with more to come.
CarPlay will be available in the aftermarket from Alpine and Pioneer, in addition some OEMs that have already signed up to offer this right from your dealer such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota and BMW to name a few. You will soon be able to take full advantage of CarPlay in your car old or new.
Android has introduced Android Auto an in dash information system coming for OEMs that integrates with your Android device running 4.2 or higher. Android Auto extends most of your mobile devices functions to the in dash screen keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
Android Auto keeps you focused using voice and on screen in dash controls. Using hot words like “Hey Google” all your voice commands, such as answering calls, send messages, asking for directions or requesting your favorite song can be done. Similarly you can access all these functions through simple and quick interactions on the in dash display.
Android wants your car to become a natural extension of your phone, so Andorid Auto brings you everything you need and nothing you don’t. Google Maps is there to give you the reach driving and turn by turn navigation with lane guidance and traffic information you come to expect. Calling and Messaging are there too, so you never miss the contact when you need to make it most. Want music? Just ask Google and it will be served up to you right through your in car audio.
Android just like Apple knows that your mobile device is personal and your favorite apps can’t be ignored so Android Auto currently supports some of the best Android apps such as Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pocketcast, MLB at bat, and Pandora, to name a few, with more to come.
Android will be available for OEMs with no word on Aftermarket as of yet, but some OEMs that have already signed up to offer this right from your dealer such as Ford, GM, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Honda and Bentley, to name a few.
Your Choice Your Car!
The choice is yours! In rare form Apple and Android are offering very comparable products, the screens and interface are close in look and feel. The apps and functions of both products are almost the same and even the car manufacturers overlap between the two products with the only edge going to Apple for supporting the Aftermarket but with Google’s open sourced approach to software I would think this is only a matter of time before we see an Android based head unit on the market.
The only questions that really remains is how quickly will we see cars equipped with this great technology and which will you choose? Soon your choices will not only include what color paint or if you want leather, but what mobile device you use.