What’s The Deal With Android Auto And Apple CarPlay?
Once again battling it out to have overall tech supremacy in the market, fierce competitors Android and Apple have now both officially announced their plans to move their operating systems to the automobile.
Apple CarPlay, as it has been dubbed, already has 31 car manufacturers on board (five of these, including Ferrari, Honda, and Volvo, will have the system installed in cars by the end of the year), and they have promised that aftermarket systems – such as Pioneer multimedia players – will support the CarPlay function. Android Auto have almost as many manufacturers lined up, with 28 already confirmed.
What Are These Systems?
Both systems are very similar on the surface, in that they allow you to message, play music, make calls, and navigate using the in-built maps app. Apple, naturally, have allowed for very few third-party apps at this current moment in time, whereas Android have released a software kit for developers to create their own apps.
Furthermore, CarPlay is only planning to support the iPhone 5 and its successive models (updated to iOS 7), whereas iPods and iPads are excluded from this. Android has not yet stated which version needs to be running in order to operate Android Auto, but it would be a safe bet to assume it may be the latest version: KitKat. Basically, you can plug your phone into your car and navigate it via a screen in your car.
Can I Use All Of My Apps In The Car?
Er… not quite. Not all apps will be accessible via the car system – so it’s unlikely that we’ll see Flappy Bird cropping up on the monitors for some time, if at all – which is part of an attempt to stop distractions in the form of a mobile phone when someone is in the car. This is why both Google Voice, and Siri (which has apparently been given an overhaul in terms of voice recognition), are used in place of typing in order to reduce manual input.
But will it work? Well, if your phone is connected to your car then it’s potentially going to be harder to interact with, and the bonus of having music playing over the speakers rather than through your earphones helps to ease distraction a little. But it remains to be seen whether this development in mobile technology will actually put a dent in the number of phone-related car accidents.
Will My Choice Of OS Affect The Car Manufacturer I Have To Buy From?
In some instances – depending on the manufacturer – this may well be the case. Some automakers have opted to support just one system, so it’s safe to assume that, for example, we won’t be seeing many Apple fanboys or fangirls driving around in newer Volkswagen or Skoda models when they’re released. The good news is that some automakers have decided to support both systems in their cars, so if you’re the rare breed that happens to sit in both the Apple and Android camps – or you really don’t care either way – then there’s something for you as well.