Making the Right Choice: Android Auto or CarPlay?


Android Auto CarPlay

Android Auto and CarPlay have similar features. After the Coolwalk update, they also look similar. Now, they both have a multi-view screen. This screen lets users run multiple apps side-by-side in a card layout.

Even though they compete, Android Auto and CarPlay work together to keep phone mirroring systems alive. Last year, General Motors said its future models will not support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Instead, GM will focus only on Android Automotive. This controversial plan is already in action. The 2024 Blazer EV does not support these two systems.

GM hoped other companies would follow its lead. Thankfully, this isn’t happening. Negative feedback from users disappointed with GM’s decision led several carmakers, including Ford and Polestar, to reaffirm their support for Android Auto and CarPlay.

The Future of Android Auto and CarPlay Android Auto CarPlay

Based on current data, Android Auto and CarPlay are here to stay. However, the competition for the top spot isn’t just about the present. It also involves future plans and long-term strategies. Tech-savvy users know that Google and Apple have big updates planned for their platforms.

Unfortunately for Apple, its plan doesn’t seem to be working.

The current version of CarPlay is very popular. Apple’s data shows that nearly eight in ten new car buyers in the United States wouldn’t consider a vehicle without it.

However, Android Auto and CarPlay already feel outdated. Even though most new models include them (except for GM’s), users want more advanced features.

Google and Apple are ready to meet this demand with Android Automotive and the next-generation CarPlay.

Google Pushing Android Auto to More Car Makers Android Auto CarPlay

Android Automotive has been around for several years. Although its adoption has been slow, Google has partnered with several major carmakers to install the operating system in their cars. These partnerships will continue, and Google plans to expand AAOS to more cars. They are already discussing its adoption with other big names.

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Meanwhile, Apple is struggling to prepare CarPlay 2.0 for release. Apple announced the new-generation CarPlay with much fanfare in spring 2022 and promised to reveal the first vehicles by the end of 2023. These announcements came at the very end of the year, indicating slower-than-expected progress. Only two carmakers, Aston Martin and Porsche, have confirmed they will adopt CarPlay 2.0. Both are exclusive brands, not aimed at the general market.

Android Auto and CarPlay Challenges Android Auto CarPlay

Apple needs carmakers that offer budget-friendly models to adopt CarPlay 2.0 to expand its user base for the new-generation system. Despite boasting a long list of carmakers planning to install CarPlay in their vehicles, big names like Ford, Honda, and Toyota appear hesitant to adopt the new-gen CarPlay.

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Apple’s long-term CarPlay strategy could fail for three reasons. First, the company is late to the party. The repeated delays have reduced interest in the new-generation CarPlay. It’s becoming clear that finding a car with this system may not be possible this year. Hopefully, Apple will provide more details at the upcoming WWDC. Otherwise, it will be challenging for the iPhone maker to stay competitive in this battle.

Secondly, Android Automotive is gaining momentum. General Motors, Volvo, Honda, Ford, Nissan, Renault, and others have already integrated AAOS into their vehicles. Android Automotive can operate with or without Google Automotive Services (GAS), giving carmakers the flexibility to decide whether they want to use Google’s services. For instance, BMW adopted Android Automotive without GAS, allowing them to offer third-party alternatives to Google’s services, including their own app store.

Thirdly, carmakers are increasingly focused on developing their own software solutions to provide comprehensive features. Mercedes, for example, decided against using CarPlay because only an in-house operating system can fully integrate all the features in its cars. Other companies have also opted for this strategy, seeing software development as essential for retaining control over infotainment systems. This approach could potentially turn infotainment systems into profitable assets over time, particularly with the growing popularity of subscription models.

The failure of the Apple Car led the iPhone maker to reassess its automotive strategy, focusing now on CarPlay and Apple Maps. CarPlay 2.0 and the enhanced city experience, a major update for Apple Maps to rival Google Maps, are both delayed compared to expectations.

Everything points to the Cupertino-based tech giant losing the battle, and strangely, Apple doesn’t appear worried about it. The next few months will be crucial for CarPlay’s future, not only for Apple but also for its relationships with carmakers and their willingness to embrace the new-generation experience.

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