Just days after Hyundai announced Android Auto integration for the Sonata, Chevrolet says it will roll out Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on many 2016 models. Eleven cars will incorporate the system: the Cruze, Camaro coupe and convertible, Colorado, Corvette coupe and convertible, Impala, Malibu, light- and heavy-duty Silverado, Spark, Suburban, Tahoe and Volt.
Related: Hyundai Launches Android Auto in 2015 Sonata
The 2016 Corvette will get it first; it will go on sale in July. Shoppers “will have a number of options by the third and fourth quarter,” GM spokesman Stuart Fowle said. Anything with the MyLink multimedia system, which includes the majority of the cars, will be compatible, Fowle said; you don’t have to get, for example, a navigation-equipped MyLink system.
Apple and Android-parent Google announced their in-car systems in 2014, which bring a simplified smartphone interface, complete with maps and apps, to the dashboard screen in compatible cars. In Chevrolet’s case, a 7- or 8-inch MyLink multimedia system will serve as the backdrop. The Android and Apple systems will work on 7-inch screens, but Chevrolet says the 8-inch screen will work only with Apple CarPlay to start. Android Auto compatibility “may be available” for later 2016 models.
Read more on Android Auto here and Apple CarPlay here. The two systems offer smartphone-tied voice recognition and dozens of third-party audio apps from Skype to Spotify, with more to come. Both systems require you to plug a compatible smartphone (an iPhone 5 or newer, or an Android that runs Lollipop 5.0 or newer) into the USB port and download any compatible apps you want to use. Do that and the possibilities seem endless; after all, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay enable multimedia updates at the speed of your smartphone, not your car.
Beyond your smartphone data plan and any app subscriptions (Spotify Premium, for example) there are no extra fees or sign-ups required for either system, Fowle said. Unfortunately, any current Chevy owners with a MyLink system won’t be able to upgrade.
“While the interface on our 2016 MyLink systems looks similar, we made some significant hardware updates including new capacitive touch-screens and improved processing and memory capability,” Fowle said. “Only MY16 and newer will be able to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.”
Expect Chevrolet’s GM siblings (Buick, Cadillac and GMC) to get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the near future. The “other brands will make similar commitments soon,” Fowle said.