Update, 4:09 p.m. Eastern: This story has been updated with more information about pre-2019 vehicles and their eligibility for this upgrade.
We've harped on several late-model Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles lately for lacking Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two very good methods to reduce driver distraction. Thanks to a new update, we'll never have to rag on them again.
Jaguar Land Rover announced today that it's finally time to bring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its new vehicles. Both smartphone-mirroring systems will be part of an optional Smartphone Pack, which will cost about $300. It's standard on the 2019 I-Pace electric SUV, and optional on select 2019 model year vehicles, which will include all vehicles equipped with either JLR's InControl Touch Pro or Touch Pro Duo infotainment systems with navigation, InControl apps and Wi-Fi.
JLR also updated the InControl Touch Pro system for the 2019 model year in other ways. Select models can use now voice commands for navigation. The home screen underwent a visual refresh, and there are additional shortcut buttons on the home screen for reduced distraction.
There is some backward compatibility with pre-2019 vehicles, but it's a little complicated. To be eligible for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with a pre-2019 Jaguar or Land Rover vehicle, the car must have either of the infotainment systems mentioned above, with InControl apps and Wi-Fi. Additionally, pre-2019 vehicles must have the right kind of USB ports in order to be eligible for the upgrade, and only two of JLR's three center armrest panel designs have those USB ports. If you're confused, don't worry -- Jaguar Land Rover suggests calling your local dealer to determine upgrade eligibility. As for pricing, it's up to the dealer. Maybe your dealer will upgrade your car for free, or it might charge you a small fee for the labor alone, or it might charge you more. Again, calling ahead will clear all this up.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are slowly becoming either standard or optional on a hefty majority of new cars available today, as they're an efficient way to bring a phone's features into the car without introducing additional distraction potential. Apple CarPlay used to be limited to Apple's own Maps app, but the introduction of the iOS 12 update , too.