Volvo Brings Apple CarPlay to Android Automotive-Powered Cars
Given the popularity of smartphone mirroring, this is a pretty major over-the-air update.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
If you paid attention to recent reviews of Volvo models like the XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge, you may have picked up on a major omission in these vehicles -- namely, Apple CarPlay. Volvo promised an update would remedy the lack of this desirable smartphone mirroring solution, and now that's finally happening.
Volvo this week announced that a new over-the-air update would finally bring Apple CarPlay back to new Volvo vehicles. This free update applies to new Volvo vehicles that are running the Android Automotive-based infotainment system. It doesn't enable wireless CarPlay, so users will be stuck with the standard USB-based wired offering, but still, CarPlay is finally back.
Android Automotive is an automotive operating system that uses Android as its backbone. It allows for a much deeper integration with Google's services, like the ubiquitous Google Maps and the Play Store. However, when it started being added to various Volvo vehicles, CarPlay was nowhere to be found. That became a recurring negative point in our Volvo reviews, but this update will put an end to that problem.
That's a good thing, because CarPlay is a highly desirable feature that can very well sway buyers to consider one or another automaker, especially when it's offered on nearly every other vehicle being sold. This update will help boost Volvo's visibility as it begins the next step of its electrification strategy. Starting with the 2023 model year, Volvo will only sell electrified versions of its vehicles. If you're not ready to go fully electric just yet, there will still be mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants available, but gas-only Volvos will soon be a thing of the past.
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