Cooley On Cars
Top 5: Benefits of Apple CarPlay and Google AndroidBrian Cooley offers up the top five technologies we need Apple and Google to fix.
[MUSIC] The infotainment system in new cars is about to get a major new chapter, or just get made obsolete. As Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto starts shipping in some 2016 models. And the aftermarket has beaten car makers to the punch, already installing CarPlay and Android Auto systems in the cars we already drive. You don't need to be a mobile tech nerd to love this idea, just a car owner who wants to feel less pain while driving. I'm Brian Cooley with my top five reasons that Car Play and Android Auto are going to be a blessing. Now these are my picks based on spending a lot of time, in lot of cars that try my patience with their cabin tech. And admittedly limited time poking around CarPlay and Android Auto since they're very, very new. Don't **** this up, guys. It'd make us both look bad. Here we go. Number five, dashboard distraction. I put this low because, let's face it, screwing around with infotainment while you drive is still screwing around with infotainment while you drive, no matter who designed it. However, Apple and especially Google are experts at predictive knowledge. Their systems are built to try and known what you mean or want before you're even done inputting it. Nice on a phone, critical in a car. Number four, lousy user interface. Car makers are all over the road on their UI. What their screens and displays look like all too often have a single thing in common. They look like hell. Google, and especially Apple, have a look and feel to their platforms that holds together all screens and ideally across all third-party apps. It creates some badly needed consistency. Imagine if cars had the gas pedal on the left and sometimes on the right. Number three, old media. Even Apple, the folks who invented iTunes, aren't so much in the MP3 game like they used to be. And neither they nor Google were ever married to things like satellite radio, HD radio, CDs. They have no problem quickly embracing the new and dumping the old. Things like streaming choices. They come so fast, carmakers can often just hope to be two generations behind. Number 2, stale POIs. In your car's current navigation rig, points of interest seldom are. They're instead these stiff, rigid, outdated categories of things that take longer to page through than to drive to. And almost never are they aware of what you like. It's mostly collections of obvious things like national chain locations, or overly broad categories like museums or cemetery. Yeah, kill me. Move over and let live search and my preferences and history flourish in the da. Before I get to number one, some things that are certainly beyond the ability of Apple and Google to fix, beyond info-tainment. Like complicated touchscreens for temperature control. Why? Blind spot and lane departure warnings that all sound like the same bird. Chirping. Or absurd 180 mile speedometers that crush every increment down so small you can't tell if you're doing if you're 50 or 70 without taking out a magnifying glass. The number one thing that Apple and Google can, no, must improve in the dash is maddening voice commands. Voice commanding cars used to be like magic. Until smartphones arrived and showed us it's actually more like a gallstone. Get out of the way, car makers. There's no technology better proven you shouldn't be involved in than voice command. Address. Add in the fact that voice envelopes most of what happens in the dash and I can't wait to talk to Siri or say, okay, Google. Behind the wheel. More top five lists await the car lover. Go to CNETOnCars.com. Click on Top 5. [MUSIC]