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Battle of the Brands – Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay

In-car infotainment systems is a lucrative market. With modern technologies being incorporated in high-end cars, state-of-the-art infotainment systems are inevitable. In recent years, auto manufacturers have found innovative ways to create and build in-car systems that help people navigate, make phone calls, read text messages and let them play music. Basically they make driving a fulfilling experience, not just for the driver but for the other passengers as well.

Now imagine smartphone companies designing the infotainment system for your car. By incorporating ground-breaking technology, these systems will guarantee a fabulous ride. Making their mark in this space are Apple and Google, developing in-car operating systems using the user’s smartphone to operate and function.

Android Auto

What are the Similarities?

After being part of cut-throat competition in the smart phone industry, Apple and Google are now battling it out in the car infotainment system.

  • Both systems operate in the same way; users have to plug in their smartphones to enable the system.
  • Currently the systems can be turned on using the USB cable but soon the option of wireless connection will be possible.
  • Once the phone is plugged in, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay systems detect the phone and switch control over to the car interface.
  • Both systems can be operated through the phone’s touchscreen interface, the in-car system’s physical controls or through voice. While Apple utilizes Siri to a large extent to perform various tasks, Google uses Google Now to receive voice inputs and carry out tasks.
  • The screen interface of Android Auto is based on Material Design; colourful and easy to use. It gives the user options for navigation, music and a dialer app.
  • Users can also receive text notifications, just like they do on their Android phones. However with the in-car systems, the text message is vocally delivered.
  • Apple offers a more conservative home screen that looks a lot like any iOS device, but more or less performs similar functions as the Auto.

Apple Carplay

The Differences

  • While Apple allows users to use their phone while the CarPlay system is on, Google does not give users that option causing some amount of frustration. Moreover, the CarPlay works with all phones beyond the iPhone 5, Android Auto works only with phones running Android 5.0, limiting the current scope of the system.
  • Both CarPlay and Auto provide real-time guidance helping users navigate to their destination. The only difference being Auto uses Google Maps while CarPlay uses Apple Maps, thus working to Google’s advantage as Google Maps is far more updated and enhanced than Apple Maps.
  • The audio playback feature of both systems is equally good. CarPlay and Auto both enable quick access to the phone’s music app and also allow users to use third party music apps to play audio. But since Apple contains more audio apps in its app store, it has an added advantage over Google.

Android Auto vs Apple CarPlay : Availability

There a huge lineup of auto manufacturers committing to incorporating these infotainment systems in their cars. While Hyundai Sonata gives users the option to choose either Auto or CarPlay, depending on the user’s iOS; Ferrari and Volvo have already started rolling out some of their cars with CarPlay, facilitating a bright future for Apple in the car infotainment space.

Additionally, in order to take advantage of these in car systems users won’t be required to buy a new car. Apple and Google are tying up with car audio system manufacturers like Apline and Pioneer to make Auto and CarPlay compatible with the current in-car systems.

To Conclude,

With both CarPlay and Android Auto offering a pleasurable driving experience offering an assortment of functions that they can perform, it is rather difficult to say which one is better. While Apple’s CarPlay is a reflection of user’s iOS device making it easier to operate, Google’s Auto has a more appealing user-interface that makes the in-car experience truly remarkable.

Rajiv Patil
Rajiv is one of the founders of Nimblechapps, a web and mobile development company based out of India. At Nimblechapps he overlooks delivery, product development and often lends a hand to the in house development team. His personal interest include Travel, Food and Motorcycling.