Google Is Making Android Auto the CarPlay Rival Apple Never Wanted


While Android Auto users therefore struggled with all kinds of bugs, those part of the Apple ecosystem and relying on CarPlay behind the wheel enjoyed a much more stable and refined experience. At some level, it was all thanks to Apple’s walled garden, which despite coming with plenty of restrictions also reduces the likelihood of bugs on multiple fronts. So at the end of the day, CarPlay has always been considered the more reliable alternative to Android Auto, and there’s no doubt many actually made the switch to Apple’s platform in search of the milk and honey they’ve been promised. But right now, there’s a lot happening in both worlds. And in many regards, not only that CarPlay is getting worse, but Android Auto itself is getting crazy good. Relying on CarPlay for daily driving after the update to iOS 15 has been a risky approach, as this iOS update introduced bugs the typical Apple user would have never imagined. The Android Auto community, on the other hand, is being spoiled with so much good news lately. First of all, the new features. Google has already announced an all-new driving mode that will replace Android Auto for phones, and obviously, it comes with plenty of improvements supposed to make the experience overall more modern. Then, Android Auto has been updated with games – while such a concept seems ridiculous at first glance, the games are only allowed when the car is not in motion, so they’re a great way to make waiting less boring – as well as with dual-SIM support. This means Android Auto can now handle two different SIMs, something that users have been requesting for years. Android Auto is also being updated with profiles, so you can set up different configurations for work and personal, but also with support for contactless gas payments via Google Assistant and Google Pay. Earlier this week, Google shared more big Android Auto news. There are several new apps coming to Android Auto, as the ecosystem keeps growing simply because more users embrace the platform in the first place. There are over 150 million cars running Android Auto, Google says, and the number is just going up regularly thanks to aftermarket head unit upgrades. The new apps also include Lyft and Kakao Mobility, so drivers would no longer have to touch their phones to pick up clients and finalize rides. Apps to provide users with access to points of interest, track their mileage and costs, are also coming to Android Auto. The platform is also being updated with Fast Pair, which makes the process of setting it up with a new phone a lot more straightforward and convenient. And last but not least, Google has worked together with Motorola to release a dedicated adapter that converts Android Auto wired into wireless, all by simply plugging it in the USB port of the car. What’s Apple doing on the CarPlay front during this whole time? Not much. The Cupertino-based tech giant rarely talks about its CarPlay plans, and the updates it releases for the driving experience not only that are typically subtle but also land at a very slow pace. CarPlay is still bundled with the operating system, so it’s only improved with new iOS updates. Needless to say, new CarPlay features are typically added when major iOS versions are released, and this happens once a year. So at the end of the day, Android Auto just seems to be the better choice, not only now but in the long term too. Apple’s FBI-inspired secrecy certainly doesn’t help, so don’t be too surprised if the migration between the two platforms happens the other way around this time.