[Music] (Doug) Car infotainment systems have come
a long way in recent years. But very few manufacturers offer systems that
have the ease and simplicity of a smartphone. Well, now, if you have an Apple or Android
handset, you can effectively turn your infotainment screen into your smartphone screen.
The systems that enable you to do this are called Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, you’ve
probably heard of them. But, what are they? What do they do? And how
do they work? We’ve got the new Subaru XV that offers both systems to find out. Let’s start with Apple CarPlay first. To
get it started, what you need is an iPhone 5 or any newer model made since then. You
need an infotainment system that enables Apple CarPlay, and you need a USB cable.
If you look on the Subaru screen here, its got both Apple CarPlay & Android Auto icons,
but they’re not lit up at the minute. So let’s plug in the phone and there you
see it flashes up with the CarPlay logo, and on the Subaru infotainment system that also
flashes up with the CarPlay logo as well. So if we click on that it launches Apple CarPlay
and this is the main interface for it. You’ll notice instantly that it’s pretty much exactly
the same as what you see on your iPhone. All the app icons are very familiar and there’s
a nice grid layout to it as well – you can scroll across if there’s more apps.
The one slight restriction that you have with using Apple CarPlay is not every single app
is able to work through it. So that’s because Apple doesn’t want you to use that many
third-party apps. So you can get things like Spotify, you can
get things like the Podcasts app as well. The only sat-nav option you’re given is
Apple Maps. Now we know that lots of infotainment systems
come with pretty naff sat-navs, so Apple Maps is an improvement on them, but its not quite
as good as some of the other smartphone sat-nav options that are available, so lets try to
use the Apple Maps sat-nav. [ding-ding] Get directions to Twickenham Station.
[ding-ding] (Siri) Getting directions to Twickenham Station. (Doug) And there we go, a simple voice command
and then we’re ready to go. (Siri) Starting route to Twickenham Station.
(Doug) But a slightly annoying thing about Apple Maps is that you can’t pinch and zoom,
you have to use the zoom buttons manually like this. It just means it feels a little
bit laggy and it’s not particularly smooth when you’re using it. Another great feature of Apple CarPlay is
the ability to send text messages from your phone hands-free.
So, to do that you can use the help of Siri – through the voice command button on the
steering wheel again. [ding-ding] Send a message to Dan Wrenn.
[ding-ding] (Siri) What do you want to say? [ding-ding] (Doug) Hi Dan, I’m going to
be late for lunch. [ding-ding] (Siri) Your message to Dan Wrenn
says, “Hi Dan, I’m going to be late for lunch.” Ready to send it?
(Doug) Send. [ding-ding] (Siri) Done!
(Doug) And there, it’s done. A very simple process, that again, means you can remain
completely focused on the road and on driving. But if there’s an emergency – like being
late for lunch – you can send a text message as well. (Doug) Let’s look at Android Auto now, and
to start it, it’s a very similar process to Apple CarPlay.
You need an Android phone that’s running 5.0, which is Lollipop or later. You need
an infotainment system that’s capable of running Android Auto, and you need a USB cable.
So lets plug this phone in. Give it a few seconds to figure out what’s going on. You
see it brings up the Android Auto logo. It’s telling me to look for the logo on the infotainment
system. There it is – lit up ready to go. Open it
and this is the home screen. You’ll notice this is different from Apple CarPlay. With
CarPlay you had the app icons, you’re presented with a more – kind of – traditional infotainment
system layout. So along the bottom of the screen, these are
the shortcut buttons to the various different apps, and the apps are all segregated into
different functions. So over here are your sat-nav options, and
the really great thing about Android Auto is that enables the use of Google Maps, and
Waze. So if you want to cycle between the two, you first click on the sat-nav icon,
click on it again and it brings up the choice. So you can cycle through Waze, and Google
Maps. Then once you’ve chosen, it’s a very similar
process to inputting things, like it is with Apple CarPlay.
So at any time you can press the voice command button and you can input a destination.
[ding-dong] Navigate to Twickenham Station. [da-da] (Google Assistant) Navigating to Twickenham.
(Doug) And it’s as easy as that, and you’re ready to go.
Here are your phone options, so you can make and receive phone calls.
This is the home button, to take you back to the home screen.
This is your music choices, and again if you’ve got more than one music app, this is how you
cycle between them. And this – probably a bit unnecessary – is
the button that takes you to the main Subaru infotainment screen. Now you could argue that in Apple CarPlay
it’s a little bit simpler to get from one function to another, that’s because everything
is laid out in front of you and it’s easy to navigate.
With Android Auto, you do need to click on these main menus to then access some sub menus.
But certainly compared to most car infotainment systems, this is easy and simple. Again just like Apple CarPlay, you can receive
text messages and send them hands-free using the voice control button.
[ding-dong] Message Dan Wrenn. [da-da] (Google Assistant) Message to Dan
Wrenn using SMS sure, what’s the message? (Doug) Hi Dan, I’m going to be really late
for lunch. [da-da] (Google Assistant) Here’s your SMS
message to Dan Wrenn. “Hi Dan, I’m going to be really late for lunch.” Do you want
to send it or change it? (Doug) Send.
[da-da] (Google Assistant) It’s on its way. Message sent. (Doug) Just like Apple CarPlay, simple, easy,
and safe. You can operate all these functions while keeping your hands on the wheel and
remaining focused on the road. (Doug) Many new cars do have Apple CarPlay
& Android Auto fitted as standard, but not all of them do. Some have it as an option,
and others – like Jaguar Land Rover products – don’t offer it at all.
If you are interested in getting it, but don’t want to buy a new car then don’t forget
you can buy some aftermarket head units that will also offer the systems. [Music]
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