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Volkswagen said to be talking to Apple about CarPlay

updated 08:49 pm EDT, Tue July 15, 2014

One of the last automaker holdouts now planning to add CarPlay to 2016 models

One of the few remaining major carmakers yet to embrace Apple's CarPlay technology is said to be getting on board, holding talks with Apple on embedding the iOS-based technology into its 2016 models, according to an unnamed source with "knowledge of the discussions." The Beetle maker was an early adopter of iPod compatibility with its vehicles, but has done little with Apple since then. The two companies are expected to announce an agreement later this year.

One of the the strengths of CarPlay is that it works alongside a vehicle's native infotainment system, only replacing it when a user plugs in an iPhone or iPad. Because of this, other technologies such as Android Auto can also work alongside the built-in system, preventing incompatibilities or users having to choose a mobile platform to accompany their car choice.

Volkswagen is said to be negotiating with Apple to bring CarPlay technology to at least some VW models in the 2016 model year, having apparently missed its window on adding it to 2015 models, reports 9to5Mac. Apple is said to be working on an update to CarPlay that would forego the currently-required Lightning connection and make the system Bluetooth compatible as well, which might dovetail nicely with Volkwagen's delayed implementation of the system, as well as enhance many Bluetooth-enabled car models that already support CarPlay.

Third-party manufacturers such as Alpine and Pioneer have already announced that they will offer aftermarket CarPlay-compatible systems for older and current vehicles that don't have the technology, coming later this year. Neither Volkswagen nor Apple offered an official comment on the matter.

by MacNN Staff




  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: 11-26-08

    I am very tired of car companies locking down their audio/infotainment systems and wish they would open up the dashboard to plug and play systems that do the job much better than the automobile manufacturers ever did. Either build intuitive electronics into your cars or get out of the way and allow others like Apple to do it right.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    That is in essence what they are doing now. They have to build an option for people who don't have real smartphones (ie premium smartphones), but the systems are now open enough that the iOS or Android options just take over seamlessly when plugged in.

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