Mobile compatibility - Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
Smartphones have become an extension of our person over the last decade or so. From paying bills and making purchases to transferring funds or ordering food, the humble mobile phone has come a long way from sending simple text messaging and making calls.
Naturally, we want to extend this connectivity to our cars too. Automotive manufacturers have recognised the need for exceptional, hands-free solutions to keep you connected with your device on the road. With infotainment systems having a significant role in the decisions prospective buyers and leasers make, the competition for A-grade smartphone connectivity is at an all-time high.
Whether you’re preferential to Android devices or a die-hard Apple convert, there are some excellent options on the market that offer drivers brilliant smartphone connectivity. From Apple CarPlay to Android Auto and manufacturers-own systems, we take a look at the cars offering the best connectivity to your smartphone.
A car’s infotainment system should be simple, intuitive and user-friendly. That’s exactly what the Kia Sportage has to offer drivers. Equipped with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you will have access to key apps such as music, calls and sat-nav to ensure you know where you’re headed. Complete with an 8-inch touchscreen loaded with incredible sensitivity capability, you’ll easily manage to stay connected with the Kia Sportage.
Stability with your connection is important whatever you’re doing, whether it’s getting directions in an unfamiliar neighbourhood or calling home to let them know you’re on the way. One of the most stable smartphone connections on the market lies with the Hyundai Ioniq. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available, with wireless charging included to keep your device from running out of juice. Another great feature is that the touchscreen is placed higher on the dash, which makes it closer to your line of sight, making it safer and more user-friendly than other options in the market.
Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were added to the RAV4 as standard in late 2019, making sales soar ever since. Navigating your way through new territory easily is essential for drivers, and the system easily connects to your favourite mapping apps. Also available via Bluetooth connection, you can ensure you can play your top jams while on the road without interruption of connection. A road trip essential in our books!
It’s little surprise to see Hyundai’s second entry on this list with the i30. As early adopters of smartphone connectivity included it in their vehicles, they’ve been offering it as standard from a time when more expensive cars still had it as an add-on feature. Connecting you easily to an 8-inch touchscreen built into the dash, you have easy access to the apps you need, safely. The system doesn’t include a built-in sat-nav solution; however, it does let you easily connect to your preferred GPS system on both Android and Apple devices.
The BMW X3 may have missed a trick here without the offering of connectivity with Android Auto. Still, what they have overlooked in device diversity, they make up for with their Apple CarPlay connectivity. Boasting a whopping 12.3-inch widescreen display sat raised on top of the dash, it offers improved visibility - very useful when using sat-nav to get around. A user-friendly interface that’s sleek and easy-to-use, we hope the next version will include Android Auto to increase user appeal.
Kia has learnt a thing or two about smartphone connectivity, which is why they’ve made the list again with the Niro. Offering either a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen system depending on the model you choose and comes with smartphone connectivity via both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Niro 2 has two USB ports to keep your device charged while connected, while the Niro 3 also includes a wireless charging pad and an 8-speaker JBL sound system with a subwoofer. We’re pretty sure you won’t have any trouble with cranking out your favourite car tunes to sing along to with that setup.
Offering both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the Volvo XC40 has a leading infotainment system for its class. While smartphone integration is available, it comes with an additional cost for its inclusion. Costs aside, the connectivity is worth the investment as it is one of the best on the market. Rather than a widescreen display, the Volvo XC40 has a tablet-style screen which uses a letterbox display. There is also the added benefit of a USB connection port in the rear of the cabin, so your passengers can also have control of the music and navigation to help you out.
However you look at it, smartphone connectivity is a must-have for new model cars. From relying on navigation and mapping apps to hands-free calls and music, being able to control it safely and easily is a top priority for modern drivers.
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