GM Says No to Wireless Android Auto and CarPlay on Older Cars

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe 1 photo
Photo: Chevrolet
The adoption of Android Auto and CarPlay is on the rise as more manufacturers start offering them as standard equipment on their latest models.
But at the same time, some go for the wireless versions, which allow users to connect their smartphones without the need for a cable and thus run apps like Google Maps and Spotify in a more straightforward manner.

General Motors is one of the companies that are betting big on wireless Android Auto and CarPlay, as several 2021 models come with such capabilities. Those include the entire new Cadillac lineup, select Chevrolet cars (Camaro, Tahoe, Suburban, and Corvette), as well as Buick Encore GX and GMC Yukon.

Needless to say, wireless CarPlay and Android Auto on GM cars is big news, but on the other hand, it’s pretty clear this has become a priority on 2021 models.

As far as older cars are concerned, GM has no intention to deliver a factory upgrade for the infotainment system that would enable such capabilities on other models, with a company spokesperson confirming recently to GM Authority that these features would only be available on the 2021 lineup.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get wireless Android Auto and CarPlay in your car, as a simple head unit upgrade unlocks these capabilities in pretty much any vehicle out there, no matter how old it is.

While the wireless mode of CarPlay works with any iPhone still supported, the Android Auto sibling requires Samsung or Google devices on Android 10 or any smartphone on Android 11. In fact, this is one of the biggest changes that Google implemented in Android 11, as the release of the latest OS version introduced support for wireless Android Auto regardless of phone model. Therefore, users are no longer forced to get a Pixel or a Samsung smartphone for this mode.

Android 11 is currently rolling out to devices worldwide, with Samsung scheduled to receive the update in late 2020 and early 2021.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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