Jaguar and Land Rover owners who use an iPhone or Android mobile device are in for a treat. Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is coming their way. Beginning with 2019 model year vehicles, infotainment systems can be equipped with the Apple and Google head unit software for $280. The addition of native smartphone connectivity is welcome, however, the cost will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows.
Existing owners will also have the option to retrofit their vehicle through a software update. Currently, Jaguar Land Rover uses its proprietary InControl system. The automotive brand also struck a deal with BlackBerry earlier this year where JLR would license the technology company’s software for its vehicles. It’s unclear whether the introduction of CarPlay and Android Auto will affect JLR’s agreement with BlackBerry.
JLR is one of the last high-volume manufacturers to add support for CarPlay and Android Auto to its lineup. Earlier this month, it was reported that Toyota is considering Android Auto after introducing CarPlay. The Japanese automaker previously cited privacy concerns with Google’s system. Mazda also ended its resistance by adopting both, starting with the 2018 Mazda6.
With more consumers demanding smartphone mirroring capability, carmakers are unable to ignore these two solutions. Manufacturer systems have been repeatedly criticized for being distracting and difficult to use, especially when driving. Replacing touchscreens with dials and touchpads has only amounted to more frustration amongst drivers.
JLR did not disclose when CarPlay and Android Auto would be made available but indicated it would be sooner rather than later.