The Ferrari FF and Kia Soul Were Early Pioneers of This Tech

You may not think the Ferrari FF and Kia Soul have much in common other than four wheels and an engine. But in reality, the two cars share a piece of technology found in modern cars. Chances are that, if you’ve purchased a new car within the last four years, it’s been fitted with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. But the Kia Soul and Ferrari FF are significant in their own right when it comes to this convenient technology.

2016 Ferrari FF
2016 Ferrari FF | Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

The 2016 Ferarri FF was the first car to be fitted with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto

The Ferrari FF shooting brake debuted back in 2011. And in 2014 Ferarri announced the successful integration of Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. But it took until 2016 for Ferrari FF models with the feature to roll of the assembly line. What’s funny to me is that, when the technology premiered at the Geneva Motorshow, it was fitted to luxury cars.

The 2016 Ferarri FF was one of them and ended up being the first car production car to have it. But other brands included Mercedes and Volvo, all touting the tech in their high-end vehicles.

But as the years go on, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are becoming more mainstream. And unless you’re going ultra-budget, like the Chevy Spark or Mitsubishi Mirage, most new cars have that feature. And even those budget vehicles have the smartphone tech as an available option.

But for a short period of time, while other manufacturers struggled to integrate Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Ferrari owners were truly superior. But that changed rather quickly. In 2016, Kia announced that their spunky hatchback would have the feature on model years further back.

The 2014 Kia Soul is the oldest vehicle to be compatible with Apple CarPlay from the factory

2014 Kia Soul
2014 Kia Soul | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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In 2016, Kia announced that various Kia Soul models from 2017 all the way back to 2014 would be compatible with Apple CarPlay. And if the owners wanted to, they could install the update free of charge. Or they could drive to a Kia dealership and pay some money to have them do the job. Either way, that makes the 2014 Kia Soul the oldest car to have Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility. Even though it wasn’t the first.

It feels like there’s a bit of time travel going on, with Kia ahead of Ferrari even though they weren’t. But it all has to do with the infotainment system they used in 2014 being compatible with this new technology. And while you can install Apple CarPlay on older models by hacking away at the center console, Kia Soul owners didn’t need to. All they needed was a software update.

The future of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Apple CarPlay
Apple CarPlay | Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

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While the technology continues to improve, it’s already incredibly convenient and is sure to become a standard feature on most up-and-coming electric cars. The only real upgrade available is going from wired Apple CarPlay to wireless Apple CarPlay, a feature BMW introduced to their cars in 2017. And while to many that is a significant step up, if you’re a cheapskate like me, you’re fine dealing with a wire.

If your current car doesn’t have Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, chances are your next one will. Not that now is a good time to buy a new car, but whenever you do, the technology will only become more commonplace.

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