General Motors Has a Weak Excuse for Dropping Apple CarPlay
Say goodbye to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto if you drive a GMC or Chevrolet vehicle. General Motors decided to drop this software because it allegedly may lower its quality ratings and is unsafe. But will GM’s Google-based software be any better?
General Motors drops Apple CarPlay and Android Auto due to safety reasons
Tim Babbit, Head of General Motors’s Product for Infotainment, suggests that the world without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be a safer one. However, this excuse is a bit weak because there’s no data or lab testing to back up this claim.
Babbit alleges that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have stability issues that manifest as dropped connections, bad connections, poor rendering, and slow responses.
When these programs have issues, the driver picks up their phone, taking their eyes off the road, which defeats the purpose of phone mirroring software. Solving these issues can sometimes be beyond the control of the automaker.
I call bull s$%& on this because I’ve reviewed roughly 40 vehicles this year and only had a problem with dropped connections once. A majority of automakers have excellent wireless or wired connections.
Sometimes, it takes longer to set up Apple CarPlay for some vehicles than others, but once it’s set up, it’s ready to roll. Using Apple CarPlay and voice commands lets me forget where my phone is.
What’s more distracting is vehicle software that’s clunky and hard to understand. I will find myself looking at the infotainment screen instead of the road while trying to play music or fix navigation directions.
The phone mirroring is simple and lets me use my favorite apps and respond to voice messages while keeping my hands on the wheel. It’s a universal system that’s encrypted, allowing me to better protect my information.
Babbit also mentioned that the difficulty with connections is a common complaint among J.D.Power Initial Quality Studies. But GM had the best initial quality in 2022 and the most awards in 2023. So, their quality seems fine with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
Plus, complaints involve voice recognition software, Bluetooth, and infotainment screen quality. There are 10 areas included in the survey for tech, but not all of them relate to Apple CarPlay.
What will GM use instead?
General Motors is rolling out ‘Unifi’, a Google-based infotainment system with plenty of integrated apps like Spotify and Google Maps. Instead of using your phone, you will need to log into these apps in the vehicle.
This could allow GM to harvest your vehicle data and use it for financial and marketing gains. Plus, GM might be using this to break into a monthly subscription program to get more money regularly.
But what about people who can’t afford the navigation or music playback subscriptions? Will they hold their phones in their hands and neglect the automaker’s software?
Also, after dissing Apple CarPlay, General Motors followed up by saying that the comments made by GM’s position on phone projection were misrepresented in previous articles and to reinforce its Valued partnerships with Apple, Google, and each company’s commitment to driver safety.
GM’s embedded infotainment system strategy is driven by the benefits of having a system that allows for greeted integration with the larger GM ecosystem and vehicles.
I rest my case. GM is back peddling about Apple CarPlay being unsafe but still hasn’t provided proof that it can build a better program.