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If you’re like many other drivers out there, you might already have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in your car. But do you actually use it? It’s easy to forget the cord to your smartphone at home, leaving you without any way to access your favorite apps on your car’s touchscreen. Thankfully, Cadillac is making it easier than ever to utilize these helpful features.

Other luxury manufacturers flirted with the idea of charging for Apple CarPlay before eventually reversing course. However, Cadillac just set a new precedent for luxury automakers. 

According to GM Authority, Cadillac is making the wireless version of these smartphone mirroring features standard equipment on all 2021 models.

How do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work, and are these features crucial to your Cadillac driving experience? Let’s take a closer look at what these technologies have to offer.

What are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

A look into the interior of the 2021 Cadillac CT5-V, which features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
A look inside of the 2021 Cadillac CT5-V | Photo via Cadillac

Smartphones are consistently becoming more and more intertwined with our lives. That includes how we interact with our homes, jobs, hobbies, and, of course, our cars. Chances are when you’re driving your Cadillac, you’ll want to listen to music or a podcast, send a quick text, or find the nearest coffee shop.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were created as a way to streamline our connected experience. These systems allow us to ‘mirror’ our smartphones on a vehicle’s touchscreen display. This provides access to apps that are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can listen to music, get directions, and view your messages.

Apple CarPlay launched in 2014, and over the years, it has gone from a premium feature to standard equipment in most models. By 2020, nearly every manufacturer utilizes at least one, if not both, of these smartphone integration features.

Now, these systems are evolving even further. Drivers would previously need to link their phone to the infotainment system via a charging cable. But with the introduction of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it has become even easier to use this technology.

Does Cadillac’s latest move change the game?

Some people use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto every day and couldn’t imagine driving without it. Others simply forget these features exist. However, Cadillac’s decision to move to the wireless version of these systems will undoubtedly create new users.

In 2018 Cadillac’s then-president Johan de Nysschen criticized Apple CarPlay, as it didn’t quite deliver a seamless experience.

“There are a lot of things about this product I like, and other things that drive me absolutely nuts,” de Nysschen told Yahoo Finance. “It can bring a lot of functionality in the car, but I will also tell you it is extremely clunky.”

However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have gained increased functionality as updated operating systems have been released. This improvement, along with the debut of a wireless version, encourages auto manufacturers to go all-in on this technology.

Cadillac stands to gain a lot from its decision to make wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. The vast majority of automakers and models are still primarily utilizing the wired version, and the ones that do offer the cord-free variant typically do so on higher trim levels.

The final verdict

Cadillac’s 2021 lineup is as enticing as ever. It still includes iconic models like the Escalade as well as innovations like the all-electric Lyriq. The addition of standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto just helps the American luxury manufacturer stand out from the competition even more.