The final Australian-built Holden Commodore will be compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones as Holden models deliver improve tech
THE LAST Holden Commodore to be made in Australia will join an Armada of General Motors models offering compatibility with both Apple and Android smartphones.
Carmakers globally are divided between providing full support for two of the world’s biggest phone operating systems – Apple and Android – with many fully supporting how one integrates with their car’s multimedia system, and only partially supporting the other.
However Opel, the German car-making arm of General Motors that supplies the Holden Astra and Holden Cascada convertible in Australia, and will soon reintroduce the Holden Insignia VXR mid-size sedan, has flagged plans to fully support both smartphone systems in future vehicles. The technology will also extend to Chevrolet models, and that puts the Commodore on the list of MY2016 products to score the new system.
A new-generation Astra hatchback (above), due to be unveiled at Frankfurt in September, will also offer both Apple CarPlay and Android Car smartphone integration, with the Insignia VXR (below) stepping up in 2016. So, too, will the next-generation Holden Cruze, due to be shown next month.
The compatibility comes through General Motors’ R 4.0 IntelliLink infotainment system, which sense whether a smartphone connected via a USB cable is Apple or Android. The touchscreen interface will run the appropriate menu and subsequent systems.
However, there's a caveat: if you’re hanging on to your iPhone 4 or earlier, you won’t be able to use the new interface, as it requires an iPhone 5 or newer, while Android users will need to have the Lollipop 5.0 operating system or newer.
The war between Google and Apple has been extending into the car, following the debut of Apple CarPlay at the 2014 Geneva motor show. The system was revealed simultaneously through three car manufacturers: Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. Yet car makers have been somewhat cautious in aligning themselves strictly to one side or the other, with brands such as Fords proclaiming to be 'device agnostic' and striking up deals with both Apple and Microsoft, for instance.
Of course, Ferrari has no qualms in teaming up with Apple, with typically unshakable confidence in the affect a $1000 smartphone has on a $500,000 purchase. “If they don’t have one [an iPhone], we will give them one,” suggested a Ferrari spokesperson.
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