Encouraging news regarding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto


Cars.com photo by Evan Sears of Apple CarPlay being demonstrated on a Chevrolet Spark

Well, here’s hoping that Mazda will very soon follow through with their recent (3/13/2017) promise of including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support (it’s already part of a Chinese Mazda model’s Infotainment system) in a new system update, and that Fiat will follow suit.  Here is Mazda’s full statement:

Mazda has been a CarPlay and Android Auto partner since 2014, so it is no secret that we are developing both systems to interface with our Mazda Connect Infotainment system. Both software systems should be retroactively upgradable onto all Mazda Connect systems with a potentially minimal hardware addition needed. Mazda does not yet have an official timeline for when these should be available or at what cost, however

There is a very good chance that MY 2019 vehicles will already have the upgraded hub needed for CarPlay, installed, and if so, a firmware version above 59 may be all that is needed.  See my more recent article for more details.


10 thoughts on “Encouraging news regarding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

  1. Nothing new after 4 months? Rats! I had CarPlay in my last car and really liked it. Would’ve been nice. Still, it’s summer and in the Abarth the top comes down and she makes a wonderful sound going around corners… CarPlay isn’t all that important.


  2. Almost one year later still no news. Apparently Mazda just reconfirmed their – intention – to accommodate CarPlay:
    “We remain committed to introducing the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies to our vehicles, designing them to interface with our MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system in a manner that promotes a focus on the driving experience. We cannot provide timing or any additional details at this time.”
    Interesting comment by someone who appears to know what he’s talking about at https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mazda-remains-committed-to-introducing-carplay-but-still-wont-say-when.2101181/page-2#post-25711552:
    “The MazdaConnect however, is a whole different architecture. It was developed by Johnson Controls, who sold the unit to Visteon (A Ford Spinoff), and that platform had CarPlay support for years. In fact it runs Linux and has a WiFi interface (Which Mazda disabled for the US market, of course, but common hacks can re-enable it). Some Mazda cars with the same platform, do have CarPlay, but sold only in China.
    Also note that because the head unit is a Linux computer, there is a widely available hack to install Android Auto (But Not CarPlay because it’s closed sourced).
    Mazda’s next generation unit will use the same base as Toyota’s Entune 3.0, which was re-written with a Linux kernel. Both Mazda and Toyota will share resources for developing this system.”


    • Ben,

      If you’ve read my newer article regarding the replacement Infotainment Center, you’ll note that Toyota’s goal was to pair the system with your in-vehicle smartphone, but doing so with it’s proprietary Entune app (which is only free for the first 3 years), rather that dealing with Apple’s licensing fees (CarPlay) and Google’s data stronghold (Android Auto).   Now that does coincide with your statement “introducing the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto technologies to our vehicles”, without actually allowing those actual apps, even though the units should be ready and able to accommodate if that path is chosen.

      UPDATE:  I see in the MacRumor articles that you provided links to, that Toyota has now confirmed that CarPlay will be available in select 2019-and-later vehicles, meaning that they are probably caving in, hopefully making it easier for Fiat (and perhaps Mazda to a lesser degree) to stray from Toyota’s Entune app, and instead actually incorporating the public’s wishes for CarPlay and Android Auto as well.


  3. Before I bought my Spider, I had a Toyota truck with an aftermarket CarPlay system, but even with my Spider’s Nav & SiriusXM built-in, I’d like to get CarPlay just for the implementation of Apple’s “Messages” app… It’s a pain that we can’t even send a canned reply…


  4. I think you are supposed to be able to both have messages read to you and allow you to respond with canned replies, once you have the phone paired properly with Fiat Connect.


  5. The option to reply doesn’t work with iOS . You can get notifications and have your message read to you. Fiat’s official answer on the topic: “This feature is not supported by this device at this time – please check back periodically for updates.”


  6. Be happy to! If I read about some of the announcement details correctly though, CarPlay won’t require a tweak, but rather – thanks to a chip in the new USB hub module “accessory”, it will automatically show up like CD player and XM radio, if they are installed. Android Auto doesn’t need that chip though, so the USB hub may not be needed, if CarPlay isn’t considered necessary.

    All of this is a little confusing though, as the development of this module suggests that they are NOT going to change to the Entune system.


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