Consumer Reports took a VW Jetta out to Starbucks running Apple CarPlay and then switched to Android Auto on the way home.
The reviewers liked the navigation so well, that they concluded these systems signal the end of built-in navigation in new cars.
“The built in systems are so far behind. So I think it will maybe be the end of the road for these very expensive in car navigation systems,” said Consumer Reports’ Jake Fisher, Director of Auto Testing.
“ If you can get this right off the phone with this interface why bother getting an option in the car,” he said. “And every time your phone upgrades so does the system,” added Consumer Reports’ Glenn Derene, Director of Content Development.
The reviewers liked that CarPlay and Android Auto are smarter than factory navi systems because they can pull points of interest directly off the Internet. Also voice activated texting on CarPlay/Android Auto got a thumbs up.
Which system is better? The reviewers skirted that one by saying that they are not competing as iPhone users will want CarPlay and Android users will want Android Auto.
They mentioned only that Android Auto lacks a simple opening screen and it relies more on voice.
The Apple and Android systems were considered better than simply having your phone cupped to the windshield because of the larger screen and more integration into the car.
“Would I upgrade my car to get one? I don’t think so,” said Fisher. But he generally liked the systems and Consumer Reports concludes “Both have promise” and are less distracting than using a phone alone.
Shortcomings included the lack of ability to use Waze. And with CarPlay you are stuck with Apple Maps, which may not be the top navigation system out there.
Consumer Reports added, “Ultimately, neither of these systems proves to be the Holy Grail for phone integration, yet. This is just the first iteration, and each system can be updated, just like your smartphone.”
Source: Consumer Reports