GM Fixed Its CarPlay Substitute After Rough Start. Does it Work Now?

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GM deletes CarPlay from 2024 Chevy Blazer EV

Now that General Motors has fixed its Ultium sound system that it developed to eliminate the need for CarPlay and Android Auto, does it actually work this time? And how does it compare to CarPlay/Android Auto.

When GM came out with the system in December in the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV, it operated poorly and GM pulled the SUV from the market until March.

Now some of the first reviews of the revised Ultium software are available.

A review by Austin Carr of Bloomberg found that setting up the Ultium system was complex, requiring 16 clicks to complete the process.

Although it takes a while to learn the new user interface, GM’s version has some improvements.  If you ask Google for map directions, it automatically presents estimated battery usage for the trip and displays the EV charging stations along the route.

Users log into their apps the way they might log into Netflix on a TV–using a QR code.

The screen in the Blazer EV is a large 17.7 inches with a hard volume knob and a physical row of HVAC buttons underneath. The system, like CarPlay/Android Auto, handles calls and texts.

Carr said, once the set up is done, “the experience is pretty smooth.”   In addition to the large main screen, there’s a smaller one behind the steering wheel. Carr likes the ability to customize what appears on each one. “I can view my EV battery usage and speed alongside what I’m playing on Audible or Spotify.”

All in all, Carr said, it was “liberating” not to have to rely on his phone as everything is in the Blazer’s infotainment system. He concludes that  GM may have gotten it right this time.

Another reviewer on YouTube, “Hello Road,” shows the system in action. You can use Google Assistant to adjust the temperature or ask it to read texts or play music.

And while Ethan of Hello Road says the infotainment system works well, he found, after a week of using it, that he missed CarPlay, “especially when sending a text or listening to music.”

See more for yourself at Hello Road here (start at 5:27 minutes).

As you may know, GM announced last year that it will no longer support CarPlay and Android Auto in all its electric vehicles going forward.  The first of these is the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV.  (GM’s ICE vehicles will continue to support CarPlay/Android Auto).

Source: Bloomberg, YouTube

See our earlier story on GM’s 2024 Blazer without CarPlay here.

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