It’s been more than one year since Hyundai promised it would include Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system in its models, but the company finally has a rollout window for the technology – sometime in the first quarter of 2016, for the midsize Sonata.
Originally, Hyundai had promised that CarPlay would make its way to the Sonata for the 2015 model year, but as that didn’t come to pass, car owners and prospective buyers were left wondering when the Korean automaker would make the feature available. But now, we know it’s going to be available, albeit at a nominal price – you’ll have to buy a separate SD card with software so that you can get CarPlay on your vehicle.
That’s actually contrary to what Hyundai had previously said, that the feature would be available as a free download for anyone who owns “properly equipped” Sonatas from the 2015 and 2016 model years. Currently, Hyundai only offers Android Auto for Android-powered phone owners, with all associated software available as a free download. Both CarPlay and Android Auto allow drivers to leverage their smartphones and use them to navigate infotainment, make and receive phone calls, and check navigation on their cars.
Other key CarPlay features include hands-free or eyes-free access to several native Apple apps, including Music, Messages, Phone, Maps, and more, as well as third-party apps like Spotify, Rdio, MLB At Bat, CBS Radio, and others. The system makes use of Siri to deal with a car’s physical infotainment controls, allowing drivers safe and easy access to their iPhones.
“Hyundai and Apple are committed to delivering drivers the best possible experience while using CarPlay in their vehicles,” the automaker said in a statement sent to the press. “We are currently working together to complete CarPlay integration.”