Australians love adopting new tech, a fact highlighted by the massively high percentage of smartphone saturation in our nation compared to the rest of the world.
Smartphone mirroring is becoming increasingly prevalent in new cars, with the feature becoming a major selling point for many models, including some of the cheapest cars on the market.
However, if you’re a Luddite, you’d be forgiven for not understanding what smartphone mirroring is or why you’d want it – after all, using your phone while driving is illegal, right?
So, what does it do? The simple explanation is that it allows you to safely and legally access a number of smartphone apps while driving, using your vehicle’s infotainment system.
Currently the two leading smartphone mirroring interfaces are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, for Apple and Android products respectively. Some manufacturers (Honda, Toyota, Lexus, and others) have developed proprietary systems, but they’re quickly being superseded.
Text messaging, telephony, audio streaming, and mapping apps are the core uses for smartphone mirroring.
For example, if you have an Android smartphone you can plug your phone into the car, boot up Android Auto, and use Google Maps to direct you to your destination, while listening to a personal playlist on Spotify, and having the car read you any text messages you receive.
Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto’s messaging functions are controlled verbally, with impressive accuracy. Simply say the name of the contact you wish to message, and what you want to say, and the program will generate the message – it’ll double check with you before sending, to make sure everything is correct.
Not every car has the capacity for smartphone mirroring, so it is important to check what models have the feature. Though, considering it is available in the $14,190 Kia Picanto, smartphone mirroring is quickly becoming a feature consumers should expect to find in their new car.
While this is just a simple explainer of smartphone mirroring and its basic functions, a full rundown on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto’s features will have be available in WhichCar’s comprehensive review, online soon.