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What kind of idiot drops Apple Car Play and Android from it's new cars?

This is a new exciting kind of "stupid". I didn't think GM could screw the pooch any worse. They genuinely surprised me. Well played guys!



GM Ditches Apple CarPlay on EVs as Fight for Your Car’s Screen Intensifies

Move to drop the popular app highlights battle that could be worth billions


The 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, featured earlier this year at the Washington, D.C., auto show, will be equipped with GM’s new display-screen software.


By Mike Colias, WSJ

April 16, 2023 8:00 am ET


Apple Inc.’s CarPlay, the app that allows drivers to use their iPhones through the car’s display, has become a staple in millions of cars and trucks sold each year and a mission-critical feature for some buyers.


Now, General Motors Co. is ditching the popular app on many of its new electric models, along with a similar one made by Alphabet Inc.’s for Android phones.


GM surprised many in the auto industry when it said earlier this month that it was dropping the apps in favor of new software for the multimedia display. Executives said its software offers more built-in functionality than what drivers can now get through smartphone connections.


GM’s strategy, which aligns with those of Tesla Inc. TSLA -0.48%decrease; red down pointing triangle and other EV makers, is the latest turn in a battle between car and tech companies over a vehicle’s digital real estate and services—a fight with billions of dollars in future revenue at stake.

The move is a gamble, though, threatening to alienate CarPlay loyalists who use the app exclusively for navigation, listening to music and podcasts, and other tasks, dealers and industry analysts say. GM is using Google’s underlying technology for its new interface, so Android users will still see Google Maps and many familiar features, even though Android Auto won’t be available.


Auto makers have tried for years to mimic the look and feel of consumer electronics in the car, only to fumble with hard-to-use tech that has irked drivers. Instead, owners have flocked to the more simplified offerings of the tech giants, leaving car executives worried they have lost an important touch point with their customers.


GM finance chief Paul Jacobson said the new GM-specific software will offer a more personalized experience for its drivers. The touch-screen interface will be customized with GM’s own, branded look and features.


For instance, the software will be able to collect data on the vehicle’s electric charge and tire pressure and make suggestions, such as the best location to stop and plug in, GM said. It also could add a suggested route to Google Maps for drivers who want to use the hands-free Super Cruise assisted driving system, which is activated only on designated roadways.


Those functions can’t be offered through CarPlay and Android Auto, GM said.


“It is up to us to create that and ultimately convince customers that it can be better across the board,” Mr. Jacobson said.


A Google spokeswoman said GM is expanding its in-car tech using Google’s operating system, and its decision not to use Android Auto on future EVs was the auto maker’s choice based on its brand goals. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.


Executives at some rival auto makers say they have no plans to remove CarPlay and Android Auto from their vehicles. Still, they agree competition between tech and auto companies for car owners’ attention is growing more intense.


“We want people to be in our ecosystem,” said Mike Colleran, head of Nissan Motor Co.’s U.S. marketing and sales. “That is where the battle is going to be.”


CarPlay and Android Auto are so-called projection or mirroring systems, because they project the familiar look of the smartphone screen onto the car’s touch screen. Within the past decade, the programs have become ubiquitous: CarPlay and Android Auto were installed on more than 90% of new vehicles produced for the U.S. market in 2022, according to research firm Wards Intelligence.


Some car executives and engineers were reluctant to cede space in the dashboard but wanted to ease customer frustration with auto makers’ own multimedia screens, which many found glitchy and difficult to use. The apps were also seen as safer for drivers because they could control their phones from the car’s display, helping them to limit the time their eyes were averted from the road.


Now, car companies are racing to put out electric vehicles that are also increasingly loaded with software that can be updated remotely, like a smartphone. Auto executives see an opportunity to offer an expanding menu of digital features and services to generate revenue long after the vehicle is sold, and at much higher profit margins than car manufacturers are accustomed to.


GM has said the ability to beam new features to the car—adding hands-free lane-change capability as part of the assisted-driving system Super Cruise, for example—could generate $20 billion to $25 billion in revenue annually by 2030, up from $2 billion in 2021.


But the car companies could have a harder time selling those features if owners are always connected to CarPlay or Android Auto, said Anna Buettner, a principal analyst at research firm S&P Global Mobility.


“It is all about owning the customer experience and the data,” she said.


Mercedes-Benz Group AG recently said it wants to emphasize the company’s own built-in software offerings for its in-car screens. “We want to control the interface with our customers instead of outsourcing it to someone else,” a Mercedes spokeswoman said.


Tesla, which was years ahead of traditional car companies in the ability to offer new and upgraded features through downloadable software updates, is among the auto makers that don’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. EV truck maker Rivian Automotive Inc. also has bypassed them.


GM is scheduled to introduce its new display-screen software on the Chevrolet Blazer electric SUV, set to go on sale this summer. The auto maker will continue offering CarPlay and Android Auto on its gas- and diesel-engine vehicles, as well as a few EVs.


Apple this year is expected to introduce a next-generation version of CarPlay, which would expand to more of the dashboard’s screens and control certain vehicle functions, such as seat heaters, according to a company demonstration last year.


The plan to reach more deeply into the vehicle’s controls was a factor in GM’s decision to ditch CarPlay on future models, people familiar with the company’s thinking said.


Phil Abram, a former GM’s executive in charge of rolling out CarPlay and Android Auto on the company’s models nearly a decade ago, said he thinks GM could promote its own features without taking away the Apple CarPlay.


“I don’t see it as an either-or,” he said. “Intentionally reducing the functionality of your product generally isn’t a winning strategy.”


Write to Mike Colias at mike.colias@wsj.com

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