Polestar, one of the first automakers to adopt Google’s Android Automotive operating system for its electric vehicles, is now encouraging all iOS users. The company announced that its Polestar 2 electric sedan now supports Apple CarPlay, thanks to a recent over-the-air software update.
People who own both a Polestar 2 and an iPhone can now mirror their phone’s display to the car’s 11-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen. In addition to accessing some of their apps, CarPlay users can also use Siri to change music or find locations on Apple Maps.
The introduction of CarPlay support is interesting because Polestar has made a name for itself by linking directly to Apple’s main rival, Google. In addition to polishing its reputation for beautifully minimalist design and powerful electrical performance, the automaker’s decision to run Google’s native Android operating system was seen as a potential game-changer in the automotive software world.
The best part of driving a Polestar is driving it, but there’s more to it. Our latest wireless update for Polestar 2 comes with Apple CarPlay, allowing Polestar iPhone owners to switch music, use apps and communicate via Siri or the infotainment system pic.twitter.com/mulkjIUR6D
— Polestar (@PolestarCars) June 22, 2022
Car companies have built infotainment systems on Android in the past, but they essentially had to fork off the open-source operating system and build their own solution on top of it. A major benefit of this integrated approach is that customers can instantly access Android Auto-approved apps such as Google Maps, Play Music or Google Assistant without having to use their smartphone.
Another is that it can access the car’s functions, meaning it can control the climate settings or send you maintenance alerts. This native version of Android is also updatable, meaning Polestar and Google can push over-the-air software updates to improve the car’s features long after it’s sold.
But for those who prefer to live their digital lives exclusively within Apple’s software ecosystem, Polestar is ready to accommodate you. In addition, the company has said it will support Apple’s more comprehensive version of next-generation CarPlay, which would appear on every available screen.
Most of the auto industry is taking a wait and see approach to Apple’s more overbearing view of the future of CarPlay. But no Polestar.