Polestar 2 owners now have Apple CarPlay thanks to a software update – TechCrunch

Polestar is finally adding Apple CarPlay to its all-electric Polestar 2 sedan via an over-the-air software update, opening up the automaker to a wide range of iPhone-equipped car buyers.

Polestar said in a tweet on June 6 that it would release the update later this month. The company tweeted an update Wednesday noting the change. Its sister brand Volvo will integrate Apple CarPlay into its battery-electric SUVs later this summer.

This decision is remarkable because Polestar has aligned itself deeply with Google. Polestar was the first company to offer Google’s Android Automotive operating system, open-source software running on Linux and used to control everything from radio and vehicle settings to navigation and climate control.

Accordingly, Polestar only offered Android Auto, which should not be confused with Android Automotive OS. Like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto is a secondary interface that sits on top of an operating system and allows users to project certain apps and functions from their smartphone onto the vehicle’s central display. CarPlay allows iPhone users to switch music, use apps and communicate via Siri.

While most new EVs are compatible with systems from Apple and Google, Polestar has resisted. (Although its next Polestar 3 will likely include CarPlay from the start.) The addition of Carplay advances Apple’s quest to beat Google in the race to dominate the dashboard.

The announcement follows Apple’s preview of its next-generation CarPlay system this month at the 2022 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. The iPhone maker said the new system will power the entire group of the vehicle’s instruments and will offer drivers a number of ways to customize the appearance of the screen.

Both Apple and Google have found other ways to leverage the driver experience, including the data and marketing opportunities it generates. This is especially true as digital screens get larger and smartphones begin to triangulate with smart home devices.

Meanwhile, CarPlay is about to undergo a dramatic makeover. The expansion into vehicle diagnostics suggests that Apple intends CarPlay to operate as an operating system, similar to Google’s Android car operating system.

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