Apple battles Google to forge vehicle ties

“Technology giants Google Inc. and Apple Inc. are about to expand their battle for digital supremacy to a new front: the automobile,” Neal E. Boudette and Daisuke Wakabayashi report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Google and German auto maker Audi AG plan to announce that they are working together to develop in-car entertainment and information systems that are based on Google’s Android software, people familiar with the matter said,” Boudette and Wakabayashi report. “The coming announcements signal Google’s response to an initiative launched last June by Apple to integrate iPhones and other devices running its iOS operating system with car makers’ dashboard control panels. Apple so far has the support of BMW AG, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz division, General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co.”

“With its ‘iOS in the Car’ initiative announced last June, Apple hopes to turn the iPhone into a kind of brain for operating dashboard electronics, using the car’s built-in display to interact with services such as maps and traffic information,” Boudette and Wakabayashi report. “Apple has said that it expects a dozen car brands to adopt the technology in 2014.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: While this WSJ article tries very hard to make this look like an even fight (omitting many of the vehicle makers who are working with Apple, for example), it most certainly is not. Apple is dominant.

Not only has Audi blown any chance to be among the next vehicles we buy, they also look as alone as Ford (stuck with Microsoft’s horrid “system” that simply kills Ford’s vehicle quality rankings).

Audi and Ford are two islands of incompatible crap surrounded by oceans of iOS.

iOS users want their devices to work seamlessly with their vehicles. Android settlers don’t even seem to know how to fully work their pretend iPhones and iPads. iOS users have disposable income and the proven will to spend it. Android settlers are cheapskates and/or the poor.

Obviously, Audi is currently highly confused. (“Gee, all of our customers seem to have iPhones. Hey, let’s deploy Android and tout it at a tech show!”)

So far the list of smart manufacturers who have shown interest for iOS in the Car and/or Siri Eyes Free includes:
• Acura
• BMW
• Chevrolet
• Chrysler
• Ferrari
• Ford
• General Motors
• Honda
• Hyundai
• Infiniti
• Jaguar
• Kia
• Land Rover
• Mercedes-Benz
• Nissan
• Opel (Vauxhall)
• Toyota
• Volvo

39 Comments

  1. This doesn’t surprise me. I am on my second Audi due to great engineering. But their DUI dept (driver use interface) is awful. They always seem to leave out little features that all other cars have, or keep them at 2009 levels. I will not get another Audi if they go to Android.

  2. I’ve been looking around for a new car to buy next year, choosing between BMW, Merc or Audi. Now it’s just BMW or Merc.
    Bad move Audi, you are selling a high end car now catering for cheapskates with no taste

      1. I’ll easely explain to you with only one word! Bribe! The decision makers decides based on their own interest, not on the company or their customers benefit.
        How do you think ruindows and office became the standard in the business?

    1. Well I’ll tell you I waited a long time nursing my old Toyota along to get to the point that the in- car technology for my iPhone integration in the new Toyota. Just bought 2014 Tundra. Beautiful truck. Absolutely lousy entertainment and technology experience. The are trying to avoid using Apples system. This has their own tech, and it feels like the ford experience all over again. The only good thing is the iPhone hands free calling. Everything else is a lesson in frustration!

  3. So does Audi have no idea what their customer demographic is? Everyone I know with an Audi, and I can safely say that the majority of Audi’s owners are iOS users. Good luck Audi.

    1. They have obviously done no customer research at all and unless new Audis are free and come with a HUD showing you ads as you drive, they don’t understand the android market either

  4. I, too, am on my second Audi and generally have liked them a lot but will no longer be a customer if they start using Google products. Audi is also apparently planning to do some kind of automatic wireless connection which is another nail in their coffin for me.

  5. Anyone who would install Google’s “need to always feed on your personal info” technology in their car deserves all the invasiveness they deserve. Audi just lost a lot of customers of the premium variety which is sort of the same kind of premium in a car isn’t it?

    1. Agreed that Google is a disgusting company. But precisely how is it different than Apple’s data-sucking? Apple’s navigation employs the exact same techniques to track you and push annoying “notifications” at you. …and if you don’t pay your monthly fee, Apple will shove iAds down your throat. Sorry, but Apple isn’t offering the user experience and privacy that users want either. Both Google and Apple have become shills for the NSA.

        1. I never said a kind word about Google. All I have done is point out that Apple is no longer the saint you imagine it to be. Every word you whisper to Siri goes to Apple servers. Get a clue, you blind fanboy.

          Unlike you, geo, I evaluate products on their merits, not based on the brand name.

            1. bizarre analogy. Do you phone up your automobile manufacturer to get navigation directions? Well, with either Google or Apple on board, you will.

              Back in the “old days”, you loaded all the map data onto your nav unit. The only signal required was to satellites for instant geo positioning — which most devices allowed you to turn off if you just wanted to use the maps.

              Today that’s not at all what happens. iOS, Android, et al are constantly phoning back home without your specific permission. Very un-Apple like, in my opinion. But then, Apple hasn’t been the same since Cook took over….

              I wish more people would assess the facts rather than assuming that Apple is pure as driven snow and all things Google are pure evil. Get back to me when you can identify what data Apple (or a 3rd party) has snitched off your iPhone in a given 24-hour period. The “perfect” OS would tell you, wouldn’t it?

  6. All these rants is what sets Apple fans apart from others. Childish rubbish abound! For the record the best OS for vehicle use is QNX the folks who created the most fluid OS for mobile for BB 10 and currently used in aviation and by Porsche. As if I would defer buying an Audi because it does not have iOS onboard! You guys are all little robots the likes that have not been seen since war time Germany! Unbelievable!

    1. War time Germany now there’s an intelligent analogy. Clearly you haven’t been to one of many forums spouting rubbish for any number of companies and OS systems out there otherwise if you were looking for Robots you might have referenced Microsoft. As for BB and QNX you seem to be pissing in the wind somewhat there to sink to your level of thinking for a moment.

    2. Gerry why don’t you “ferry ‘cross the Mersey” and sink somewhere along the way? I realize the general wisdom and truth spoken here can be overwhelming to someone like yourself with totally mis-wired sensibilities and misguided perceptions. Not interested in any junky car system that isn’t Apple branded. QNX is gimgack tech for hapless geeks.

  7. I got so frustrated with the iPhone design decisions in my 2014 Audi A4, I almost returned the car.

    Plugging my iPhone on the 30 pin AMI interface IN THE GLOVE BOX isn’t something I want to have to do every time I get in (and out) of the car. The only other alternative is to buy their overpriced Navigation system and drain my phone battery listening to music so that when I get to my destination, the phone is dead.

    Turns out Audi must be working for Apple somehow cause the most affordable solution I found was to buy an iPod touch, have it live permanently in the glove box and sync it over Wifi while the car is near my house. The alternatives : returning the car or getting the navigation option, were both more expensive than the iPod.

    Also bought a cigarette lighter charger for the iPhone and I now have the best of both worlds. I can eve use the iPhone for GPS navigation (which was quite hard from the glove box).

    Now the Audi user interface to navigate playlists and songs is my only remaining gripe. The thing is so unfriendly It makes me want to cry. Then again their UI is awful for everything from radio to car settings so I guess it’s at least consistent.

    Love the Audi mechanical engineering, but they should really get software engineers to design their computer UI. It is well known that hardware engineers make the worst software.

  8. I have a 2013 Prius, and the entertainment/nav system sucks. It sounds ok and the nav system works correctly in that it chooses the correct route but the controls are flat out DANGEROUS.

    Toyota’s “entune” system is flat out worthless. “iPod” integration with the iPhone sucks- when you plug it in to the USB port it ALWAYS stops playing anything on the car Radio and starts playing whatever the first song that begins with “A” on your iPhone/iPod/iPad is. Really dumb. The installed “apps” on the Radio/nav system are worthless- they are ALL subsets of iPhone apps that do the same.

    Toyota should just display the iPhone screen on the navigation system and leave it at that.

    Controls for the air conditioner and heater are also a step backwards. As long as you leave it on “auto”, it functions well- switch it to remove condensation on the windshield requires taking your eyes off the road and adjusting the temperature and fan speed. Three buttons to activate and the fan speed up and down rocker doesn’t have tactile feed back nor does the temperature settings buttons. To do this requires looking at it and not at the road. Stupid!

  9. Why is Ford in your list of manufacturers looking at iOS.
    So far the list of smart manufacturers who have shown interest for iOS in the Car and/or Siri Eyes Free includes:
    • Acura
    • BMW
    • Chevrolet
    • Chrysler
    • Ferrari
    • Ford

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