Polestar, one of the first automakers to adopt Google’s Android Automotive operating system for its electric vehicles, is now throwing all iOS users a bone. The company announced that its Polestar 2 electric sedan is now compatible with Apple CarPlay, thanks to a recent wireless software update.
Owners of a Polestar 2 and an iPhone will now be able to mirror their phone screen to the vehicle’s 11-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen. In addition to accessing some of its apps, CarPlay users will also be able to use Siri to change music or find locations on Apple Maps.
The introduction of CarPlay support is interesting because Polestar made a name for itself by establishing a direct link with Apple’s main rival, Google. As well as polishing its reputation for gorgeous minimalist design and powerful electrical performance, the automaker’s decision to use Google’s native Android operating system was seen as a potential game-changer in the world of automotive software.
The most fun part of driving a Polestar is driving it, but there’s more. Our latest wireless update for Polestar 2 comes with Apple CarPlay, allowing Polestar owners with an iPhone to change 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 have essentially had to fork the open-source operating system and build their own solution on top of it. A big benefit of this integrated approach is that customers get instant access to Android Auto-approved apps like Google Maps, Play Music or Google Assistant without needing to use their smartphones.
Another is that it has access to car features, meaning it can control your climate settings or send you maintenance alerts. This native version of Android is also upgradeable, which means Polestar and Google can send 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 the Apple software ecosystem, Polestar is ready to accommodate them. In addition, the company has said that it will support the broader version of Apple’s next-generation CarPlay, which will be displayed on all available screens.
Most of the auto industry is taking a wait-and-see approach to Apple’s more authoritative vision for the future of CarPlay. But not Pole Star.