GM Won’t Offer Wireless Android Auto Or Apple CarPlay Factory Upgrade46
General Motors has begun to introduce wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in certain 2021 model year vehicles, with the list undoubtedly set to grow as time goes on. As the name implies, the feature enables a cable-free connection for the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay interfaces. Readers have asked GM Authority if older vehicles with wired Android Auto or Apple CarPlay could be upgraded to achieve the same wireless capability. Unfortunately, the answer appears to be no, even if customers are willing to pay for it.
“Vehicles are either sold with wireless [Android Auto or Apple CarPlay] or don’t have it,” General Motors spokesman Stu Fowle has told us. “We have no formal plan for a paid or unpaid update.”
This does not mean the job can not be done. It simply means that The General does not appear to be interested in doing it. Producers of several aftermarket solutions claim that they can offer wireless Android Auto or Apple CarPlay on GM models which do not have the new cable-free functionality, and we’ll cover those at a later time.
Both the Android and the Apple systems provide a deep connection between the vehicle and the smartphone, allowing the driver to access functions via the infotainment screen. This is as much a matter of safety as of convenience, since it reduces temptation to use the smartphone while operating the car when the driver should be paying attention to the road.
As we reported in January, GM first made wireless capability for this system available in the 2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer, and has since introduced it to several other vehicles, including every model in the 2021 Cadillac range, along with:
- 2021 Chevrolet Camaro
- 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe
- 2021 Chevrolet Suburban
- 2021 Chevrolet Corvette
- 2021 Buick Encore GX
- 2021 GMC Yukon / Yukon XL
- 2021 Escalade / Escalade ESV
Whether wirelessly or otherwise, make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more 24/7 GM news coverage.
This post was created in collaboration with our sister publication, Cadillac Society.
- Sweepstakes Of The Month: Win a 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible. Details here.
I think the issue is the current radios do not have enough Ram Memory and processing power to possibly run the full wireless functionallity of the products. The systems are setup to do it but I think they for see a lot of tech issues.
Tesla might be beating GM and I have absolutely no issues with that however your statement doesn’t make much sense unless Tesla is also offering hardware upgrades for head units. Because for wireless AA or Car play to work, there are some additional hardware requirements.
One would think you could simply swap to the newer radio then program the truck to see it.
Not that simple to do Must change system incl HMID ( HUMAN Interface) module BIG $$$
The above thoughts on available memory, it may be that the multiple camera systems with trailers might take up available memory? This would be / could be the source of utilized / taxed memory. I would think IF aftermarket venders would jump on this but so far they haven’t and I think this maybe legal issues. So now that GM has openly published their intent is NOT to assist THEIR customers wants AND needs and their providing additional options, they (GM) abandoned these customers which “opens” the door to aftermarket venders. This public press release gives a open legal exploration with no recourse by GM. So venders need to step up and fill the large customer unserved base legally. Other manufacturers has continued to have the much wanted options for blue tooth for wireless cell phones and texting operations.
The system is open sources so some one could possibly write code to add it, however its probably not worth the time or money to do it. Camera’s don’t use memory more like processing power because they are not storing anything. The system could be updated but i think they don’t want the the tech nightmare to come with it. The System in the 2021 are running the same software but probably with revised software and more processing power and more RAM memory for running apps.
The camera system is run by a totally different box, the Video Processing Control Module in GM terms.
Radio needs to have Wi-Fi capability to work with Android Auto. If you can add in the Wi-Fi to the autos radio you should be good to go. Should be able to get a 3rd party dongle to make the connection as long as you have a way to plug it in.
2016 and above radios have Wifi built in. Its however not programmed to work with Sirius/XM, its just for the car to connect to a wifi or share its hotspot.
Any suggestions on a third party dongle? I’m willing to go that route as well. Thanks
(Since my original comment with a direct link is still awaiting moderation)
Depending on your platform:
For Android, search for AAWireless, that’s the only one I’m aware of.
For Apple, search for Carplay Wireless.. there are a few options but I’m not sure which is best.
I’ve been using the CarLinkit dongle for my 2016 Volt and it works great with the latest firmware update.
Unfortunate, but understandable. Prior model year infotainment systems lack the necessary hardware and horsepower to pull it off with a simple software update. GM’s infotainment systems are not a single device, but rather multiple modules and devices working together. Updating the hardware wouldn’t just be a radio swap, it would be the radio module, HMI module, and possibly more depending on the specific vehicle. These systems are so deeply integrated in these vehicles that each platform would also require extensive software updating. In the end, it probably doesnt make financial sense for either GM or the customer
You’re right except for the difficulty. I upgraded my 2015 Colorado’s radio to the 2016+ so that I could get Android Auto. There’s a few companies online offering those services, all they needed to program it was my Vin. They mailed the modules to me and it was a quick swap, took about 5 minutes. Wasn’t cheap either at about $500, but paying for the easy upgrade and being able to keep the factory 8″ screen was so worth it.
This is something you are going to see more and more of with technology.
It used to be nothing much changed in cars but now linked to external tech that can rapidly change much faster than automakers can keep up with.
Just look at the changes in cell phone in the last ten years. If you keep a vehicle 10-12 years much will not work with a present phone by the time you trade.
It is hard for the automakers to plan on what they have no idea will exist.
I expect the aftermarket to step up where they can but it would be expensive for an automaker to continue to update old models while trying to develop new models.
Also it helps drive sales of new cars with new tech.
EV cars may be the same way as a 5 year old EV may be very different in just 5 model years. This makes me wonder how used EV sales may be in the future. No one wants a IPhone 6 today and now the 12 everyone wants.
Still much to learn for the customer and mfg alike.
Everyone has to remember the ’10 and early ’20 had the ability to use texting g as well as wireless Bluetooth. GM did a over the air delete or stop operating command. For some reason (legal actions behind the scenes), stopped either by managements kill actions.This is not a low level activity to kill a option that is in use. This is why I made my earlier comments.
The heck you talking about? All cars still have Bluetooth connectivity.
The texting option was removed in later models because many phones didn’t support hand off to the units for sms messages.
This is one area where GM sucks! No reason not to improve brand loyalty by offering it!
My 2019 ram has it. no wonder people are flocking to the dark side.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Heck, try getting a software update on you GM radio unit – that alone is hard, much less doing the necessary tinkering to make the existing units support wireless Android al Auto/Apple Carplay
If customers are willing to pay to upgrade it why don’t they just replace the unit? I replaced my 2017 GMC Acadia’s factory unit with a Kenwood one. It has wireless apple car play and android. It also has a host of other features not found on stock stereos. I’m a way GM must think that by not offering an upgrade will force consumers to buy a new vehicle. If this is the case they’re very wrong
Your 2017 is the last era of vehicle which you can do that. Today you already have cars with OTA vehicle updates (including safety and emissions recalls), backup and surround camera views (some required by law), climate control, active noise cancellation, autopilot, etc. all being done through the infotainment systems.
On top of that, cybersecurity and anti-theft concerns mean the communications with the radio will be authenticated, making it impossible for people to re-engineer these features even if they wanted to.
As someone who has always replaced OEM stereo with aftermarket, I can tell you that aftermarket stereo companies can/have always found ways to bypass security features to allow installation of aftermarket stereo, as well as integrating OEM features into aftermarket stereos. In my Jaguar, aside from the normal things, the OEM infotainment was the interface for the climate control, valet function, etc., and the glove box could only be locked electronically from the infotainment screen). I have aftermarket stereo in that car, and the head unit has all of those OEM functions. If there is a market for it, they will find a way, and build it.
I just keep a road atlas handy! LOL
I used a $10 USB cable to use Android Auto on a rental 2019 Chevy Malibu. That cost very little.
GM does offer a factory upgrade. It cost $30K+. Just the way they like it.
I had a 2019 new ram and it was terrible. Dealership couldn’t fix all the problems. I had to trade it in.
I don’t understand the issue I’m usually a Lexus/Toyota person but rented a 2018 Tahoe LT and it had its own WiFi hotspot (I think) and CarPlay from my iPhone was very easy. Loved the car. I suppose not all have their own WiFi hotspots. Now if only I could figure out a way for my ‘16 Lexus ES and 3rd gen MDX 😩 GM is ahead in this regard.
Sou capaz de largar de comprar qualquer carro que não tenha uma multimídia de meu gosto. Pois estou muito insatisfeito pela multimídia do Onix Plus… Sei que não irei repetir de carro, mesmo sendo um bom carro em outros aspecto….
All of this fuss over wanting to stop using a cable to connect to the system? Really? It is amazing that people are willing to spend several hundred dollars to delete a $10 cable.
My 2015 Chevy with MyLink doesn’t have Android Auto or Apple Carplay and is perfectly fine. It also has a 4G LTE hotspot that I have never used or needed to use.
It is a shame that people feel the need to be so connected to their phones even when driving a vehicle. The primary function of a vehicle is to reliably and safely get you from one place to another. Vehicles must be pretty rock solid these days if infotainment is getting this kind of attention.
Concordo que os carros tem que ter procedência e ser durável… Mas nós dias de hoje o consumidor como eu quer algo mais…. Estamos pagando…
It’s not a matter of wanting to be more connected to my phone. For me, I don’t want to upgrade my phone but my charging port has to be held a certain way in order to work. It’s not the cable, it’s the port. I’d rather not have to find my phone to connect it to the car every time. Just like I wouldn’t want to plug something in to make the radio work when I get in my car.
“I have a broken phone, but instead of fixing my phone, I want GM to hardware upgrade my car.”
I have a broken phone, and instead of spending hundreds of dollars to fix it I was wondering if GM was planning on offering a SOFTWARE update to enable wireless CarPlay. The systems have everything they need to upgrade and some brands have offered software updates that made this happen.
” The systems have everything they need to upgrade and some brands have offered software updates that made this happen.”
Not all systems can be upgraded without hardware changes. Yes a very small number have introduced software updates that could it, but it required upgrading firmware on the units — not a simple over the air update, but that’s clearly not the norm for it to be resolved with software or it’d be more common.
I’d expect this to become more common going forward with new models, but not backwards to older HUs
In order for OEMs to implement AA, be it wired or wireless, there are certain HW requirements to be met as per Googles guidelines. Its highly unlikely that OEMs had already met these requirements in the older HU. And these guidelines can be very specific that even if theoretically it can be upgraded via SW to work with AA, just because of the policy.. Google wont allow it.
Now, if the HUs do comply with Googles guidelines and GM doesn’t care to roll out a SW update for it to work – thats bad. But who knows which of these reason it is.
This is why Tesla is destroying GM and legacy auto makers. Gm is stuck in the past. Customers want updates to their stuff, just like cell phones.
Completely irrelevant. Tesla doesn’t even support Carplay or Android Auto and we’re talking about GM adding to it’s existing CarPlay support for wireless support (Which isn’t that necessary in the first place).
So your comment about Tesla leaving GM behind when they don’t even support the very thing being discussed here just shows ignorance or blind anti-gm bias.