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GM’s New Car Software Is Good Even Without Apple’s CarPlay

GM has phased out Apple CarPlay in its latest vehicle, the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV. GM's in-house software proved to be slick and capable, making users not miss Apple's CarPlay. The decision to remove CarPlay compatibility was driven by the desire to avoid dependency on Apple's ecosystem.

This decision marks a significant shift in GM's post-iPhone software strategy. While many were skeptical about the company's in-house software, I had the opportunity to test drive the Blazer and was pleasantly surprised by its performance.


As a long-time iPhone user who heavily relied on CarPlay, I was initially hesitant about the switch. However, after just a week with the Chevy Blazer, I came to a surprising conclusion: GM's embedded platform is slick enough that I didn't find myself missing Apple's alternative.


GM's decision to phase out CarPlay raised eyebrows, especially considering its popularity among iPhone users. Apple claims that 98% of new US cars are CarPlay-compatible. However, GM saw the potential threat of becoming too dependent on Apple's ecosystem and decided to develop its own software.

The next version of CarPlay is set to expand its reach, overseeing critical functions such as oil and gas levels, the speedometer, and climate controls. While some automakers, like Mercedes-Benz, have chosen to keep the original CarPlay, GM is taking a different approach. The company is removing CarPlay compatibility altogether, starting with its new electric vehicles.


Adapting to GM's replacement software does require some adjustment, especially for Apple users like myself. The new software is partly based on Alphabet Inc.'s Android operating system, which may make the transition easier for Pixel or Samsung users. However, syncing my iPhone over Bluetooth to handle calls and texts required several clicks and privacy permissions, which proved to be more cumbersome than the one-click access of CarPlay.


Once set up, the experience with GM's software is smooth. The Blazer features a 17.7-inch console screen and another wide display behind the steering wheel, allowing for customisable cross-dash interfaces. I can easily view my EV battery usage and speed alongside my favorite audio apps like Audible or Spotify.

GM's pitch to consumers is that their software, deeply integrated with vehicle components, offers smarter features compared to CarPlay. For example, when using Google Maps for directions, the Blazer automatically estimates EV life for the trip and plots charging stations along the route – a feature CarPlay lacks.


While there is room for improvement, particularly in terms of digital control over certain car functions, GM's approach feels liberating. No longer do I need to rely on my iPhone for every little adjustment. Everything is conveniently accessible in one interface, eliminating the need to switch back and forth between the car's software and CarPlay.

 
  • GM has phased out Apple CarPlay in its latest vehicle, the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV.

  • GM's in-house software proved to be slick and capable, making users not miss Apple's CarPlay.

  • The decision to remove CarPlay compatibility was driven by the desire to avoid dependency on Apple's ecosystem.


Source: BLOOMBERG

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