GM Plans to Phase Out CarPlay in Future EVs

Originally published at: GM Plans to Phase Out CarPlay in Future EVs - TidBITS

GM says that its future electric cars will trade phone-based infotainment systems for a built-in system. Because that worked so well before CarPlay and Android Auto.

I fully agree wtih you. I just took delivery of a new Acura and the CarPlay integration with my IPhone is seamless. Is "It just works " still an Apple tagline? In my case it should be, and it’s awesome. I start the car and I’m hooked up to the phone without doing any pairing or other fiddling around. Why wreck what works? I can just imagine the dreadful interface that GM and Google would dream up between them.


My current car – a Toyota Prius – also predates CarPlay. At the time, its sound system seemed advanced (and it does mesh well with my iPhone. BUT … I have regular compatibility problems because you can’t update the firmware in the car when Apple updates the phone, or even iOS. You can’t use the onboard GPS because you can’t update the maps – and roads have changed since the car was built. And Toyota at some point dropped support for Pandora (not that I used it), but the system can’t be upgraded for Spotify (which I might have used). Bad idea. Good reason not to buy a GM car.


My 2020 Subaru supports both CarPlay and Android play. It is unfortunately still wired (plug phone into USB) even thought wireless CarPlay was available at that time. I suspect Apple must require a chunk of change from the mfg to go wireless, although that’s just speculative on my part.

Anyway, at this juncture, I would not even consider a vehicle that doesn’t support CarPlay. I plug it in and my 11" screen in the dash lights up with CarPlay and everything works. There have been occasional issues with the Harmon-Kardon head unit but Subaru as been good about getting software updates for those issues (of course never as quickly as we would like).


This is undoubtedly about subscriptions. GM seeing opportunity in being able to get some ongoing revenue after sale.

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My 2017 Bolt has CarPlay and we use it all the time. I will not consider a vehicle without it so I’m hoping GM’s ‘phasing out’ will occur after I decide to purchase a new vehicle as GM is being very aggressive on pricing for their next generation of EVs.

After dealing with no CarPlay for years on my Prius Prime I swore that the next car I bought would have it. So last fall we bought a Mustang Mach-E and have been very happy with CarPlay. I don’t change cars often, typically 5-8 years, but if GM doesn’t change then they are off the table. Lack of CarPlay and the Twitter twit were the reasons we didn’t consider a Tesla.

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If enough consumers just refuse to buy cars that lock them in to some proprietary system (potentially with subscription BS) GM and every other manufacturer will come to their senses. Get the word out. Make the right call.

That said, seems to me though that GM’s move to abandon *Play is not a real threat for anybody but somebody who has no choice but to buy GM.

The car market is large and there is lots of competition. If consumers truly value options and *Play, they will opt for one of the many other manufacturers in this market and eventually GM will have to take corrective action.

This is very different to many other markets these days where there is only pseudo-competition at best (eg. 4 nation-wide airlines or 3 cell carriers for the entire US, or 2 phone OSes/ecosystems for the entire world, etc.) and consumers can easily find themselves without true choice and unable to truly exert market pressure on suppliers. The vehicle market OTOH is large, diverse, and very competitive. Consumers will find what they need somewhere and mistaken manufacturers like GM will eventually be forced to adjust.

Ditto me and my husband with our Toyota Avalon. When we needed to rent a car about a year ago we sure did miss CarPlay and the ability to ask Siri.

This upcoming feature sounds very interesting to me:

And I keep reading about Apple hiring automotive design and manufacturing talent, and rumors keep flying about Apple Car:

While I am likely in the minority I fully applaud GM’s decision and sincerely hope others will follow for all their cars. While it may be painful in the short term for some, I believe it is the right decision in the long term. Here are the reasons:

  • Apple technology has become a closed system with a paradigm seeming to be to make Apple products incompatible with everyone else other that that which is absolutely required to maintain short term profitability. One of the most recent examples of this is the latest release of Car Play feature update which is incompatible with all existing vehicles that have been sold as of late last Winter. Apple now considers your car to be an accessory to their iPhone and requires you to buy a new one of a luxury brand that Apple has licensed the update for. Otherwise you are stuck with only the previous features. In my opinion Apple has simply gotten to big for its britches.

  • Historically, in my experience, Carplay has been somewhat unreliable when making connections and in sending directions to map apps on the vehicles navigation system. In my case I have a 2019 Acura RDX with the full technology package. It initially cam with only CarPlay as a phone connection. Connection with two different iPhones has always been flaky, the latest one being a 6 month old iPhone SE. In less connection is made in a very specific manner when entering the vehicle the connection will likely fail with useless error messages and require me to either actually leave the vehicle after turning off the vehicle and then reentering the vehicle and starting over or manually resetting the vehicles entire navigation and control system to get it connected. The somewhat complex reset procedure is neither described in any iPhone or Acura documentation normally available to the user. This issue has never been fixed either by Apple or Acura.

  • When entering directions into the iPhone, especially by voice or using Alexa more often than not the directions are not transmitted to the vehicles navigation apps. Apple is fully aware of this as they indicate so in the Siri acknowledgement of adding directions, indicating to check your iPhone for notifications if failing to work properly. Often the notifications do not appear immediately or appear in different locations - i.e. notification screen, map app on the phone, or the Alexa app. Needless to say that when this happens when driving it can often result in severe driver distraction, breaking the law by using your phone while driving, all which can lead to collisions and possible injury or fatalities. Yet in almost 5 years nothing has been done to resolve this issue.

  • Apple’s constant software and security changes/updates leave vehicle manufacturers constantly having to do their own updates to the vehicle technology in order to keep the vehicles compatible with existing CarPlay. This is costly for vehicle manufactures, possibly the customer, as well as dealerships that often need to spend time assisting with such updates for their customers.

So what I am hoping for in the long term is that if or when other vehicle manufacturers hopefully follow GM’s lead that Apple will be forced to rewrite CarPlay software to be more open and compatible standard interconnection technologies thus finally leading to a universal connection technology that all vehicle manufactures can use that is finally stable and reliable enough to make it safe to use while driving thus putting to end all this confusion, unreliable performance and driver distraction.

I’ll never buy another GM car so this doesn’t matter to me at all. We just bought a new Toyota with wireless CarPlay. My wife doesn’t love it - it’s not perfect - but, all in all, it’s quite a bit better than the proprietary Toyota system in our last car.

I really like getting CarPlay in rental cars.

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Joy of Tech hits on this topic today.

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Wow, great points and I fully agree.

Absolutely: Apple is much better at maintaining their software than any car I know.

To me, the biggest value I haven’t seen mentioned is that, with CarPlay, you bring your experience TO the car, not the other way around. I can rent a car somewhere else in the country, plug in my phone, and all my apps, settings, subscriptions, music, podcasts, EVERYTHING is there.

Or, instead of switching cars, we switch family members in an existing car, and once again you bring your life to the car, not the other way around.

A car will never be able to do this unless they also own your phone. Or at least until they own the Apple ID to which your whole life has synced.

And this has nothing to do with Apple per se. If you don’t like Apple, simply swap in Android to my arguments.

That is why you’re absolutely right and GM is going to reap the whirlwind.


Many older vehicles equipped with GPS navigation systems can be updated with new maps through the dealerships, though it can be surprisingly costly. For people who plan to keep their older cars for a few more years, it can make a lot of sense to replace the original radio with a third party CarPlay compatible unit. For people in the USA, Crutchfield carries a wide variety of units.

…and I’m sure Google is delighted to collect telemetry from the vehicles and to pay GM for the privilege, much like how Google pays browser developers to have Google as the default search engine.


I bought a 2023 mini Cooper last year. Support for CarPlay was a must-have while shopping. If CarPlay wasn’t supported, the car was immediately eliminated from consideration. GMC is making a huge mistake here. (And wireless CarPlay works flawlessly with the mini, btw.)


I may be misunderstanding you, but on the surface at least my experience doesn’t bear out this assertion. I have a 2020 BMW X3. CarPlay has worked just fine from the day I got it up to this moment. What sort of incompatibility are you talking about?

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You’re far too optimistic here.

Yes, Apple’s system isn’t perfect and could use some interoperability improvements.

But if you think GM (or any other auto manufacturer) is going to do a better job, think again. Proprietary infotainment systems were the norm until very recently. They were usually full of bugs, making them incompatible with phones (from all manufacturers) in countless ways.

And the company would never issue software updates. Ever. Once you’ve bought the car, they have no reason to fix anything (unless its a safety recall so big as to publicly embarrass the company). And they know you’re not going to base your auto-purchase decisions on how well the radio works.

Oh yes, and they will charge you over $100 to upgrade the maps in your onboard navigation system and will use every DRM-based trick in the book to make sure you can’t do it yourself.

You may not like Apple, but trust me, auto manufacturers are even worse.


I bought a Toyota before the company added support for CarPlay, and I can attest that Toyota’s proprietary Entune system leaves a lot to be desired. It reminded me of pre-iPhone cell phones. The features are there, but you never use them because the user experience is just awful.

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8 posts were split to a new topic: Yet another thread about Apple’s business model

I definitely agree that removing CarPlay from autos would be a step back. It’s difficult to give credibility to a person who refers to a Subaru Outback as a “gas guzzler”. I purchased and Outback last year primarily because it suits my needs in a vehicle and was a big step up in milage from my Blazer. Even better is the fully wireless CarPlay!

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