GMC is adding Apple CarPlay capability to the 2016 Canyon and Sierra, which will let users select iPhone apps through the touchscreen interface of GMC’s IntelliLink system. Additionally, many features can be controlled via voice commands through a button on the steering wheel.
“Like other GMC features, from OnStar 4G LTE connectivity and active safety features, it’s technology designed to enhance the driving experience without intruding on it,” says Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing
GMC’s latest infotainment systems include an eight-inch-diagonal screen version offered on both Canyon, and Sierra, which will be compatible only with Apple CarPlay at the beginning of the 2016 model year. A seven-inch-diagonal screen radio is offered on Sierra base models and will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability at the beginning of the model year.
Android Auto capability is expected to be available on the eight-inch system later in the 2016 model year.
Apple CarPlay allows iPhone users/drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay-supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and third-party audio apps. Apple CarPlay is compatible with iOS 7.1 or higher.
Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify and podcast players. Android Auto requires a phone running an Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or above.
In either application, a “Projection” icon on the IntelliLink screen is visible when a phone is not connected, then changes to indicate CarPlay or Android Auto when a compatible phone is connected via USB.