Cadillac has just announced that it, too, will be jumping on the Android Auto bandwagon, with all 2016 model year Cadillac vehicles that are equipped with the 8-inch CUE infotainment system being the first to get it. Cadillac has stated that Android Auto will not, however, ship immediately on these cars. Instead, they'll most likely get Auto via a dealer-installed software update, around which time Auto will also start to be phased into production vehicles. For now, Cadillac is estimating that Auto will be available around the mid-model year (think winter 2015/2016), but that's subject to change.
There's no specific list of which cars will be getting a 2016 model year in Cadillac's lineup, but presumably it's going to be almost all of them. The 2016 CUE infotainment system is receiving an upgraded processor to handle Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with what sounds like a mild overhaul of the user experience generally. That's probably a good thing, as CUE hasn't exactly gone over well with the automotive press - hopefully this update will smooth things out.
According to Cadillac, the only models that will not have Android Auto and CarPlay are the current-gen SRX, which is nearing the end of its production life, and the base trim ATS if you don't option it with the CUE system. The all-new SRX will be launched early next year, at which point it will get the Auto-enabled CUE upgrade. By then, Cadillac's whole lineup will be Auto-ready.
Under the larger GM brand umbrella, Cadillac joins Chevrolet in announcing Android Auto on its 2016 vehicles, and we can probably expect yet more announcements from the other American GM brands (GMC, Buick) about Auto in the weeks and months to come.
And yes, the hero image for this article does show CarPlay - Cadillac didn't have any Auto images.
NEW YORK – Cadillac’s 2016 model year products will feature enhanced connectivity and control, including the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the predominant new systems for in-car phone integration. These additions are part of a broader enhancement of CUE, Cadillac’s user experience, with new features and a faster, streamlined operation.
Apple CarPlay will debut in 2016 Cadillac models featuring CUE’s 8-in multi-touch screen except the SRX Crossover, a model that will move to an all-new generation in early 2016. Android Auto is expected to be phased into 2016 production at a later date. The 2016 model year will begin this summer.
“Cadillac’s product transformation includes continuing upgrades to connectivity and in-car technology,” says David Leone, Executive Chief Engineer. “In 2015 Cadillac became the first luxury brand to feature broad use of wireless charging and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, and now in 2016 we’re moving quickly to enhance phone integration and overall system performance.”
Cadillac CUE provides owners a smart and simple way to access both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A “Projection” icon will appear on the CUE screen, to enable simpler, easier access to key smartphone functions, including navigation, contacts, hands-free text messaging and select applications supported by Apple or Google.
Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features you’d want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner. This allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay.
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. A full list of supported apps is available at g.co/androidauto.
Many features can be controlled via voice commands through a steering wheel button, helping drivers spend more time with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel. In addition, Cadillac added wireless charging and OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi service in the 2015 model year.
Both phone integration systems require the phone to be connected via USB. Apple CarPlay requires iOS 7.1 or higher or an iPhone 5 or later or higher, Android Auto requires Android Lollipop operating system.
A more powerful processor will be added to CUE for all 2016 models, enabling faster system start-up, voice recognition, navigation searches, and media playing.
For the navigation system, the control structure has been simplified for easier destination entry and quicker destination searches. Map screens have been redesigned for easier use, including one-touch control of commonly used features like “muting” voiced navigation instructions and route cancellation.
For the Escalade, CTS and XTS product lines, the Cadillac CUE screen will add Surround Vision, a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s perimeter. Driving mode information will be expanded to the screen as well.