Most automakers offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, but the smartphone interfaces haven’t been universally adopted. Infiniti was one of the major holdouts. Now, the Nissan luxury brand is finally adding both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to certain 2020 models as part of an overhaul of its InTouch infotainment system.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have become popular because they let drivers access key smartphone features through their cars’ infotainment systems. This lets drivers stick with the smartphone apps they’re familiar with for features like navigation, music, and voice control, without having to pick up their phones. Instead, apps running on a connected smartphone are projected onto the car’s infotainment screen. While some automakers are rolling out wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Infiniti drivers will still have to plug their phones into a USB port, as is the case in most other cars.
Besides adding Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Infiniti’s revamped InTouch infotainment system will feature over-the-air (OTA) software updates. These aren’t the Tesla-style updates that cover the whole car, just the infotainment system. But that at least means things like navigation maps will stay updated without the driver having to do anything. Navigation-equipped models will also have a built-in Wi-Fi hotnspot that can support up to seven devices, according to Infiniti.
InTouch retains the dual-screen setup used in current Infiniti models. The two screens are placed one on top of the other, with the top screen primarily used for display and the lower screen containing most touch controls. Infiniti said the new version of the system will have a faster processor, new Bluetooth module, and new HD microphone, however.
The updated InTouch system will roll out on certain 2020 Infiniti models. The Q50 sedan, Q60 coupe, QX50 crossover, and QX80 SUV are all slated to get the revised system, but it will only be available in certain regions initially, according to Infiniti. The automaker didn’t mention updates for the aged QX60 crossover, while the current Q70 sedan will be discontinued at the end of the 2019 model year. The system will also presumably be available on new Infiniti models at launch, starting with the QX55 crossover coupe in 2020.