Kia is the latest carmaker to add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, but the systems won’t just be available on new models. The Korean company is offering CarPlay and Android Auto as a free software update on cars spanning model years 2014 through 2017.
The list of eligible vehicles includes the 2017 Forte and the newly redesigned 2017 Sportage, as well as several older models. Also eligible are the 2016 Sorento, 2015 and 2016 Optima, Optima Hybrid, Soul EV electric car, and Sedona. Non-electric versions of the Soul from model years 2014 through 2016 can be upgraded as well.
Not every version of each model can get CarPlay and Android Auto, though. Cars need to have a compatible navigation system or Kia’s Uvo3 infotainment system. Kia will notify owners by the end of July via e-mail about adding CarPlay and Android Auto. The software-update offer also applies to owners who bought their cars used.
All owners will have to register their cars at myuvo.com to get the notification, and to get step-by-step instructions for downloading the update once it becomes available. As always with CarPlay and Android Auto, users also need compatible phones and the apps that allow those phones to interface with car systems.
Both CarPlay and Android Auto allow drivers to access smartphone functions using their cars’ built-in controls. Unlike systems developed independently by carmakers, they add a layer of Apple or Android-specific functionality, including graphics, voice controls, and apps that mirror those of each operating system.
As Kia rolls out its CarPlay and Android Auto update, parent Hyundai is also adding the systems after a long delay. Both systems were promised when the 2015 Sonata launched more than a year ago, but Hyundai is just now launching an update for that model, as well as 2016 versions of the Sonata. The update is also available for properly-equipped versions of the 2015 and 2016 Genesis, 2016 Elantra GT and Tucson, and 2017 Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport.
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