Android Auto isn’t good enough for Galaxy phones, Samsung will push Car Mode instead

samsung car mode gear s2 galaxy note 5 20494153984 130a444909 o
Samsung has always offered a Car Mode on its phones, but the company refined it for the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Galaxy Note 5, and possibly other Galaxy phones.

Shown at a press conference today at IFA 2015, the biggest change to Car Mode is the fact that it can connect wirelessly to cars via MirrorLink. MirrorLink is a universal technology that allows smartphones to display apps and services on infotainment systems. Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen are already offering cars with the technology.

One area in which Samsung is leading the way with Car Mode is that it offers a standalone mode for those situations in which a car isn’t compatible with MirrorLink. This will be the case for most people, since only newer cars offer such features.

Samsung’s Car Mode is similar to CarPlay and Android Auto in that you can use your voice to read/reply to messages, control audio, and specify what music you want to listen to. You can also look up destinations and get turn-by-turn directions via the in-dash display. We presume that all voice commands will be routed through Samsung’s S Voice personal assistant. Users can also control apps by tapping the in-dash display, if they prefer.

This kind of functionality is exactly what Apple and Google are offering with CarPlay and Android Auto, respectively. Interestingly enough, most Samsung phones will work with Android Auto as well, so consumers actually have two choices.

Samsung wasn’t clear on if developers needed to adjust their apps in order to work with Car Mode, but the company did say there won’t be a separate app store.

Samsung also announced a new partnership with Volkswagen, in which the new Gear S2 smartwatch will integrate with its Car-Net e-remote app on select cars. Users will be able to lock/unlock car doors, open/close windows, control climate settings, and even find out where their car is parked from the Gear S2 smartwatch.

Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones are its most refined yet. Be prepared to pay up

Samsung has unveiled its lineup for its most popular smartphones, and it includes the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. The two flagship phones boast hole-punch cameras, fingerprint sensors embedded in the display, and beefier batteries.
Mobile

You can now pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, or S10e

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is one of the most-anticipated phones of the year, offering a new chipset, beautiful display, and more. Now that the phone has been announced you might be wondering where you can get it for yourself.
Mobile

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Mobile

Samsung beefs up just about everything in its Galaxy S10 smartphone range

Samsung has unveiled its 2019 flagship smartphone lineup, and there aren't just two phones as usual -- there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.
Cars

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.
Cars

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…
Cars

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.
Cars

Aston Martin’s next hypercar, due in 2021, will pack a hybrid powertrain punch

Aston Martin will follow up the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro with a new hypercar, code-named Project 003. The car will debut in 2021, with production limited to 500 units worldwide.
Cars

Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.
Cars

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.
Cars

Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.
Cars

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.