Maruti currently offers Apple CarPlay on the range-topping variant of the Baleno and is currently working to make Android Auto available on the premium hatchback by 2016.
Maruti Suzuki has made sure to incorporate an all-new platform, design philosophy and a host of features on the Baleno, the automaker’s first offering in the premium hatchback segment. One of the key highlights on the hatchback’s feature list has been the inclusion of the Apple CarPlay system on the top-of-the-line Alpha variant. While that is a pleasant addition for Apple users, Android users are sure to feel disappointed. Nevertheless, the Indian manufacturer plans to offer the latter but by 2016.
Maruti stated that due to privacy concerns of data being sent to Google, Android Auto is not being offered with the Baleno to start with. The automaker is now working on incorporating the feature and will only be able to introduce the same by next year. The Baleno is the second vehicle in the country to feature the Apple CarPlay unit (after the Skoda Octavia) while Ferrari will be introducing the same across its lineup soon.
The Apple CarPlay system allows iPhone users to access several features without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. With the help of Siri voice commands, the driver can make and receive calls, compose and reply to text messages and listen to music or podcasts. Users can also access several apps from their connected iPhone on the infotainment system’s touchscreen.
Coming to the Android Auto system, the feature offers similar connectivity as Apple CarPlay, offering voice recognition, search options, navigation control, audio and video streaming. Earlier this year, Mahindra announced that Android Auto would be available on the Scorpio and XUV500 since it joined the Open Automotive Alliance (first Indian automaker to do so) and is expected to update the models by this year end or early 2016. In the aftermarket space, Pioneer offers the AVIC – F970BT car entertainment system that supports Apple CarPlay.