While Hyundai was one of the first major car brands to promise CarPlay in its vehicles as a selling point nearly two years ago, the automaker so far hasn’t actually shipped the update to add the feature it promised to customers. Compare that to Pioneer’s CarPlay support announced around the same time which brought the iPhone-based infotainment feature to all cars through aftermarket displays in 2014.
There may be some good news for Hyundai fans still waiting to test drive CarPlay, however, as USA Today reports that Hyundai is committing to rolling out an update to add the feature early next year.
Hyundai Sonata owners should expect a software update to be released during the first quarter of 2016 that will enable the CarPlay feature on supported models with a connected iPhone. Select models of Hyundai’s 2015 and 2016 Sonatas with in-dash displays will support the feature. CarPlay requires iPhone 5 or later.
While there’s still no set date for the software update’s release, the 3-month time frame is the most specific Hyundai has been yet. The automaker has heavily demoed CarPlay in its Sonatas for well over a year now, although it has missed past deadlines for bringing the feature to consumers.
The report also notes that Hyundai told customers the software update would be available for free but instead will require an SD Card for updating the head unit. You can pick up an SD Card for a few bucks though if you want to DIY the update, and I suspect dealers will be reasonable about updating head units for customers once the software update is out.
While aftermarket displays like Pioneer’s and Alpine’s have offered CarPlay on select units for a while now, new cars including models from Volkswagen have been driving off the lot with CarPlay built-in lately.
You can check out our initial review of CarPlay and our update to what changed with CarPlay after one year if you want to learn more about the feature. We also went hands-on with CarPlay in Hyundai’s Sonata at CES last year. And expect these iPhone apps to work with CarPlay.
As a CarPlay user myself, I’m personally happy with the experience of adding the feature to my existing car through an aftermarket display like Pioneer’s, and if I was in the market for a new car now I’d highly consider waiting to see what car makers do with Apple’s new wireless CarPlay feature that shipped with iOS 9 but hasn’t shown up in cars yet. This is something I’m hoping to see pop up at CES next week.