Mazda will offer an optional update for European customers from August.
Integration and connectivity are two words thrown around the industry with ever-increasing frequency. That’s particularly true of infotainment systems. As newer cars are launched, we in the car-buying public demand more and more capability. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have offered a way for people to listen to music or use Siri or Google Assistant for voice commands. More importantly, it offers the same experience no matter which car you’re in, while manufacturers often develop their own, drastically different systems.
Mazda has been one of the few manufacturers yet to include CarPlay and Android Auto support in their cars. However, at least in Europe, that’s about to change. Mazda Motor Europe just announced that customers can update their cars’ infotainment software to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. After a firmware update, users will be able to use the systems through the car’s USB port.
It will be available as a retrofit option
Mazda Europe’s release confirms new and existing models fitted with the Mazda Connect infotainment system are eligible for the update. That means all Mazda models from 2014 onward can get the firmware update from their dealer when it’s available. Traditional features through the Mazda Connect system will still be available by pressing the “Mazda” button in the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto interface.
While this comes as welcome news to Mazda owners, there’s one problem. Mazda has not yet announced the update is coming to U.S. models. A Mazda spokesperson told us the company will make an announcement on U.S. availability at a later date. As it stands, European, Japanese and North American models all use different versions of the Mazda Connect firmware. However, since the update will be available to European customers soon, we don’t expect it will be long before U.S. models get the update as well.