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GM does not understand software, apparently

Ripping out the Web Browser from a PC or Mac is a stupid idea. So is ripping out Car Play and Android Auto from a car.

Photo by Talia / Unsplash

General Motors' Scott Miller (vice president of software-defined vehicle and operating systems at General Motors) stands for a weird decision: Disable Car Play and Android Auto in future GM EVs. The bogus reason? A "fully integrated" Car OS with no room for Car Play and Android Auto.

If my guess is correct, Scott Miller won't be happy with the decision, and honestly, if he is responsible, he should be fired from GM asap. Let me tell you why.

The meaning of Car Play and Android Auto for the Car.

First, Car Play and Android Auto are projection technologies, essentially allowing a compatible smartphone to project content onto the Car's infotainment screen while using the Car's speakers as audio output. App developers can then use this unified API cascade to develop UIs for their apps that integrate with the APIs of CarPlay or Android Auto. The important part is that they can do that without having to think about the final Car used since it's a standardized technology.

In this way CarPlay can be compared to an internet browser: You code a website, and if the user has a web browser installed, chances are he, or she can use the website without the developer having to do extra adjustment work.

GM rips out a vital piece of software from the cars

GM ripping out Car Play and Android Auto from its future EVs is like Apple ripping out the web browser from future MACs, believing it can replace everything with in-house solutions coded in SWIFT (Apple's in-house programming language for apps). Putting it like that, you can see how tremendously stupid this idea from GM is. And GM is not Apple... it is just GM!!!

There is no way that GM can replace every essential app available through Car Play with a reasonable in-house solution. Or can't they remember why Windows Phones failed? It was the apps. Cutting oneself short of that by one's virtue... (you get it, it is s*****)

An integrated experience ... with or without Car Play?

Car Play is a standardized set of APIs, just like a web browser. With web browsers, there has been a trend: The Progressive Web App: With features like Service Workers, Bluetooth Access, File System access, and Push Notifications, the web platform has been slowly eating into the native app's territory.

Parallel to this, Car Play will adjust and eat into the Car's territory. The lack of proper EV battery-level-adjusted navigation is a problem of missing APIs that Apple can standardize in a single Car Play update. To think that Apple won't pay respect to an increasing number of EVs is also ... stupid! If Apple can't stop the web, how does GM want to stop Car Play?

I'm sorry to say this: But the amount of negative press GM is getting for this leads to this conclusion: Reverse the decision and fire the person who came up with this decision.

But Tesla does it...

Tesla might do it since they have an edge in other important stuff. A Tesla can potentially drive itself and has the best charging network. There is no alternative right now to a Tesla: If you want the best EV experience, you have to drive a Tesla. It offers a good enough navigation and streaming app integration. But even then, people go to crazy amounts of effort to somehow get CarPlay running in Teslas through the use of the integrated Web Browser:



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