Volvo updates Android-based OS with better Apple CarPlay integration, but still no Android Auto

You’d imagine that, with an Android Automotive-based operating system, having Android Auto (the smartphone connectivity feature, it’s confusing we know) is pretty much a given. Weirdly, though, that’s not the case with Volvo’s Android-based OS – and with the latest update, it feels as though Android users are being left further behind.

That’s because Volvo’s latest over-the-air (OTA) update for its cars has brought along an improved Apple CarPlay experience for its cars, where supported navigation apps can now display separate navigation information in the instrument cluster. So-called the “driver display”, other small snippets of data, including call and media information, can also now be displayed right behind the steering wheel.

Other improvements in the version 2.9 update also includes a new option for automatic wing mirror folding upon locking the car, new steering wheel button functionalities, plus minor engine calibration optimisations and bug fixes.

The OTA software update will be arriving to Volvo cars globally, provided that your car has the Android Automotive OS. First introduced on the Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, the Google-sourced infotaiment system is now available across all models in Volvo’s stable starting from the 2023 model year.

Volvo says that it has now delivered over one million over-the-air updates to its customers globally. This latest update alone will be sent out to a record high number of over 650,000 Volvo cars.

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“When our customers get in their Volvo car, we want it to be a better experience than the day before – our over-the-air updates are a cornerstone in this ambition,” says Volvo head of software engineering, Alwin Bakkenes.

“The latest update on CarPlay features is an excellent example of how we continuously improve and add features and functions together with our technology partners, making our customers’ experience richer over time.” That is, unless you’re an Android user, which in that case, too bad.

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