Although it took Mazda until earlier this year to add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to some of its cars, owners of older Mazdas will be able to take advantage of the systems with a new retrofit. The brand said last week that it will offer an upgrade that works for 2014 and newer cars.
Eligible models must also feature the Mazda Connect infotainment software to run both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The upgrade costs $199 not including dealership labor costs and it also includes faster-charging 2.1-amp USB ports.
Although many cars run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from their touchscreens, Mazda's infotainment system runs exclusively via a control knob on the center console. While Mazda does fit each system with touchscreen capability, the feature is locked while the car is in motion. Both CarPlay and Android Auto work the same way via the center knob and will not respond to touch while the vehicle is moving. Both systems respond to regular button commands and voice control.
For those who use iPhones, CarPlay became much more valuable with the introduction of iOS12. The latest software update added third-party navigation apps to CarPlay, which freed drivers from using Apple Maps exclusively. Now, drivers can pull up Google Maps and even Waze with the latest update.
Mazda recommended a scheduled appointment for the retrofit as the process will take approximately two hours to complete.