In 2019, our smartphones are extensions of our bodies, more or less. They allow us to communicate, shop, work, entertain ourselves and everything else in between. They are modern marvels of technology. But your smartphone is only as good as its operating system, and there are two major players in the game right now: Android and iOS. Android, owned by Google, is an open source platform that is geared towards customizations and user freedom; iOS, owned by Apple, is closed source, and geared towards fluidity, ease-of-use and security. Both are great platforms and are more similar than ever before, but they are still different enough for millions of people to argue over each software’s pros and cons. 

This smartphone dependence has trickled into the automotive industry, with Google and Apple both vying for your attention while driving. Android Auto and Apple Carplay are the two major companies’ versions of infotainment systems. Plug in your smartphone of choice, and your car’s dashboard system will light up, just waiting to offer you all of the latest in tech.

Much like their smartphone counterparts, Android Auto and Carplay have their pros and cons. With smartphones becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives, you’ll probably be using one of these infotainment systems sooner or later, so let’s walk through a few of them.

Voice Control

You can use your voice to completely control your infotainment system; isn’t that just amazing? Both Android Auto and Carplay allow for voice control. They are both very similar in their functionality. Users can either press a microphone button (Android Auto) or press and hold the home button (Carplay) and they’re greeted by the in-house assistant, either Google Assistant or Siri. Both platforms’ digital assistants can be summoned by simply stating “Hey Google,” or “Hey Siri.” However you decide to call upon your virtual butler, you are then able to ask for directions, weather, text messages or phone calls. It’s truly amazing what you can do with the voice controls of these platforms.

I should not that Carplay, while heavily focused on keeping your attention on the road, does allow you to manually select certain options, such as rereading messages, sending messages or cancelling the command altogether, while Android Auto does not.

Virtual Assistant

In today’s hectic world, our virtual assistants are absolute gamechangers. They can keep us on track, schedule our events, make calls and send our messages. With Android Auto and Carplay, this functionality makes its way to your car. While Apple was the first major smartphone maker to introduce a virtual assistant, they certainly have not led the way in performance. Siri is years behind Google Assistant in terms of usefulness. Google Assistant is better at recognizing sentences, and is far better at contextual commands. While Siri is catching up, you’ll more than likely want Google Assistant at your side. 

These are two of the major ways that the systems differ from each other. Again, as these two platforms continue to age, they become more and more similar. Take a look at these features and decide which platform you prefer.