Polestar now supports Apple CarPlay after over-the-air software update

Polestar, one of the first automakers to adopt Google’s Android Automotive operating system for its electric vehicles, is now rolling out a bone to all iOS users. The company has announced that its Polestar 2 electric sedan now supports Apple CarPlay, thanks to a recent over-the-air software update.

People who own both a Polestar 2 and an iPhone will now be able to mirror their phone’s display on the vehicle’s portrait-oriented 11-inch touchscreen. In addition to accessing some of their apps, CarPlay users will also be able to use Siri to change music or find locations on Apple Maps.

The introduction of CarPlay support is interesting as Polestar has made a name for itself by linking directly to Apple’s main rival, Google. As well as bolstering its reputation for gorgeous minimalist design and powerful electrical performance, the automaker’s decision to use Google’s native Android operating system has been seen as a potential game-changer in the automotive software world.

Automakers have built infotainment systems on Android in the past, but essentially had to fork the open-source OS and build their own solution on top of it. A big advantage of this integrated approach is that customers get instant access to Android Auto-approved apps such as Google Maps, Play Music or Google Assistant without needing to use their smartphone.

Another is that it has access to car functions, meaning it can control climate settings or send you maintenance alerts. This native Android version is also updatable, meaning Polestar and Google can offer over-the-air software updates to improve the car’s functions long after it’s sold.

But, for those who prefer to live their digital lives exclusively within Apple’s software ecosystem, Polestar is ready for you. Additionally, the company said it will support Apple’s broader version of next-generation CarPlay, which will be displayed on all available screens.

Most of the auto industry is taking a wait-and-see approach to Apple’s more authoritative vision for the future of CarPlay. But not Polestar.