Volkswagen is the first automaker to integrate a second-generation modular infotainment (MIB II) system in most of its 2016 models. Using App-Connect, users of Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto and MirrorLink can all access the system that promises faster processing speeds, higher resolution, better graphics and 5-inch to 8-inch touch screens (depending on model).
Volkswagen’s marketing campaign uses celebrity muscle in two humorous spots, “Party” and “Sorry.” The ads, starring Adam Scott, Michael Peña and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, show them using App-Connect via voice commands, touch screens and steering wheel controls with accompanying tagline: “The things you love on your phone, available on 11 Volkswagen models.”
“With Volkswagen’s App-Connect, consumers will find one of the most innovative and comprehensive suites of smartphone connectivity, available in the majority of our vehicles,” said Vinay Shahani, VP Marketing, Volkswagen of America, in a press release. “Our new campaign humorously shows how Volkswagen App-Connect allows drivers to access their favorite smartphone functions in a simple and seamless way.”
App-Connect will be available on more than 75 percent of 2016 Volkswagen models sold in the US, and will allow the usual remote-access to select apps on iPhones, Android 5.0+ handsets and select MirrorLink-compatible devices from Samsung, HTC, LG, and Sony, Slashgear reports.
Volkswagen’s core Car-Net subscription-based telematics service is also returning, refurbished and available via the automaker’s web portal, Android and iOS smartphone apps—and soon on the Apple Watch.
On the downside for Volkswagen, the Environmental Protection Agency just ordered the German carmaker to recall nearly a half million cars from the road for using software intentionally designed to circumvent environmental standards for smog reduction, reports The New York Times. The software, known as a “defeat device,” is in 4-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi vehicles from model years 2009-15.