But there's a catch.
In 2018, there are very few automakers that don't offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay or at least one of the two. Toyota held out for a while but has recently added CarPlay to a bunch of its models. Likewise, Mazda recently adopted both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in several of its cars. Jaguar Land Rover was one of the few carmakers that didn't offer either smartphone mirroring system. Fortunately, that is about to change starting with the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace.
The 2019 I-Pace will be the first JLR model to include both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. However, all other JLR models will charge roughly $300 for these features. BMW previously charged $300 for wireless Apple CarPlay support but has since changed to an $80 annual fee.
We personally believe these systems should be free in cars, considering so many automakers have figured out how to make it cost effective. If Hyundai and Kia have managed to offer it for free for so long now, why can't luxury automakers like BMW and JLR?
There's other bad news as well. Support for these systems will come as part of a Smartphone Pack, which is available on all 2019 and future models. In order to access CarPlay or Android Auto, the car must have a combination of the 10-inch InControl Touch Pro touchscreen or split-touchscreen Touch Pro Duo infotainment systems, navigation, InControl Apps, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Some of these features come in higher trim levels, while others are available as separate options. This means it could potentially cost more than $300 to add CarPlay and Android Auto. While we are happy to finally see JLR get with the times, this seems like an overly complicated way to offer a feature which should be free. While we are already doling out bad news, only 2019 and newer JLR vehicles will get this upgrade. So if you own an older model, you're out of luck.