The feature will be made available on certain models in June.
If you're in the market for a new Audi in the coming months, we have some excellent news: later this year, the German automaker will introduce a native app store that will allow owners to access third-party applications via a data link in the infotainment system - and no, you don't need a smartphone to do this.
Audi is the first brand in the VW Group to implement the technology, which was jointly developed with Volkswagen's Cariad. The software division recently came under fire after internal issues caused several brands to delay their high-end electric vehicles. For example, Bentley's 1,400 horsepower EV will arrive a year later than planned.
Vehicles with the third-generation modular infotainment toolkit are eligible for the useful feature.
The app store is integrated via an Audi hardware module - no bigger than a flash drive - that allows the driver to access third-party apps through their infotainment system.
"Audi is the first brand within the Volkswagen Group to introduce [a] new store for third-party applications. Developed by Cariad, this scalable solution is a proof point for our strategy to offer a highly attractive ecosystem for our customers. With this solution, Audi drivers will not only enjoy regular software updates but also an even more personalized infotainment system," commented the company's Oliver Hoffmann.
There are several categories, including Weather, News, Music, Gaming, Navigation, and more. Audi says the store will grow, with plans to add new apps over time. Perusing the Music category, for example, you'll find well-known apps like Amazon music and Spotify.
You can select your preferred app, which will be implemented into the Audi MMI system. Listening to music in your e-tron GT will be easier than ever before.
Customers will also have access to the latest version of the Alexa app, along with an improved interface and a new control panel.
This is an excellent development as it means owners won't have to fill their phones with apps they only use while driving. What's more, the addition of in-car apps means you can still enjoy these modern amenities even if you've forgotten your smartphone at home.
As you'd expect, these capabilities aren't free of charge. The data link is established via an "embedded SIM" card installed in the vehicle. In Europe, for example, the costs are billed via Cubic Telecom. Customers will enjoy the first 25 gigabytes on Audi. The automaker will, of course, continue to support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The in-car app store will be available from June. Audi will equip the A3, A4, A5, Q5, A6, A7, A8, Q8 e-tron, and Audi e-tron GT with the new software cluster. The function will be introduced to other models throughout the year. The apps are not available on vehicles built prior to this, but maybe Ingolstadt will offer a retrofit option for slightly older Audis.
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