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by Tim Beissmann

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata has become the first production car in the world available with Android Auto smartphone integration.

Existing owners of 2015 Sonata sedans with the satellite navigation media system can now get the Android Auto software update installed free of charge at their local dealership.

By about August, the software will be available to download from Hyundai USA’s public website, allowing Sonata owners to update their cars with a USB drive from home, while the South Korean car maker is planning to roll out the technology across other models in its line-up in the near future.

Android Auto requires owners to have the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system or later, the Android Auto companion app on their phone and a micro USB cable to connect the phone to the car’s USB port.

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Once connected, Android Auto integrates with the Sonata’s 8.0-inch touchscreen and displays familiar Android phone applications, such as Google Maps, Google Now and Google Play Music, as well as messaging and phone calling apps. These apps can be controlled by voice, steering wheel controls and the touchscreen.

Android Auto also offers a host of third-party applications that owners may have on their phones, including Spotify, Skype, TuneIn, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and many more.

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The smartphone linking software seamlessly integrates owners’ personal reminders, suggested destinations, calendar appointments and music preferences when they get into the car.

The availability of Android Auto in the 2015 Sonata comes about six months after Hyundai announced the availability of rival system Apple CarPlay in the car.

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Speaking with CarAdvice today, Hyundai Australia public relations general manager Bill Thomas said there was no indication at this stage for when our Sonata would get Android Auto or CarPlay integration.

Thomas confirmed that the ix35-succeeding Tucson would be Hyundai Australia’s first model with CarPlay when it arrives in late-July/early-August – around the same time as Suzuki will launch the new Vitara with CarPlay. Thomas said the local division was aiming to add Android Auto functionality to the Tucson before the end of this year, but admitted that timing was still to be finalised.

He also said Hyundai was looking to equip the i30 with CarPlay technology, but said it was unclear how far off its rollout would be.




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