Latest Volvo over-the-air software update adds Apple CarPlay

This week marks the beginning of the roll-out of an over-the-air update that enables Apple CarPlay for Volvos with Google-based infotainment

Volvo Apple CarPlay

Starting this week, Volvo is rolling out the latest update to its infotainment system, which will bring Apple CarPlay capability to all of its cars with Google-based infotainment built in, plus other improvements and bug fixes. This will come as good news to iPhone users, as they will be able to connect their phones more easily and make use of Apple-friendly features through the car’s interface more easily. Android smartphone users will still also be able to connect their phone and use Android Auto as before. 

The update will happen over-the-air (OTA) automatically and for free, so Volvo owners won’t need to visit a dealer to receive it. It’s an important part of Volvo’s strategy to continually improve its cars, in a similar philosophy to smartphones or laptops, which receive updates to stay current. All new Volvo car models are able to receive software updates.

After receiving the update, users will be able to connect their iPhone to their Volvo via USB to do things like access driver-friendly apps, play music and make use of third-party navigation systems installed on their phone. Volvo’s electric sister brand Polestar already received Apple CarPlay compatibility a month ago via an over-the-air update.

Volvo and Polestar’s infotainment systems have come with Google compatibility for a while now, meaning that Android smartphone owners have enjoyed Android Auto capability (Android’s Apple CarPlay rival) for some time already. 

The announcement of Apple CarPlay compatibility follows the news of a significant update to the software coming in 2023 that will allow it to extend beyond the infotainment screen, and even provide Apple-themed digital instruments. CarPlay will get deeper integration in compatible cars, plus a whole host of customisation options. There’s no word on whether this upgrade will be coming to Volvo and Polestar systems specifically, however. 

If you're thinking of buying a Volvo, check out our guide to the Care by Volvo service...

Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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