Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

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2017 Mazda CX9 Signature in machine gray
I just watched via YouTube the Mazda press conference at the NY Auto Show, where a Mazda exec said that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available as a retrofit for MAZDA CONNECT systems starting this fall. Not sure whether this means hardware and software. In Canada, it first will be available on the 2019 CX9. Not sure the first vehicle in the U.S. to feature it. See this press release.
 
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2016 CX-9 AWD Sport Sonic Silver
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to be available as retrofit this fall

That's what I thought until I read the press release.
Is that only for Canada though? I was watching the livestream and the guy said only spoke about 2018 model year. Folks chatting in the live comments section during the presentation weren’t too thrilled about it including me (‘16 cx9). If it is for US market as well that would be awesome.
 
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2017 Crystal Mica Blue GT CX9
Is that only for Canada though? I was watching the livestream and the guy said only spoke about 2018 model year. Folks chatting in the live comments section during the presentation werent too thrilled about it including me (16 cx9). If it is for US market as well that would be awesome.
I'm pissed off too, that's the definition of shafting customers after stringing them along for years.

The retrofit sounds to me like a dealer-added option, implying it's not going to be free even for the 2018s. So far, I have been less than impressed by the service experience to even want to step foot in one.
 

sm1ke

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I'm pissed off too, that's the definition of shafting customers after stringing them along for years.

The retrofit sounds to me like a dealer-added option, implying it's not going to be free even for the 2018s. So far, I have been less than impressed by the service experience to even want to step foot in one.
Why would it be free? It's not like you paid for it when you bought the car. Mazda has always promised that it will be available, I don't think they ever said it would be free.

I think if you want to blame anyone for having to pay for it, blame Apple. Their proprietary hardware and the licenses/regulations required to use it are why this isn't a free software only upgrade. Those licenses/regulations/hardware are probably also why it took so long for Mazda to roll it out on new models. AA doesn't require anything but a software upgrade (proven by those who have used AIO Tweaks to get AA on their cars previously).
 
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2017 Crystal Mica Blue GT CX9
Why would it be free? It's not like you paid for it when you bought the car. Mazda has always promised that it will be available, I don't think they ever said it would be free.

I think if you want to blame anyone for having to pay for it, blame Apple. Their proprietary hardware and the licenses/regulations required to use it are why this isn't a free software only upgrade. Those licenses/regulations/hardware are probably also why it took so long for Mazda to roll it out on new models. AA doesn't require anything but a software upgrade (proven by those who have used AIO Tweaks to get AA on their cars previously).
I am pissed off because my 2017 Mazda CX-9, will not be eligible for an Android Auto upgrade (based on yesterday's presser) when I know for a fact that the system is capable of running right now with a minor sw update. Technically yes, they've "never committed" to anything, but in principle this should have been offered as a goodwill implementation.

I should have been specific, I do not run Carplay, and have avoided the Apple Eco-system for exactly this reason. Your comments may be valid, but I don't know enough about the hardware capability to respond to your comment. If there is a hardware requirement needed to run this portion properly, then I can't argue with a fee. But again, for Android, that doesn't apply and it is what my response focused on
 
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2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature
...

I think if you want to blame anyone for having to pay for it, blame Apple. Their proprietary hardware and the licenses/regulations required to use it are why this isn't a free software only upgrade. ....
I am not defending Apple here but why would we blame them? How did Hyundai (for example) manage to put Apple CarPlay in all of their cars and Mazda couldn't? Did Hyundai get it free? I bet they paid the price because they CARE about customer satisfaction. A 3 year old Chevy Cruze that was priced 1/2 of my CX-9 came with AA and Apple CarPlay too. So GM and Huyndai can do it, but Mazda can't?

Mazda chose to go the cheap route and milk as many sales as possible from their current models without offering Apple Play or AA. If customers are buying their cars and not complaining too much, why degrade their profit!? Simple logic based on pure greed for profits.
If Mazda puts crappy "no name" tires on their cars, would you blame Michelin because their tires are more expensive...or would you blame Mazda for cutting corners??

Well....bottom line, customers are not stupid. Most of them are educated and vote with their dollars. Mazda sales are not stellar. Car reviews everywhere point out the lack of AA and AP, so Mazda finally decided to say something about this. A bit too late and yes, a slap in the face for those of us who recently bought '17 and '18 models....especially when a loaded CX-9 is $45k and Mazda claims that it competes with some luxury offerings...yet it comes with a basic, outdated audio/infotainment system. Not cool, Mazda!
 
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sm1ke

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I am pissed off because my 2017 Mazda CX-9, will not be eligible for an Android Auto upgrade (based on yesterday's presser) when I know for a fact that the system is capable of running right now with a minor sw update. Technically yes, they've "never committed" to anything, but in principle this should have been offered as a goodwill implementation.

I should have been specific, I do not run Carplay, and have avoided the Apple Eco-system for exactly this reason. Your comments may be valid, but I don't know enough about the hardware capability to respond to your comment. If there is a hardware requirement needed to run this portion properly, then I can't argue with a fee. But again, for Android, that doesn't apply and it is what my response focused on
I don't know the specifics, but I think there would be even more backlash if they offered an update for only AA, even with the ACP support coming months later. People would spin it as Mazda "punishing" Apple enthusiasts and being pro-Android. I'm pretty confident that this is why AA and ACP always debut at the same time on a platform. Thus, it makes sense to delay official AA integration until they can also integrate ACP.

AA likely would have been a goodwill software update if it wasn't for ACP. It wouldn't have cost Mazda anything in terms of labour, as the update could have just been rolled out as a firmware update. That's not the case with ACP, which is why it's been "delayed".

I am not defending Apple here but why would we blame them? How did Hyundai (for example) manage to put Apple CarPlay in all of their cars and Mazda couldn't? Did Hyundai get it free? I bet they paid the price because they CARE about customer satisfaction. A 3 year old Chevy Cruze that was priced 1/2 of my CX-9 came with AA and Apple CarPlay too. So GM and Huyndai can do it, but Mazda can't?

Mazda chose to go the cheap route and milk as many sales as possible from their current models without offering Apple Play or AA. If customers are buying their cars and not complaining too much, why degrade their profit!? Simple logic based on pure greed for profits.
If Mazda puts crappy "no name" tires on their cars, would you blame Michelin because their tires are more expensive...or would you blame Mazda for cutting corners??

Well....bottom line, customers are not stupid. Most of them are educated and vote with their dollars. Mazda sales are not stellar. Car reviews everywhere point out the lack of AA and AP, so Mazda finally decided to say something about this. A bit too late and yes, a slap in the face for those of us who recently bought '17 and '18 models....especially when a loaded CX-9 is $45k and Mazda claims that it competes with some luxury offerings...yet it comes with a basic, outdated audio/infotainment system. Not cool, Mazda!
You have to put it into perspective. GM and Hyundai are much larger companies. Mazda needed help from Ford up until a few years ago.

Based on this: http://www.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2_3022-autosales.html#autosalesE

As of March 1st this year, GM holds 17.1% market share, and Hyundai holds 3.6%. Mazda only holds 2.1%. They simply don't sell enough to compete, so to me, it makes sense for them to leave it out to try and save money and remain competitive with other automakers. Obviously this was met with a lot of heat, and it was an error on Mazda's part to leave out a feature that they thought wasn't as "necessary" as it seems to be.

Sorry that you're not happy with your CX-9. What would you have purchased instead of the CX-9, knowing what you do now about the AA/ACP integration?
 
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2017 Crystal Mica Blue GT CX9
Sorry that you're not happy with your CX-9. What would you have purchased instead of the CX-9, knowing what you do now about the AA/ACP integration?

I know you directed this at dan, but I think like anything else, nothing truly ever meets 100% of your checklist. Everyone has different weighting factors on price/ performance/ features/ aesthetics. IMO, If I had to do it all over again, I would still buy the CX-9 since driveability was about 75 % of mine, perhaps get a gen 18.5.

I think many are really miffed at Mazda's poor communication on what was a significant differentiating feature and then when they finally came out with it, was poorly executed. Heck, there's still a lot of ambiguity after yesterday. So the fact that they have a smaller market share should have made it possible to move quickly in understanding their client base in which case, the Hyundai analogy makes them look worse. I don't buy the excuse that they have less negotiating clout with Apple
 

sm1ke

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I think many are really miffed at Mazda's poor communication on what was a significant differentiating feature and then when they finally came out with it, was poorly executed. Heck, there's still a lot of ambiguity after yesterday. So the fact that they have a smaller market share should have made it possible to move quickly in understanding their client base in which case, the Hyundai analogy makes them look worse. I don't buy the excuse that they have less negotiating clout with Apple
I don't buy that excuse either. I just meant to say that maybe Mazda didn't include it initially because they didn't want to pony up for the hardware/licensing required for ACP. I assume that with such low sales numbers, they weren't willing to "eat" the cost of AA/ACP integration unless they absolutely had to. That said, tech has been a big priority for most buyers in recent years, and Mazda was definitely late to the party with this. It will not reflect well for them in the future..
 

tex2670

Grand Poobah
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2012 CX-9 GT AWD, Copper Red/Sand
Not sure what's so compelling about Apple Car Play that would make me want to pay after the fact to have it installed? Maybe if it mirrored Waze or Google Maps (which I didn't even think Android Auto did).
 
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2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature
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Sorry that you're not happy with your CX-9. What would you have purchased instead of the CX-9, knowing what you do now about the AA/ACP integration?
I never said that i am not happy with my CX-9. For the money i paid for it, i like it. It's a very nice car.
I am not happy with Mazda as a company and how they handled this AA/ACP limitation, yet they pretend to be better than that.

Honestly, for me personally, the AA or Apple Car Play are not a deal breaker. These features are "nice to have" but not mandatory for me. I picked the CX-9 for other reasons (looks, size, engine, mpg, interior quality, awd, warranty, price) and the car has delivered about 90% of what i expected, so far. Nothing is perfect.

Am i disappointed that a $25k Hyundai Tucson (or Chevy) has AA/ACP and my $45k CX-9 doesn't have them even as an option? - yes, you bet. It sucks.
Am i going to trade in or sell my CX-9 because of this? - no way. Not even considering it.

Unfortunately for Mazda, many of their current or potential customers care a lot more about AA/ACP than I do. Many people are turned off by the choice Mazda made. Every car magazine review mentions it too.

I personally will NOT recommend the '16-18 CX-9 to anyone who truly cares about up to date, feature rich infotainment system. The system in the CX-9 is simple, mostly reliable, but nothing special, with very limited functionality/customization. Even the "top of the line" Bose audio in my Signature is pretty average, at best. I can't call something "great", when it is just 'average'. Yet, my Mazda dealer who sold me the CX-9 was making bold statements that the Signature trim is so great, it can go head to head with any Lexus, Acura, Benz, Audi, or American luxury offering, in the SAME class....for less money. Really??
If Mazda wants to capture the upscale market buyer who looks at luxury and semi-luxury options, something like AA/ACP should have been standard offering in the 2016 and up CX-9, especially in GT and Signature trims. period! Add cooled seats, heated steering and pano sunroof and now we're talking. :) :)
 
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2018 Mazda CX9
I dunno, even something like Miracast would have tied me to go along with their frugal mindset on implementing ACP/AA infortainment. Maybe they need a better IT engineer that is in tune with current generation. Because I know I almost didn't buy it because of ACP and AA; if I didn't really care much about driving dynamics, I would have picked something with ACP/AA for sure as there are lots of choices out there competing directly against CX9. I really dunno what they were thinking. I dont think the other Mazdas comes with it either, so you can't say they don't sell enough. Look at Hyundai, they know they were behind for longest time in reputation and in sales. So they went above and beyond to make sure they have all the latest gadgets and then some. I really believe Mazda should have went 101% on the infotainment, esp bird's eye-view. Once you are used to it, you kind of see the older style cameras as 'out-dated'; like why buy a Samsung S7 when S9 is out already? Mazda is still competing against the likes of VW/CRV/Hyundai/Subaru/Kia/Ford/GMC and others, they can't say just because Toyota (BMW?) doesn't have it, they shouldn't either. Toyota also has rock-solid reliability that no amount of money and gimmick can buy.

There are other work-around, most obvious is to put up another tablet besides the 8" panel. It would be nice if they had it, but you know, hopefully, they got other things right - most important is the reliability of the engine/transmission for me. The car looks nice enough inside/outside for the price range, but if the turbo engine/trans turned out to be another dud, then I for one will never buy another Mazda again.

I'm just saying, they can even include it as an option or pass on the extra cost in the final cost (how much can ACP and AA licensing fee be anyways??). If they are trying to appeal to the younger crowed, which they are surely targeting with the CX-3/CX-5 and Mazda-6 "zoom-zoom" and 'cool' narrative; how can they miss something as simple as ACP and AA? I think any low-level brainstorming would have seen this as one of top features that will attract younger and tech-savy buyers. Really, they shot themselves in the foot by not implementing it. You need all the perks and edge you can get, given Mazda has such low market share. Heck, Subaru and Skodia doesn't sell alot of cars here where I'm at, even they manage to get ACP and AA.

Anyways, only time can tell. If they got the reliability of the turbo engine and drive-tran down, then I can look pass it as they are trying to offer ACP and AA later this year. I think there are aftermarket ACP and AA work-arounds but most will void your warranty. If they offered birds'eye; ACP/AA and footwell lighting, it wouldn't have taken me so long to decide. Because the competition is so good. I finally made the decision because lack of choice of SUV in my country and my company is footing in the extra cost. Cuz it is not that cheap when compared to other SUVs in its class. Its is 'cheap' when compared to luxury SUVs, but Mazda still has a bit to go before they have the name recognition of BMW/Benz/Audi/Volvo/Lexus; most around here are not gonna put Mazdas in the same level as these luxury brands despite how much Mazda tries. They must know they are still competing against the Outbacks; Highlanders; Sante Fe; Sorrento; only thing that won out in the end was the driving dynamics; but if the car is not reliable, they will be moving backwards and never get ahead. I dunno, maybe they are happy with the status quo. I'm still happy I picked the 2018 CX9, but know that I almost didn't buy it due to the infotainment issue because the competition is just so tough. In back of my mind, I'm thinking maybe I should have bought a reliable Honda or Toyota instead. I guess only time will tell...
 
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tex2670

Grand Poobah
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2012 CX-9 GT AWD, Copper Red/Sand
I never said that i am not happy with my CX-9. For the money i paid for it, i like it. It's a very nice car.
I am not happy with Mazda as a company and how they handled this AA/ACP limitation, yet they pretend to be better than that.

Honestly, for me personally, the AA or Apple Car Play are not a deal breaker. These features are "nice to have" but not mandatory for me. I picked the CX-9 for other reasons (looks, size, engine, mpg, interior quality, awd, warranty, price) and the car has delivered about 90% of what i expected, so far. Nothing is perfect.

Am i disappointed that a $25k Hyundai Tucson (or Chevy) has AA/ACP and my $45k CX-9 doesn't have them even as an option? - yes, you bet. It sucks.
Am i going to trade in or sell my CX-9 because of this? - no way. Not even considering it.

Unfortunately for Mazda, many of their current or potential customers care a lot more about AA/ACP than I do. Many people are turned off by the choice Mazda made. Every car magazine review mentions it too.

I personally will NOT recommend the '16-18 CX-9 to anyone who truly cares about up to date, feature rich infotainment system. The system in the CX-9 is simple, mostly reliable, but nothing special, with very limited functionality/customization. Even the "top of the line" Bose audio in my Signature is pretty average, at best. I can't call something "great", when it is just 'average'. Yet, my Mazda dealer who sold me the CX-9 was making bold statements that the Signature trim is so great, it can go head to head with any Lexus, Acura, Benz, Audi, or American luxury offering, in the SAME class....for less money. Really??
If Mazda wants to capture the upscale market buyer who looks at luxury and semi-luxury options, something like AA/ACP should have been standard offering in the 2016 and up CX-9, especially in GT and Signature trims. period! Add cooled seats, heated steering and pano sunroof and now we're talking. :) :)
Baby steps--2018 CX-9s in upper trims have heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.
 

JPL

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2018 Mazda6, CX-9
It's not a cost thing that Mazda has yet to implement AC/AA. Every brands proprietary setup plays very differently with the needs of AC/AA integration.Just the fact that Mazda's are knob control centric makes it a big challenge by itself. Companies started out wanting their own unique infotainment, and some like Toyota resisted the 3rd party integration until just recently announcing upcoming models will finally get it. Anyone think Toyota has a money problem? Mazda isn't being greedy or cheap, that's ludicrous. Fact is they've been working on it, even if they've been slow.

Danmm7, the price of the car has nothing to do with whether or not it does or should have AC/AA. Top of the line Lexus models and other Luxury marquees still don't have it or are just soon getting it.
 

SK77X

Contributor
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2016 CX-5 GT, 2017 CX-9 GT
Has it been explicitly stated that AC/AA will NOT be available as an update for 2016/7 models,... or are we still in the dark on those specifics?
 
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2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature
.... Mazda isn't being greedy or cheap, that's ludicrous. Fact is they've been working on it, even if they've been slow.

Danmm7, the price of the car has nothing to do with whether or not it does or should have AC/AA. Top of the line Lexus models and other Luxury marquees still don't have it or are just soon getting it.
I am still curious how 80% of all other brands figured it out, including Hyundai, Kia, GM, Subaru ....yet Mazda is waiting for 2019 to come to offer it??
To me, this is 100% cost cutting and penny pinching for Mazda. ... Same reason they did not include heated steering, cooled seats, 360 degree camera, or better stereo, or actual useful fog lights, or front parking sensors on the '16-17 models ...even in the "top of the line" Signature trim. They put lots of nice, high end touches in the car, i get it, but they also cut a number of useful small features. The infotainment is a good example.

As far as Lexus not offering AA/ACP yet, yes, it is true. However, from experience, i know that what they do offer is a system that is far superior to Mazda's in every single department (speaker/sound quality, screen quality/size, phone integration, speed of operation, inputs, true surround, 360 cameras, etc, etc). Lets not even compare the two. Put a Lexus like Mark Levinson system in my CX-9, i would never mention the lack of AA/ACP again.

I am not saying that every single car must have AA/ACP, but one would expect that every expensive/luxury car will offer it OR if not, at least compensate for it with a great quality, feature rich infotainment system. My $45k Signature offers neither and i find it disappointing.
I am not an audiophile so i can live with what i got IF the rest of the car performs as promised. Clearly, i bought the CX-9, so i was OK with it. Many other won't be.
It's just hard to ignore the fact that Mazda dropped the ball on this and decided that they can play with the big boys, yet offer outdated, basic infotainment technology.

Time and sales numbers will show how this will pay off for them.
 

JPL

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2018 Mazda6, CX-9
Infotainment should have nothing to do with the buying decision process. If it does, you don't like cars. You are one who can't wait until self driving cars come along in which you can just stare at your phone the whole time. Unless it came down to an exact 50/50 decision between 2 cars and the only tie breaker in one's view was infotainment.

While one wonders why Mazda doesn't have it yet, I wonder why CX-9 competitors look and feel $10K cheaper. No AC/AA doesn't even enter my mind when I continue to be amazed at how brilliant the vehicle is. Have you sat in an Explorer, for example. Complete pile of garbage in comparison. I feel bad for all the sheep that buy it.
 
Infotainment should have nothing to do with the buying decision process. If it does, you don't like cars.
I don't disagree with you, but you have to remember that most people don't "like" cars, which is more accurately stated as most people aren't gear heads or car enthusiasts. For the majority of the driving public, a car is little more than an appliance . . . a way for a person to get from A to B in a way that fits that person's needs. For those people, infotainment likely does have something to do with the buying process.

Incidentally, I tend to forget this, which is why my co-workers look at me funny when I spout of stats about cars they're looking at when they're thinking about getting a new car. To them, nobody should have that kind of information off the top of their head; for me (and, I'm guessing, for many of you), it's perfectly normal to know the engine size, HP, features, etc. of a variety of different vehicles.

So all of this said - I think Mazda is a car enthusiast's brand, which is why Mazda doesn't necessarily see AA/ACP as a priority. If I had to guess, Mazda believes - and likely rightfully so - that the majority of its buyers care more about the experience of driving than the utility of driving. In other words, Mazda knows that its buyers will buy a Mazda over a Honda, Nissan, or Toyota because the Mazda will be a more enjoyable driving experience, not because it has AA/ACP.
 
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