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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Samsung Wants 'Car Mode For Galaxy' To Be The CarPlay-Killer

Samsung is at it again! Through years of back-and-forths with Apple in legal battles over copyrights, the South Korean manufacturer wants to take on the car entertainment industry with a product of its own. Even though it looks a lot like CarPlay, Samsung believes its 'Car Mode for Galaxy' will become the 'next big thing' in car dashboards.

Car Mode for Galaxy was showcased quite extensively by Samsung at IFA 2015 earlier this month. The event is sort of the European version of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and was held in Berlin, Germany. Here are some more details on Samsung's product...

Car Mode for Galaxy

If you remember, Driving Mode was introduced on the Android platform by Samsung about two years ago. It was originally made only for the Galaxy S3. Driving Mode was basically a heavily simplified version of your smartphone made to be used while driving.

Driving Mode allowed drivers to use Google Voice to read and send text messages, make calls etc. and was quite basic. Then earlier this year, Samsung decided to change Driving Mode to Car Mode for Galaxy. Just around the time when CarPlay and Android Auto were gaining momentum.

What we have now is a software feature available specifically for Samsung Galaxy devices. The first smartphone to get Car Mode was the Galaxy S5. But at IFA 2015 earlier this month, Samsung announced the feature will be available for the S6 Edge+ and possibly the Note 5.

How does it work?

Car Mode for Galaxy is designed to work over MirrorLink. Using that connection protocol, your smartphone can display apps and services on your car's dashboard touchscreen. Samsung says there is also a standalone mode for vehicles that aren't compatible, meaning you could mount your smartphone on your dashboard and use Car Mode.

What can you do in Car Mode?

Car Mode allows you to have your texts read to you or send texts using voice. You can also use voice commands to make and receive calls, play music from specific playlists, receive turn-by-turn navigation instructions and even perform searches for POIs or look up destinations using bookmarked addresses. Sound familiar?

Competition for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

As you can see from what Car Mode offers, the feature will be direct competition for CarPlay and Android Auto. Even though you can understand Samsung wanting to take on Apple, why Google? Don't Samsung devices run Android which is a Google product?

Well, many experts believe Samsung's relationship with Google has waned in the recent past. Some even think Samsung will soon have a mobile operating system of its own to take on iOS,Android and Windows.

Samsung Galaxy users at the moment will have the option of using Android Auto or Car Mode for Galaxy. Samsung didn't mention any intent of including third-party apps in Car Mode, like Android Auto. That might make it difficult for users to give up Android Auto in favor of Samsung's product.

Of course, if you don't own a car that is capable of doing CarPlay and/or Android Auto, or don't own a compatible aftermarket head unit, you can always use Car Mode by itself on your smartphone. This could be an attractive option for those who don't want to spend the extra bucks on a new aftermarket system.

What do you guys think of a product like Car Mode for Galaxy? Sound off in the comments below.

Image/news source: SlashGear


  1. I wouldn't say Samsung is taking on Google and competing as they are both different products with different requirements.

    Samsung has a car mode that works via (the awful and pathetically-stupid-confusing-version-number) Mirrorlink where as Android Auto needs an expensive Pio NEX?Alpine head units to be compatible.

    Samsung's Car Mode is stand alone where as Android Auto isn't.

  2. Mirrorlink SHOULD have been what all these phones use to work with car systems, but no, Apple and Google, and now Samsung, decided to go with proprietary systems instead an open standand that would have worked just fine.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Can someone tell me how to get Car Note on Note 5, my car doesn't support Mirrorlink.

  5. Has anyone gotten car mode to work with mirrorlink? The icons flash momentarily on car dash board before reverting to 'certified' mirrorlink apps (2016 Subaru Outback).


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