Apple Music is Coming to Audi Models for 2022

Audi adds Apple Music

The deal between Audi and Apple means a wealth of content will be available directly through Audi’s native infotainment system.

If Apple Music is your streaming service of choice, Audi has some great news. Because starting for the 2022 model year, most Audi models will have the capability to connect to the service directly through the infotainment system. So even if you forget your iPhone, you’ll still be able to access the tech giant’s wealth of music, playlists, and content. Also, if your older Audi is equipped for over-the-air updates, the new functionality will be available as an upgrade. Here’s the official word from Ingolstadt:

“Integrating Apple Music into the Audio infotainment system marks the next step in the collaboration between Audi and Apple,” said Christiane Zorn, Head of Product Marketing at Audi. “For our customers, it means that we are offering them direct access to their own personalized listening experience. This is our understanding of a premium digital in-car experience. At Audi we are systematically driving the digitalization of the vehicle and we are convinced that the interior is increasingly developing into a third living space.”

The move to embrace Apple’s service is similar to the Amazon partnership Jaguar Land Rover announced in February. And since there’s a winner here? There are also losers. Obviously, Amazon will shrug off the snub. So that leaves Tidal, which Canada’s Financial Post  deftly described as colossal flop, and Spotify, which has proven wildly successful at both attracting subscribers and burning cash, as chief among the also-rans.

At this point there’s no word on cost. For new models, I’d expect that it’ll just be rolled into the MSRP, and since the tech relies on having an Apple subscription, it seems unlikely that Audi would squeeze customers for a secondary one. That said, this line makes it seem like it’ll be free for existing Audi owners too: “The integration will be conveniently rolled out to vehicles already on the road via an automatic over-the-air update.” Personally, I think something that’s done automatically implies free? But if you own an Audi and see an extra charge on your credit card, please let me know! 

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I’m an audio Luddite who somehow signed up for Apple Music by accident. I’ve also never used Spotify and wouldn’t use anything affiliated with Kanye West if you put a gun to my head. So I can’t compare those services. But I will say that Apple’s musical library is more even comprehensive that even Amazon’s, which is saying something. I can’t wait to try out Apple Music on my next Audi press car.

Photos: Audi 

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Audi Signs 5G Deal with Verizon as 3G Dies & Legacy Vehicles Loose Functionality

5G Tech Coming to Audi

As Audi announces the possibilities of forthcoming 5G tech, the 3G shutdown means many older vehicles will lose functionality.

This week, Audi announced a new partnership with American wireless network provider Verizon. The agreement will bring 5G connectivity to forthcoming Audi vehicles, and according to the press release, the upgrade will begin for the 2024 model year. While it doesn’t specify exactly which models will get the tech first, you probably don’t have to tighten your thinking cap to determine this tech will launch on some of Audi’s higher dollar hardware. Here’s what Filip Brabec, senior VP, Product Planning for Audi of America had to say:

Audi was the first automaker to bring in-vehicle Wi-Fi to customers as well as 4G LTE connectivity in the 2015 A3, and we will be among the first to bring the next generation of connectivity to our customers in the U.S. We value our partnership with Verizon and their eagerness to push the boundaries of what’s possible as cars continue to become even more connected.

Along with faster streaming speeds and enhanced navigation functionality, the announcement also mentions “cloud-based user profiles” and “mobile retail capabilities” — which both sound like things I’d pay to opt out of.  That said, the the technology does offer an opportunity to respond directly to nearby vehicles using “Cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology.” This kind of communication is tremendously important for the development of autonomous vehicles, and will be also be harnessed to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and other high-risk groups like school children.

The partnership between Audi and Verizon comes at a time when millions of American drivers are discovering that many current connected features will be disabled when U.S. wireless providers shut down their 3G networks. According to Audi USA’s official page on the 3G shutdown, vehicles as new as 2019 will be impacted, though with varying degrees of severity. For example, owners of 2016 through 2018 A3 e-tron models, will no longer be able to use the app to start or stop charging, precondition the cabin, set departure times, or monitor the vehicle status remotely.

Owners of A4 models between 2017 and 2018 will lose even more functionality, including Audi connect CARE’s SOS and emergency call feature, online roadside assistance, Audi Service Request, Audi incident assistance, remote lock and unlock, vehicle status report, and stolen vehicle locator. With the shutdown currently underway, many owners are scrambling to determine which functions they’ll lose and whether it’ll be possible to retrofit their vehicles.

There’s a great thread going here at Audi World where members are sharing their concerns, and if you’re concerned about what this change could mean for your vehicle, I encourage you to check it out.

Photos: Audi

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