Android Auto now compatible with GMC IntelliLink system

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 7, 2015

GMC announced that the Android Auto will now be made compatible with models that carry the eight-inch IntelliLink system. These include three 2016 models in particular; the Canyon, Sierra and Yukon. Compatibility is made possible with a software upgrade that will be implemented by dealers of GMC.

With this upgrade, Android Auto now joins Apple CarPlay in being compatible with the IntelliLink screen. Apple CarPlay’s compatibility with the system was initially unveiled early this year.

According to Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of Buick and GMC, by making both the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible with the IntelliLink system, this will usher in an era of making sure the driver is connected but not inconvenienced.

Each system develops the different features that many smartphone users depend on. In the case of Android Auto, it has Google Now, Google Maps, and includes the ability to be able to talk to Google. Its messaging and audio app ecosystem had been expanded to include Google Play Music, Spotify, WhatsApp, and even podcast players.

A list of all supported apps can be viewed at What makes the whole system even more incredible is that the different features can be controlled through voice commands with just a touch of a button located on its steering wheel.

This ensures that drivers can continue to keep their hands on the steering wheel and eyes focused on the road. GMC made sure that the central part of the technological features on the interior is connectivity. Last year for example, GMC started to offer OnStar 4G LTE connectivity plus a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot for a number of its new vehicles.

The connectivity is one of a kind as it allows the occupants inside to be able to connect up to a maximum of seven devices. With this new compatibility, the connectivity is made better. Market availability for the Android Auto can be viewed here while that of the Apple CarPlay can be seen here.

Aside from the connectivity, using the applications is relatively easy. When the smartphone is not connected, the IntelliLink screen shows a “Projection” icon. This immediately changes once a compatible phone with either the Android Auto or CarPlay is connected through USB.

In order to run, the Apple CarPlay would need an iPhone 5 or better; whereas the Android Auto will need a phone whose operating system is at least the Android Lollipop 5.0. It should be noted that the smartphones cannot be immediately used and one may need to download a compatible app first.

The vehicle interface will depend on what system is used whether it is the CarPlay or Android Auto and each have their own privacy statements and user agreements. Of course, it will not only need a compatible smartphone but also an applicable data plan.

GMC is expected to offer the software upgrade by March 2016. GMC has been in the business of manufacturing trucks with the engineering excellence and amazing innovation built into every vehicle. The brand started in 1902 but shows no sign of stopping as it evolves to offer more fuel-efficient vehicles like the Acadia crossover and the small Terrain SUV.

The Sierra pickup is still the company’s highest-volume vehicle and remains to be the most powerful of light-duty pickups available on the market. GMC’s Sierra received a five-star rate, the highest-possible Overall Vehicle Score for safety, a first for a full-size pickup.

The award comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its 2011 model year New Car Assessment Program. 

Press Release


A software upgrade enabling Android Auto phone compatibility for 2016 GMC Canyon, Sierra and Yukon models equipped with the available eight-inch IntelliLink system will be offered to U.S. customers in March 2016. The upgrade will be performed by GMC dealers.

Android Auto joins Apple CarPlay, which was unveiled earlier this year, offering phone compatibility via the available IntelliLink screen.

“Providing Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility ushers in a new era of staying connected in a convenient manner,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president, Buick and GMC.

Each system builds off select features smartphone users rely on most. Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Google Play Music, Spotify, and podcast players. A full list of supported apps is available at

Many system features can be controlled by voice commands through a button on the steering wheel, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Connectivity has become a central component of GMC’s interior technology features. Just last year, many GMC vehicles also began offering available OnStar 4G LTE connectivity and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. The connection allows occupants to connect up to seven personal devices.

This new compatibility stands to make connectivity even stronger. Specific market availability for Android Auto can be found here. Current Apple CarPlay markets can be found here.

Using either application is simple in a compatible 2016 GMC Canyon, Sierra or Yukon. A “Projection” icon on the IntelliLink screen is visible when a phone is not connected, and then changes to indicate either CarPlay or Android Auto (whichever is applicable) when a compatible phone is connected via USB. Android Auto requires a phone running the Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or above, while Apple CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later.

Compatible apps need to be downloaded to a phone before using. Vehicle user interfaces are products of Apple (for CarPlay) and Google (for Android Auto) and their user terms and privacy statements apply. Each requires a compatible smartphone and data plan rates apply.

Topics: gmc, android auto

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