Modern car buyers expect to be connected to the wider world at all times, and although you can often connect your phone to cars using Bluetooth and USB cables, they don’t offer full use of your phone using the car’s controls.
That’s where MirrorLink comes in – it’s a system that connects your smartphone to the car’s infotainment system. But what does it do exactly?
What is MirrorLink?
MirrorLink allows what’s on the screen of compatible mobile devices to be transferred directly onto the car’s built-in infotainment screen. Once connected – via USB or Bluetooth (depending on the car) – a range of smartphone apps can be accessed, all controlled through the touchscreen, steering wheel-mounted controls, or even by voice activation in some cases.
Given that in-car infotainment screens are usually larger than even the most bulky of mobile phones, the larger icons they can house allow for much easier and safer navigation.
Another advantage of MirrorLink is that it uses the smartphone’s own processing power and internet connectivity to control the system, enabling the use of apps which may otherwise be unavailable through the standard system. This also makes MirroLink an ideal choice for more affordable cars, where the best infotainment systems might be too expensive to install.
What can MirrorLink do?
Many of the most popular smartphone apps are compatible with MirrorLink, so the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Spotify are all integrated neatly into the software. Some iterations of MirrorLink, like the SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen systems, sync to social media and email accounts, and can read messages and Tweets out loud while on the move. The same system offers an app which allows the drivers to record data for specific driving routes, offering feedback on driving style, mpg figures and other nerdy stats which allow you to analyse your driving style in deep detail.
Which cars are compatible?
In addition to the Volkswagen Group cars mentioned above, other brands using MirrorLink include the Peugeot/Citroen group (which also includes DS), Honda, Smart and Toyota. Some Mercedes, including the A-Class, are also equipped with MirrorLink.
Which mobile devices are compatible?
The MirrorLink software works with most Android-enabled smartphones. Unfortunately it isn’t compatible with iPhones – for similar connectivity you’ll need a car with Apple CarPlay integration.