Back in 2015, Geely said they were working with Apple to integrate Apple CarPlay into their vehicles. It’s a logical step since there are many iPhone users and China, and in the rest of the world. Fast forward to 2021, and with three vehicles so far under Geely Philippines, the feature is still nowhere to be found.
I asked Geely about this during the media Q&A after the Xingyue L launch and Mr. Michael Song, the General Manager for Geely Automobile International Corp, is confident about not having the feature.
According to him, there are many ways to connect to the vehicle via smartphone. One such way is QDLink which is available on their models here. He’s confident that the current system in their vehicles, including the recently launched Xingyue L, are adequate enough.
Well, that’s true, if we haven’t experienced Apple CarPlay and Android Auto before. But even to the uninitiated, QDLink is a hassle.
The problem is while it can indeed mirror the screen of your smartphone, it also demands that the smartphone be left unlocked because it’s literally projecting your screen. This also means you can’t do anything else on it, like pass your phone to your shotgun rider to make messages or calls because it will remove the map on the car’s screen because again, basic mirroring. Add to this its basic connection issues like random disconnection and it’s no wonder it’s rated poorly in Google Playstore. Don’t even try reading the reviews.
Song said they consider the demands of the market and see the best system for them, but with the infotainment screen it seems their hands are tied. It’s unknown if integrating Apple or Android capability would be simple or would require a total overhaul of the system software, but either way it will be expensive.
The bigger picture remains that despite their growing popularity outside of their home country, they still don’t sell that much in order to cover the cost of this change. Majority of their units are still inside the walled garden of China where there is no need for Apple and Android mobility apps. For now, Geely owners must settle for phone holders and the Bluetooth function.