MirrorLink, a service that provides connectivity between a smartphone and a car's infotainment system, is also being adopted by many auto manufacturers. Additionally, Apple's CarPlay and Google's Automotive Link allow smartphone pairing with car infotainment systems.
"I like that idea," said Neal. "You're personalizing it. My phone will always be as up-to-date as possible."
Neal said he'd just downloaded an app called "Find My Car," that can locate his parked vehicle using GPS. "There are so many features on your phone that you can't build into a car," Neal added.
Conversely, some in the focus group noted that smartphones can be lost, leaving a driver without a navigation system. They said cars should always have an embedded app for navigation.
Since smartphones are replaced every two years or so, and that could require a complete reconfiguration of an infotainment system to be able to use the new apps.
"To me, [Apple's] iOS 7 is not as good as the last iOS, so that lowered my confidence in how well the software is working. If iOS 8 is as bad as iOS 7, I may want to migrate to Android. Then you have to migrate your car to Android," Mark said.
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