The Car Connectivity Consortium, the group behind the MirrorLink standard, today added two major handsets to its growing list of compatible devices with the (upcoming) Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Galaxy Note Edge. This is a big win for the consortium, as compatibility with MirrorLink has been scarce, at least on the handset side of things.
Samsung previously supported MirrorLink connectivity with its DriveLink app for the Galaxy S3, but subsequent releases lost the capability. The last major handset win for the consortium was the HTC One (M8). While most Sony Xperia smartphones support MirrorLink connectivity with the stock firmware, carrier availability has been severely limited, with the exception of T-Mobile.
"Based on the Galaxy series' popularity in the global smartphone market, MirrorLink's presence in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge is a watershed moment for car connectivity," said Alan Ewing, President and Executive Director of the CCC. "With volume production of MirrorLink-enabled vehicles currently taking place at Honda, PSA Peugeot-Citroën, Toyota, Volkswagen and many others, MirrorLink has clearly entered mainstream acceptance as one of the world's most compelling connected-car technologies."
While smartphone users are awaiting Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto support to deploy on production vehicles, handsets, and aftermarket head units, MirrorLink has been around for about three years. MirrorLink operates on a VNC protocol to mirror the phone display on a navigation screen. There are many aftermarket head units that support MirrorLink from Alpine, Sony, Pioneer, JVC and others, but handset compatibility has been lacking.
MirrorLink functions similarly to how Apple Car Play and Google Android Auto will work, and that's to transform the car radio into a dumb terminal that's fully powered by your smartphone. The connectivity standard has built-in safeguards to prevent distracted driving and only enables apps that are MirrorLink-compatible to appear on the vehicle display.