Seat Breaks Down Apple's Walls, Offers CarPlay-Compatible Vehicle App

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
seat breaks down apple s walls offers carplay compatible vehicle app

Apple loves it when people buy its toys, but doesn’t appreciate it when other companies try to muscle into its technology playpen.

Whether the tech giant likes it or not, the Volkswagen-owned Seat brand just became the first automaker to design and market an app that is compatible with Apple CarPlay.

As one of the few third-party apps allowed in CarPlay, Seat’s DriveApp allows iPhone users to access their vehicle’s data through the infotainment screen without having to switch back to the factory interface.

Normally, CarPlay and a vehicle’s infotainment system stay worlds apart. Before the DriveApp, motorists couldn’t access vehicle functions while in CarPlay. Now, Seat owners can simply click an extra icon on the display, keeping their media connections intact. There isn’t all that much to access right now — DriveApp’s features are basic, limited to vehicle status (mileage, tire pressure and the like), but Seat claims new services and features are on the way.

App Store customers in Spain get DriveApp first, followed soon after by other Seat markets. Which doesn’t include North America, of course. Still, if a Volkswagen-owned European car brand can do it, why not others?

Seat’s app could spark a flood of CarPlay compatible offerings from other automakers.

[Image: SEAT]

Join the conversation
  • Vega Vega on Aug 12, 2016

    What is this clickbait nonsense? Apple approves everything on the Appstore. If they didn't like what Seat is doing, the app would not be available.

    • See 1 previous
    • WheelMcCoy WheelMcCoy on Aug 13, 2016

      @epsilonkore "Definite click bait title!" Dang, and al 4 of us took the bait! :) I agree. Here's a better headline: "VW takes a SEAT next to Car Play"

  • Brentrn Brentrn on Aug 12, 2016

    All CarPlay head units, both OEM and third-party, can have a proprietary app that gives the screen to non-CarPlay functions. These can be radios, Bluetooth access, or car functions. These all can be accessed while using CarPlay. The screen will change to the OEM screen but a tap of the home button brings you back the CarPlay home screen. This SEAT app doesn't seem to be doing anything different or new.

    • JimZ JimZ on Aug 13, 2016

      it's seems that this is different. I have a Pioneer head unit which supports CarPlay, and have used CarPlay on SYNC 3. The "proprietary app" simply takes you completely out of CarPlay and back into the radio or OEM's native interface. it seems like what SEAT has done here is write an app which presents vehicle data *in a CarPlay app.*

  • Zackman Zackman on Aug 15, 2016

    Clickbait? Hmmm... it's Monday. I don't have to worry about such things - both of our cars are old tech - a 2002 CR-V and a W-body 2012 Impala. click.