Android users, it is time to rejoice! No, we did not overtake the amount of Apple users, but we did convince Volkswagen to ditch its ill-fated MDI or Media Interface Device and switch to more user friendly USB ports, which will debut in all 2016 models, worldwide.
The biggest problem with MDI is the fact that it has iPhone and iPod-specific jacks for charging or porting your device to the infotainment system. If you have an Android phone, then you have to buy a separate USB adapter to make your phone communicate with the infotainment system, or the whole system is essentially worthless.
At the recent CES show in Las Vegas, Mark Gillies, Volkswagen’s manager of product and technology mentioned that the company is moving to USB in place of the MDI system because of the high demand for this feature from its U.S. customers.
Along with USB ports, VW will also launch a new App-Connect infotainment system that works with MirrorLink. For those who are not familiar with MirrorLink,it is a generic plug-and-play interface that has been trying to gain traction for the past several years. MirrorLink basically displays a modified version of your phone’s screen onto the main dash screen. An advanced version of this interface was recently shown in the Golf R Touch Concept at 2015 Consumer Electronic Show.
In the end, this is a win-win situation for both Volkswagen and Android phone users. This finally enables Android users to easily sync their phones with the car’s infotainment system without requiring any additional equipment or attachments. With the addition of USB ports, our gripes with Volkswagen products just decreased by one.