Mobile phone usage while driving is becoming a worldwide menace and while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is beginning to show up in a handful of cars, their ecosystem is largely controlled by the tech giants and not so much the car manufacturer. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), along with Bosch is putting brakes to this irresponsible behaviour by stepping on the tech throttle. Ok, before we start sounding like a Sajid Khan comedy, let us come clean.
The InControl Apps platform is one of the best implementations of phone mirroring that we’ve seen so far. Actually, it’s not even mirroring to be honest. Bosch has co-developed the apps along with the app owners to optimise them for a car interface. You simply plug in your iOS or Android device and you will be greeted by a selection of 12 apps (as of now) ranging from NDTV News to Zomato restaurant search and even Hungama streaming music. MapMyIndia is relied on extensively to run background navigation and the system is intelligent enough to run multiple apps together, like music and search.
The NDTV News app is a direct stream of the TV channel, albeit without the video so you can hear your TV now, so to speak. Every other app like Eventseeker or Hotelseeker is optimised for in-car use, showing only the essential features of app on the screen, with large and chunky virtual buttons for ease of use while driving.
A Jaguar InControl app launcher works as the hub for all activity and will inform you of any new apps added to the ecosystem and also allows you to rearrange the app icons page-wise, as per your preference. In action, the system works extremely smoothly while scrolling, switching between apps and even using in-app functionality. Bosch has apparently spent a year getting it right and it shows! Currently the 2016 model year Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery Sport will have this system as standard. More models will obviously follow suit but JLR India isn’t revealing when.