After supporting Apple CarPlay for almost two years, Harley-Davidson is finally offering Android Auto functionality with their Boom! Box GTS infotainment system, offered on models in H-Ds CVO, Touring, and Trike model lineups. The software will be standard on all Boom! Box GTS-equipped 2021 models, but will also be available as an upgrade to existing customers who already have bikes with Boom! Box GTS.
Available since 2015, Google’s Android Auto app is available free for phones running the Android operating system, which dominates the smartphone market. Andriod Auto allows users to connect their phones to their vehicles, allowing them to run certain smartphone apps such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Spotify, through the vehicle’s infotainment display. They can also make calls and receive text messages.
The differences between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are minimal, and the choice really comes down to which smartphone the customer already owns. Thus, offering Android Auto with their Boom! Box infotainment system is a natural progression in order to cater to the large chunk of the riding public that own Android phones.
The Boom! Box system consists of a full-color touchscreen display, with redundant buttons integrated into the switchgear so riders do not have to take their hands off the handlebars for most functions. The system also features voice control, and the touchscreen works with gloves on and even when wet. The screen features Corning Gorilla Glass for durability, and Harley also offers their own app to work with the system.
Owners with existing Boom! Box units can upgrade to Android Auto themselves via a USB key, or visit their local Harley-Davidson dealership to have the upgrade done for them.
Sources: autoevolution.com, Harley-Davidson, engadget.com