How the Group Application Store introduces a new in-cabin experience
A scalable platform, seamless integration with the car, brand and region-specific apps, and an open-source dimension are some of the key benefits of our Group Application Store solution for users and developers.
The new Group Application Store brings the user’s digital environment, including all of their favorite apps, into the car. As part of our next-generation One.Infotainment system, the software lays a strong, uniform foundation for all Volkswagen Group brands to curate a selection of apps and introduce a new in-cabin experience for their customers.
The Group Application Store integrates with the HARMAN Ignite Store a connected vehicle platform. This allows 3rd party app providers an easy integration of their content and innovations. In addition, Group in-house developers can also provide proprietary apps for all group cars.
The system works in a similar way to the apps on a smartphone. As soon as the user installs one of their favorite apps from the store, it appears in the app grid. They can then start the app by tapping it.
What are the benefits for the user?
Firstly, by bringing various apps directly and seamlessly into the user interface of the car, the Group Application Store offers a much smoother user experience and greater usability. There’s no need to connect your phone to the car to listen to Spotify, for example – the app is already available and ready to go.
As well as greater usability, the Group Application Store offers an infotainment system with much more functionality. The dashboard is customizable, meaning that the user can choose how they want to structure their content, clicking and dragging widgets across the display. For example, they might choose to place the Spotify player next to the navigation system, allowing them to quickly skip through songs on the go.
Users are presented with a region-specific experience. Naturally, a user in the US won’t want to be faced with an infotainment system full of apps for UK radio stations that are useless to them. The Group Application Store therefore doesn’t just present users with one global solution, but an individual solution tailored to them.
Not only is the Group Application Store region-specific, but also brand-specific. CARIAD is developing the platform of the store, but each Volkswagen Group brand retains control of the content that goes into their cars and how it’s presented. After all, they’re the ones that know their customers best! Each brand also remains responsible for the overall user interface design. So, while CARIAD might be under the hood, users can rest assured that an Audi will still look and feel like an Audi, and a Porsche like a Porsche.
Finally, the open-source dimension means that users are offered a more diverse experience and aren’t limited only to the offering of proprietary apps from the individual brands. Offering an attractive prospect for third-party developers means more apps in the store, and therefore a greater variety for users.
What kind of apps can you expect?
The Group Application Store offers customers a wealth of apps, whether for music, video, gaming, navigation, parking, charging, weather or remote work. Essential and popular functions turn the car into a smart companion for users. The first partners of the store include a number of familiar third-party apps, such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Yelp, TikTok, and Webex by Cisco.
In addition, users also have access to a selection of proprietary apps developed by CARIAD. This includes, for example, a predictive maintenance solution, which can read data from vehicle and determine when the user is due a service. The system proactively offers the user an appointment at their preferred dealer, which they can then confirm.
When will the Group Application Store be available?
The Group Application Store is already here! Audi is the first brand to bring the store to its customers in selected vehicles from July 2023 onwards. Porsche will follow later. The solution is part of our One.Infotainment system, which, in turn, is part of the premium software platform 1.2 on which the next generation of Audi and Porsche models are built.
As a uniform and scalable solution, the Group Application Store will be gradually rolled out and introduced to the cars of all Volkswagen Group brands. Functionality will also expand, with additional service offerings, functions-on-demand and more immersive experiences that make use of actuators in the car, such as lighting. And of course, thanks to over-the-air updates, the in-car experience will continuously improve and always stay fresh, be it through new and updated third-party apps or innovative offerings by CARIAD.