Volkswagen is responding to consumers' ever-increasing thirst for connectivity with the latest generation of its in-car hub, MIB II. The Modular Infotainment Platform enters its second generation. It launched for the 2016 model year last summer, and it will roll out across nearly the entire VW lineup.

Smartphone integration is the spotlight feature for MIB II. Rather than limit connectivity to one kind of phone, users can connect their devices using Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or MirrorLink. CarPlay puts your iPhone onto the car's infotainment screen allowing for easier access to text messages, music, and navigation. Android Auto and MirrorLink offer similar connectivity. Volkswagen touts MIB II as one of the first platforms to accommodate all three of these leading smartphone integrations.

MIB II also features higher resolution touchscreens, better graphics, and faster processing speeds. Four head units are offered, and depending on the model, a pinch-to-zoom function is available. The systems also have proximity sensors, which note when a hand is approaching. The top unit is particularly robust, offering a nav with "one-shot" voice destination entry and a route predictor, as well as added functions for VW electric vehicles.

MIB II is the underpinning for Volkswagen's Car-Net suite of electronic services, which includes things like the smartphone integration, security features, and connections to apps. The second generation of MIB is a signpost for VW, which wants to collaborate with tech giants like Apple and Google rather than control every one of the infotainment functions offered in its cars. VW argues this tactic opens up its vehicles to a wider range of consumer preferences and lets it update features sooner.


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