But the latest MyLink system from General Motors melds the two nicely in what is one of the more attractive interfaces entering the market. It is set to appear in Chevrolet's 2013 Sonic RS and in higher-spec Spark models, both of which hit showrooms in 2012.
GM hasn't said how much the new system will cost, but it integrates a seven-inch LG display in the dashboard that's capable of connecting with iPhones and Androids with USB cables or Bluetooth.
Standards such as phone and address book integration are included. Perhaps more importantly, users can stream music from their mobile devices, Pandora and Stitcher radio through the system, as well as play videos and display photo slideshows.
The interface includes OnStar navigation. Company officials say that third-party apps will soon be included.