Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi is testing a feature similar to Apple’s CarPlay to make it easier for users to connect their phone’s system to their cars.
The company pushed the MIUI 13 22.2.7 development update to its Mi 11 smartphones on February 8, and some users saw a feature called “CarWith” in the “Connect & Share” settings, according to tech site Mydrivers.
CarWith allows users to connect their phones to their cars, just like Apple’s CarPlay and Huawei’s HiCar, so they can use their phones’ navigation, music and calling functions on the car’s center console.
However, the feature is still in testing and not available, and users will see an alert that “this feature is under development” when they click on “supported models”.
Separately, the feature also appears to be called “Smart Car Connect,” according to information shared by a user of the Android app marketplace Cooapk, and a screenshot of the in-car mode shows what it will look like initially.
As one of the world’s largest smartphone makers, Xiaomi has officially joined the car-making bandwagon, so the launch of the feature comes as no surprise.
Xiaomi officially announced it was joining the car-making bandwagon on March 30 last year, saying it was investing an initial RMB 10 billion ($1.54 billion) in the car business and expected to invest $10 billion over the next 10 years.
The company announced on September 1 last year that it had officially completed company registration for its auto business as Xiaomi Auto Co Ltd.
At the end of November last year, Xiaomi signed a contract with the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Area Management Committee to build the headquarters base of its auto business and its sales and R&D headquarters in Yizhuang, and will build an auto plant with an annual production capacity of 300,000 units.
The plant will be built in two phases, with annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles in the first and second phases, respectively, the announcement said, adding that Xiaomi‘s first car is expected to roll off the production line and achieve mass production in 2024.