‘In-car connectivity’ buzz has taken the passenger car segment in India by storm these days. Every premium, as well as mass segment car maker, is coming up with their own versions of internet-based connectivity solution inside the car cabin. ‘Blue Sense’ (Mahindra), ‘SYNC’ (Ford), ‘Blue Link’ (Hyundai), ‘ConnectNext’ (Tata Motors), etc., are some of the prominent names in the list of in-vehicle infotainment systems. However, these privileged units feature only in the mid or high-end variants of a particular model, with lower trims being devoid of the same.
To plug-in this gap, Maruti Suzuki has introduced ‘Smartplay Studio Dock App’ that enhances the infotainment aspect in its entry-level car variants. Here, the Maruti car owner can use their smartphone as a touchscreen infotainment unit. Presented in the most intuitive way possible, the latest app is aimed towards car owners with base variants of Maruti Suzuki Swift, Dzire, Wagon R or even Alto. Here’s what Maruti Suzuki’s latest tech offing Smartplay Studio Dock App brings to the table.
Look and feel
The home screen of the app mimics the original SmartPlay Studio infotainment system seen on the top of the line Maruti Suzuki cars. The premium appearing SmartPlay Dock app is provided with soothing to eye broad tabs that clearly read for Music, Contacts, Navigation and Assist.
Steps to download and pair
The newly launched Smartplay Dock is a mobile application, which is a quick, convenient and secure way to get into smartphone functionality that transforms your phone into the infotainment unit of your vehicle. Available for download on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, Smartplay Dock app can be paired via Bluetooth or AUX cable in any Maruti car. After downloading the app the user enters the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and Registration Number to complete the registration process.
Features and utilities
Under the music tab, users can play music through the USB port, FM / AM and even from any third party app like Gaana, Wynk, Spotify etc., installed on their phone. Moreover, the assist tab allows the user to get information on car performance like instant fuel economy, average fuel economy, engine rpm, last few trips, fuel mileage and others. Some more features include voice recognition, SMS and Whatsapp readouts, sending of template replies etc.
A power-packed combination
Apart from basic features i.e. music, telephony and navigation, the app also acts as a MID (multi-information display) unit and showcases info about fuel efficiency, door-ajar alert, seatbelt reminder, low-fuel warning, handbrake on the reminder, and other alerts on the move.
Keeping in mind price sensitivity, the Smartplay Studio Dock App, which ensures easy access to touchscreen entertainment interface on lower Maruti trims, is a bang-on digital feature for cost-conscious buyers. It can prove fruitful for a car that is driven by more than one driver (at home or business) as it provides liberty to the driver to choose between touch or non-touch based units. Ones spare or unoccupied smartphone, iPad or tab can be used in order to avail infotainment inside the car.
How to set up the Smartplay dock in the car?
The Smartplay dock kit can be purchased from any Maruti Genuine Accessories (MGA) store. The kit consists of 4 main components – smartphone dock, shaft, nut and cap opener. You can start the assembly by first removing the cap placed above the MID unit with the help of cap opener and fix it at the backside of the smartphone dock. Secondly, fix the nut behind the dock and then place the shaft inside the nut. Now mount the dock into the music system, your smartphone dock is now ready to use. To remove, push and turn anti-clockwise.
The minimum OS requirements to access Smartplay Dock App successfully are android 5.0 (for android smartphone/tablet) and iOS 9.0 (for Apple phone / iPad). To check the compatibility of your smartphone/tablet with Maruti Suzuki Smartplay infotainment system you can log on to the company website and authenticate the same by selecting your vehicle model and device.
Usually, due to the addition of costs, this premium digital feature of touchscreen infotainment is not offered in entry-level trims. However, it can now be enjoyed in all Maruti cars irrespective of variants. Instead of cost enduring aftermarket fitment Maruti car owner can simply use ‘Smartplay Studio Dock App’, which can be tagged as a substitute to Maruti Suzuki’s Smartplay Studio 2.0. The updated version of the original Smartplay is currently offered in the 2019 version of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Maruti Suzuki Wagon R.