October 23, 2020

Hands-free telephony and online media

Skoda has clever solutions for telephoning, multimedia entertainment and the latest news, as well as technology checks by voice.

Simply Clever – many associate the slogan with the practical things that Skoda gives its cars on the way. The screen in the door, the ice scraper in the fuel filler flap, the small trash cans in the interior, you know that and quickly learn to appreciate it.

But even when modern electronics come into play, the cars from the Czech Republic are astonishing with some solutions that are simply clever and raise the question of why not all car manufacturers solve this.

Phone for you

It is already widespread that the mobile phone is charged inductively, i.e. wirelessly, in a storage area in the center console. And the pairing via Bluetooth including operability on the multifunction steering wheel or by voice input is standard anyway. But the fact that two phones can be paired is by no means a matter of course and proves to be extremely practical. During the photo drives, during which we gain experience with Skoda Connect, the distribution of roles is still classic: the editor drives and telephones via Bluetooth, the photographer sits next to them and uses conventional telephone calls.

But it becomes clear to us that this function is a blessing for people who carry a private and a business phone with them. “You are guaranteed to have paired your private cell phone when a call arrives on the service telephone – and vice versa,” we agree. Phoning with a smartphone on the ear is often the result – be it forbidden or not. Skoda Connect, on the other hand, accepts calls on both lines. And before dialing, you can decide with a command which phone you want to use.

WhatsApp dictation? Gladly

It is also customer-friendly that Skoda Connect communicates with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Simply connect the mobile phone via USB cable and apps like Spotify or Audible appear on the monitor and can be used.

In addition, you can dictate SMS or WhatsApp messages, which worked really well in the test with an iPhone. And of course the Siri voice control system was embarrassed by no answer. “Hey Siri, what is an orangutan?” I ask on a longer highway leg. And Siri answers without thinking, reads a Wikipedia entry and points out this entry for a deeper insight. On the way to the vacation, you can play fun games with children, as long as they don’t use the Wi-Fi hotspot in the back to surf on their tablet or smartphone, stream movies or play online games.

These functions of the Infotainment Online, which also includes Gracenote, i.e. the complete information about the music tracks you have just heard, including the artist, album name and cover, run in the Business Columbus equipment package at LTE speed using your own SIM card. It is located between two SD card slots in the glove compartment, which in turn hold memory cards so that you can listen to your own music files on CD or transfer image files to the monitor.