It looks like more features like Spotify are soon to be coming to the GKUI infotainment system found in new Protons, according to software developer and technical partner ACO Tech, ranging from quality-of-life conveniences to new native applications.
In a recent online Q&A session over social media, the Shah Alam-based company, known in the Malaysian automotive circle for the localisation, adaptation, and updating of the Geely-developed GKUI infotainment user interface, revealed some interesting new additions coming to GKUI via over-the-air software updates.
Apart from addressing the rollout of bug fixes and other minor tweaks, they also spoke about the timeline of support for online entertainment and navigation services. You can pretty much rule out any native Google Maps or Waze apps coming to Protons as that would require direct intervention from Google itself, though ACO Tech is looking into expanding the selection of GKUI’s entertainment services alongside the already available JOOX Music
Specifically, the company teased “one of the new updates starts with ’S’…”, leading many to believe that a Spotify app is in the works. The popular Swedish music streaming service has seen a pretty steep uptake among Malaysians since it officially entered the scene in 2013, so there’s a very high chance that most Proton drivers are avid users.
There’s no indication of when the app or its enclosing GKUI update will be rolling out, but given that ACO Tech did mention MCO-related delays multiple times during the session, it probably won’t be as soon as we hope. Still, will it be better than just playing Spotify through your phone via Bluetooth? Probably not.
Regardless, since the app will run using onboard hardware, it will be interesting to see how Proton adjusts its data package to accommodate high-quality music streaming, if at all, since there isn’t enough local storage for it to function as an offline jukebox. You will most likely also need a Spotify Premium account to use the service via the in-car app.
Also during the Q&A session, ACO Tech addressed the possibility of including support for smartphone interfacing software such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unfortunately, their answer was pretty vague and non-committal.
Seems that their opinion is that you won’t even need/want such things since GKUI serves the same purpose. This is a strange stance given that most automakers, even those with much more advanced infotainment systems, tend to offer CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and are coexisting pretty well.