2020 Subaru Outback
Denis Flierl's picture

A New Subaru Software Update Will Help Apple Users But Android Auto Is Left Out For Now

Subaru updated its Starlink Apple CarPlay software for the 2020 Subaru Outback but what about Android users?

If you are frustrated with Subaru’s Starlink there is good news. Starlink gets a needed software update that will affect the 2020 Subaru Outback and Legacy models. One of the main complaints with the new wagon after it received a remodel was the car’s smartphone pairing using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The newly released update should help Apple users run CarPlay in portrait mode.

According to a post on Reddit, an employee of Subaru says the automaker released the software update on June 24. Although the bulletin does not say it will work with Android Auto, the post says the update will be coming soon. Unfortunately, this update will only affect 2020 cars and not older models.

2020 Subaru Outback

Dominick Infante, Subaru of America Director, Corporate Communications, told Cars.com the update is currently available only via USB through Subaru retailers, but the automaker is aiming for an over-the-air update by the end of July.

The report says Apple users will also benefit from improved Siri response time, turn by turn directions, improvements to the backup camera, shortened satellite radio startup times, improved equalizer settings, and changes to the auto stop-start setting in the shortcut menu.

2020 Subaru Outback

The automaker says Android users should see improved responsiveness with this new software update. But it’s unlikely Android Auto will run in portrait mode yet.

Subaru has had multiple issues with Starlink and just settled a $6.25 million lawsuit affecting 2018 Subaru Forester, 2018 Subaru Outback, 2018 Crosstrek, 2018 Legacy, 2017-2018 Impreza, and 2018 BRZ. A New Jersey Judge signed the order earlier this month that will benefit 785,000 Subaru owners and lessees.

The good news is that the portrait mode is coming to 2020 Subaru Outback and Legacy models, first on Apple CarPlay and possibly Android Auto will be updated soon. The bad news is, the update does not affect older Subaru models. Look for a future Torque News report on upcoming Android Auto software updates.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Starlink Lawsuit - New $6.25 Million Agreement Benefits 785,000 Owners

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press and the founder of Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Have they fixed the condensation issues that stops your connection in the ac/heater is running full blast? Every hot day or every cold day when I start the car, about 15 min later the stereo freezes out on me I can't do anything, not even change the volume. It's worse on a road trip. Super unsafe.
No idea, I have not seen this issue on any of the forums either. Worth getting upgrade to new firmware though to see if it helps in your case.
Why do the pictures in the article show something other than a 2020 Outback? Why not actually *show* the new functionality in the article? Portrait CarPlay is great on this display, and they fixed most of the other annoyances like constantly losing your EQ settings. This is the software the unit should have come with since day 1.
What was the starlink settlement abt? I am currently looking at one 2 buy now. Thx
I still lose all my pre sets can't up load repair thru wi fi. & Subaru dealer says not set up to help down load. 2019 crostrek
I think Google would need to enable portrait mode in Android Auto first before a car can take advantage of it.
It took my dealer a week working with Subaru to get Starlink to connect on my 2020 Legacy. You would think that after costing them millions in settlements they would get this system right.
What is portrait mode for Apple Car play n 2020 Outback Touring model? Will Waze appear larger on the display now. I can barely see the map on the display when in Waze or Maps mode. Here's hoping.
Yes, portrait mode lets the CarPlay display run in portrait mode! Waze, and all other applications, are much bigger now. It doesn't use the entire screen but most of it. If you use iOS 14 beta, you also get the icon bar moved to the bottom of the screen and they are bigger as well. Definitely get the firmware upgrade to version 504. You can do it yourself too by going to gen5firmware.com for instructions. That's how I did mine vs waiting for dealer to do it (or brick it in many cases).
I was due for an oil change on my 2020 Outback so I scheduled it for that and the radio update. I had the work done today and the update makes a huge difference when using Apple Maps with apple CarPlay. Navigation now fills more than 2/3rds of the screen. It’s huge! It’s not a static image anymore and it pans and zooms in and out as you drive. It’s truly a premium product now. The start/stop function is now on the shortcut screen so it saves you from navigating through one less screen. The back-up camera now seems to be a higher resolution. Those are the main differences that I’ve noticed.
Any word if the Over The Air Update is available?
I contacted tow local dealers and neither know anything about the update and neither seemed to want to know!