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What is MirrorLink?

MirrorLink allows you to control your phone using your car's infotainment screen – here's what you need to know about how it works, and which cars it's available with

Words ByDarren Moss

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Using a hand-held phone while driving is illegal, and punishable with a Β£200 fine and six points on your licence. Little wonder, then, that apps which allow you to use your phone's functions through your car's infotainment system are rising in popularity.

MirrorLink began as a research trial, with the aim of allowing Nokia mobile phone users to recreate their phone's functions while driving a car, but the project quickly evolved and is now lead by the CCC (Car Connectivity Consortium) – a group of car and phone makers whose members include CitroΓ«n, Fiat, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Skoda and Volkswagen.

As well as replicating many of the functions of a regular smartphone – such as the ability to make and receive calls and play music - there are many MirrorLink apps which unlock other features, such as sat-nav. Apps available with MirrorLink include Spotify audio streaming and Stitcher internet radio, as well as the BringGo navigation service.

Among the many cars available with MirrorLink are several What Car? Car of the Year Award winners:

MirrorLink works with phones using either the Symbian or Android operating systems, and thus there are lots of phones which are compatible – phones made by HTC, LG, Samsung and Sony can all be used with the service.

It's worth noting that MirrorLink does not currently work with Apple iPhones.

Yes, manufacturers including Pioneer and Sony sell head units with screens for older cars. The cheapest units online cost around Β£90, but you may need an expert to help install them in your car.

The process may vary slightly depending on your phone's manufacturer, but in most cases you connect your phone to your car using a USB cable. Then, from your phone's settings screen, enbable the MirrorLink connection. You should then see a simplified version of your phone's screen on your car's screen.

Are there any alternatives?

Yes, there are two main alternatives to MirrorLink – Apple CarPlay for iOS devices, and Android Auto for Android phones.

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