News: Apple Introduces CarPlay

by on March 3, 2014

Earlier today, Apple introduced CarPlay, a rebranded version of iOS in the Car, originally presented at WWDC last summer. The idea is that it would create an iOS-like interface for in-car entertainment systems and allow control of a connected iPhone.

I was throughly excited about the idea of CarPlay when first presented, as I firmly believe most iPhone-integrated car entertainment systems are junk. The interfaces are terrible, clunky, and often have resistive touch screens, rather than capacitive like iOS devices. Unfortunately, auto manufacturers move at a glacial pace with introducing technology, and few cars have Siri Eyes Free even after it was introduced over a year and a half ago. Maybe today’s announcement and partnerships will give CarPlay a shot in the arm and we’ll see it in cars sooner than later.

Besides that, I wonder if there will ever be an aftermarket version of CarPlay—I’d love this feature, but am certainly not ready to get rid of my car anytime soon. My other question is involving third-party app support—although the initial list is nice, I’d love to use my favorite podcast client or other media player.

Still, the news looks promising, as discussed in Apple’s press release:

Apple today announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri® without distraction. Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp. 

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

Apple has led consumer technology integration in the car for more than a decade. CarPlay brings your car and iPhone together for a thoughtful experience that lets drivers focus on driving, while also tapping into everything they want to do with their iPhone. 

Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps you easily access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.

CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display. 

CarPlay gives drivers access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio℠ with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls or simply by asking Siri to pull up what you’d like to hear. CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio, so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.

Pricing & Availability
Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. CarPlay will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.

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