Apple on Monday introduced CarPlay, a new way to use iPhone in cars that allows to integrate services provided by the iOS platform into the vehicles’ infotainment systems. Multiple leading makers of vehicles already announced plans to adopt CarPlay. Apple is the first designer of smartphone platforms that has created an official way to integrate its iOS into cars.
CarPlay gives iPhone users a native way to make calls, use Apple 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.
Once iPhone is attached to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps to access 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 also 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. Apple Maps will appear on car’s built-in displays.
Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their customers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their clients 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.
Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with iPhones featuring Lightning connectors, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. CarPlay will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.
KitGuru Says: The idea to integrate iOS into cars is clearly a logical one. At present it provides very basic functionality, but going forward it will probably grow and expand. Perhaps, at some point app developers will be able to create programs tailored specifically for drivers.