CarPlay is an in-car infotainment system that will allow you to connect your iOS device to your car. CarPlay will allow iPhone users to make phone calls, access text messages, listen to music, and access the Maps app in their cars using Siri, touch controls, and of course, the standard knobs and dials that would usually come with a car’s entertainment system.
Not to worry app lovers, Spotify, Beats Radio, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio will be supported in the release. Search engine-enabled apps would also be a natural progression of CarPlay with a Siri interface as well, but nothing official has been announced. If you are questioning if other third-party apps will be supported; at this time there has been no word.
Given the feud between Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, a Google CarPlay App seems highly unlikely. A Bing CarPlay app seems even more unlikely because Microsoft has already entered into the Automotive Operating System market with its Ford Sync system. Despite these hurdles, Siri-enabled internet search feature would be logical.
Like many Apple users, I have a full-blown iOS addiction. A CarPlay-equipped automobile will soon add to the long and ever-growing list of Apple products I have owned.
However, the real question is what is the benefit of owning such a vehicle? The one thing I love about Apple is the seamless synchronization between devices. No matter where you are or what you are doing, your devices will always talk to, and work, together. To make life easier, Apple wants you to jump into your car and do nothing other than turn your Bluetooth on and carry that connectivity with you.
The CarPlay concept is not completely new. Not too long ago, Apple talked about launching a similar product called “iOS in the Car.” The idea never officially launched, as it was never talked about or unveiled at last year’s WWDC and sported a “Coming Soon” message on the company site.
Apple partnered with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo for the launch. After the technology launches, additional OEMs will embrace the technology including: BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota Motor Corp.
The system will become available as an update to iOS 7 (Apple’s newest iOS operating system) on all Lightning enabled phones. To make that simpler, if you have an iPhone 5, 5S or 5C, you will be good to go.
CarPlay will be shown at the Geneva Motor Show until March 16. The first cars sporting this new technology will hit the road late this year.