It’s been close to a year since Apple announced that “iOS in the Car,” now known as CarPlay, was in the works. According to Financial Times, the company is launching the technology with Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Ferrari joining the project as its first partners. Apple is expected to begin including the car-integrated interface on these brands’ cars this year, and a number of other manufacturers are expected to offer the service in the near future.

iOS in the Car

CarPlay will display a special iOS interface on the in-dash screen of a user’s car. The screen will then function as a proxy iPhone, allowing passengers to make calls, control music, watch movies, and open certain apps, such as Apple Maps. Though there have been attempts at implementing this technology in the past, this iteration will come with full Siri integration, allowing for full voice control when using most of its features.

These features go further than their normal capabilities on the iPhone or iPad. To keep phones out of the hands of drivers, Siri will read incoming texts and emails to the driver, who can then dictate a response. As for Apple Maps, according to PCMag, CarPlay will search through texts, emails, messages, recent routes, and schedules to automatically determine where the driver is looking to go, eliminating the need to input a destination.

However, as Engadget points out, it is important to remember that this is not a special in-car operating system that Apple is developing: it is just a proxy platform that requires an iPhone or iPad present in the car to function.

Recent News

The first indicator that the program was being prepared for launch came in the iOS 7.1 beta notes, which mentioned the addition of a CarPlay toggle option for the settings menu, though there was no apparent use for it at the time. Some speculated that this addition implied an imminent, even possible surprise release of the technology, given the somewhat gimmicky nature of the hint.

That was back in December, and the latest news says that an official announcement will be made at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Financial Times reports that the deal between Apple and the three car companies “marks the first time that Apple is embedding software in devices other than its own branded products.”

According to MacRumors, Apple reported during its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last year that it would be working on the project with many more partners in addition to Ferrari, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz, including Honda, Hyundai, and Nissan. That Apple is getting so much support for the project is proof that it will have a very large presence once it is released. Like so many other products and services Apple has created, iOS in the car may very well become a normal part of life.

Do you think CarPlay will be as successful as recent news reports predict?

Image courtesy of Flickr




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