Apple launched its new iOS car integration at the Geneva Motor Show this week, allowing new car drivers to plug the latest generations of iOS devices into their cars with a brand new onscreen interface designed to work without requiring a lot of the driver’s visual attention.
Rather than running iOS in the car dashboard itself, Apple’s “iOS in the car” program, which has been rebranded as Apple CarPlay, is more of an interface for iPhone, which runs the apps and handles the connection to the internet. As such, one might imagine that CarPlay is just Apple’s regular car integration feature upgraded with a Lightning connector, but it’s more than that. Apple CarPlay features an entirely new interface that prioritizes the voice (via Siri) over touch controls; we have yet to see a screenshot that includes a keyboard, and it works with third-party apps.
Given the range of audio programming already available for Apple CarPlay even before most developers start integrating, the writing could be on the wall for FM radio, which has stubbornly clung on in the car as listeners have migrated to other platforms in the home and on their portable devices. In addition to the standard Music app on the iPhone, Apple CarPlay supports the following, all of which are for listening to music or audio: Beats Music, iHeartRadio, Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher, with more to come.
Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo showed off CarPlay models in Geneva, with Nissan, Peugeot, Jaguar Land Rover, BMW, and General Motors to follow. Use of CarPlay will require an iOS 7 upgrade, after which the iPhone will be able to integrate with the CarPlay-compatible screen and controls.
Image gallery courtesy of Apple: