Print 39 comment(s) - last by waxhawg.. on Mar 19 at 12:04 PM

Apple brings iOS to your dashboard

As has been widely rumored for the past few months, Apple today announced its CarPlay initiative that aims to bring iPhone functionality and capabilities to your automobile. Although Apple doesn’t make it directly clear, CarPlay is NOT meant as an all-or-nothing replacement operating system for what comes pre-installed on your automobile; it’s simply an easy-to-use interface that allows you get to get the most out of your iOS device.

CarPlay allows you to access your music, email messages, texts, calendar and contacts information all while using Siri voice commands (a dedicated Siri steering wheel button is required for CarPlay certification). And naturally, you can take full advantage of your smartphone’s built-in GPS to use for navigation duty. In addition, a few third-party apps are along for the ride as well including Beats Radio, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Stitcher.

CarPlay takes over your car’s touchscreen display and give you an interface —including a virtual Home button — that is instantly familiar to iOS users. But Apple also says you’re not limited to just using the touch screen controls and voice commands — you can also use your car’s existing physical controls to navigate the CarPlay interface.

In order for users to be able to interface with CarPlay, they will need a Lightning cable and an iPhone 5 or newer smartphone from Apple. And of course, you’ll need a compatible vehicle. Manufacturers that are currently onboard for 2014 include Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.
Support in the future will come from BMW/Mini, General Motors, Ford, Kia, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota.

Updated 3/3/2014 @ 3:28pm EST
Volvo has just posted a video that shows how CarPlay works in the real world:

Sources: Apple [1], [2]

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Guaranteed no buy
By cknobman on 3/3/2014 9:37:14 AM , Rating: 4
Dont care what the vehicle is I would not buy it with a system built for an iPhone.

Made that mistake once and never will do it again.

My FR-S has a BeSpoke built specifically for an iPhone and I dont use half of what it is made for because I am on android.

Car manufacturers: Apple is no longer the majority in the smartphone segment, the boat has sailed, do not make the mistake of purposely fitting your cars with Apple only equipment!!!

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By Rukkian on 3/3/2014 9:42:12 AM , Rating: 4
I dont get this either. Why tie yourself to only work with one os. While apple has a certain reputation as being easy, it is silly to put proprietary system that only works with 30% of phones. That instantly alienates 70% of potential buyers. I can see offering ios, or android as an option (maybe even MS or BB if market share increases), but locking down to just one is silly.

I would not even be for putting in something that only works with Android. Make it open to others as well.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By artemicion on 3/3/2014 10:53:00 AM , Rating: 2
I got the impression that CarPlay was an app that Apple built that works on top of the existing OS in those specific cars. I don't see any reason why Google or Microsoft can't do the same thing with Android or Windows Phone.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By Samus on 3/3/2014 7:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
Garmin if you're lucky. Most of the crap out there is TomTom.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By chripuck on 3/3/2014 11:07:27 AM , Rating: 4
Because then'd you'd get 17 different car manufacturers with 17 different methods of integrating a smart phone into the car.

Plus, 45% of smartphones in the US are Apple, they still hold the majority. Worldwide numbers are far different, but you can't really split out high end vs. low end Androids in comparison. Let's face it, the places where the low end Androids are being sold people aren't buying cars with integrated infotainment systems built in.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By Gungel on 3/4/2014 7:50:09 AM , Rating: 2
infotainment system come in all new cars, even once that sell for under $20k. I.e. look at the Dodge Dart

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By chripuck on 3/4/2014 10:47:05 AM , Rating: 3
the Dodge Dart isn't being bought in India and China, which is where a large % of the worldwide Android sales are going. By their standards a $20k is luxurious. For reference, the Tata Nano is made and sold in India for 100,000 ruppees, which is $2k in USD. These are the same people that are buying cheap Android/Windows phones due to budgetary restraints.

Please note, I'm not bashing Android, just stating the facts of the demographics.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By rabit on 3/3/2014 9:56:26 PM , Rating: 2
I agree
But from what I found out the IOS is running on top of QNX is so then that means it can probably run other stuff,
They contacted QNX to see if it was true

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By daboom06 on 3/3/2014 9:45:50 AM , Rating: 1
not gunna lie... it's seems pretty close-minded to write off all new technology because of how old technology worked.

so you could only use half of the capabilities back then. who's to say that this new technology suite wont be 90% platform independent?

picking a single platform for development saves people a lot of time and money.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By cknobman on 3/3/2014 1:58:53 PM , Rating: 4
I am going to go off history here and bet that if Apple is making the technology it is proprietary to their equipment.

Where in this article did you get any hint that it would work with something besides an apple product?

By chance if you are correct and the Apple system works with more than just Apple products then I would be willing to consider a purchase after careful evaluation.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By chripuck on 3/4/2014 10:49:01 AM , Rating: 2
Where did he state that it would work with other platforms? It requires a lightning connector, of course it only works with iOS.

His point was it ends up being far more fruitful to pick a single provider to finetune the experience then trying to roll your own mishmash software to work with multiple OS's.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By cknobman on 3/4/2014 10:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
so you could only use half of the capabilities back then. who's to say that this new technology suite wont be 90% platform independent?

That is where he said it.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By blue_urban_sky on 3/3/2014 9:46:05 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed, please please please build an open standard.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By blwest on 3/3/2014 10:53:38 AM , Rating: 4
The problem with android is that it's impossible to provide a consistent experience. Most android phone owners can't upgrade to the latest version even months after it's released.

It's one of the main reasons a lot of mainstream software makers don't deliver software for Linux. For example, I use YNAB, they quit supporting Linux because they're not in the business to troubleshoot your desktop to make their app work. Car companies, like software companies are in the business to make money, not fix your phone or desktop. Then, as the customer, you're angry when they finally give up and say your device isn't compatible.

This isn't so with iOS. Love it or leave it, it's a consistent experience and maintainable. Android is not.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2014 11:16:51 AM , Rating: 1
Sounds like hyperbole. Can you give an example how this effects real world usage?

Google Apps get updates no matter what OS version you're on anyway. Making your point irrelevant to this discussion.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By kingmotley on 3/3/2014 1:35:53 PM , Rating: 2
Real world example. Samsung's Androids as sold out of the box, do not work with the 2014 GM cars without an update, and did not work for months because the update wasn't available from Samsung. For example, you couldn't sync your contacts, when people called your phone in your car, only the number would appear, but not the name or users picture.

One such example of many.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: Guaranteed no buy
By artemicion on 3/3/2014 7:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Other examples:
- Each Android release tweaks the UI and settings menu a little bit. My friend's older phone is running Android 3.? and his settings menu looks significantly different compared to mine on 4.?
- Each manufacturer/carrier throws their own skin, which looks and acts different from phone to phone.

I personally don't think it's a huge deal, but I'm pretty tech-saavy and can figure stuff out. But inconsistency in look and feel between Android devices is a thing that is a roadblock for more casual users. There's pros and cons for Google's approach vs. Android's approach (generally, consistency & user friendliness vs. customizability and "open"-ness). But you can't deny that the segmentation among Android devices exists.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By Reclaimer77 on 3/4/2014 2:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
An OS that has captured nearly 80% of an gigantic entire market, has "roadblocks" for the casual user??

Huh?? How does that even make sense?

- Each manufacturer/carrier throws their own skin, which looks and acts different from phone to phone.

I thought we were talking about infotainment systems. How is something as trivial as a UI skin going to make an impact as large as you're claiming?

I think you're trying to turn little things into a big deal.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By amanojaku on 3/3/2014 11:29:29 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with android is that it's impossible to provide a consistent experience.
What does this mean? APIs are backwards compatible, and apps run full-screen, independent of whatever UI is in place. There are thousands of apps that run across dozens (maybe hundreds?) of Android phones without a problem.
It's one of the main reasons a lot of mainstream software makers don't deliver software for Linux.
Linux isn't supported for two reasons: tiny usage share as a desktop, and no single high-level run-time supported across all platforms (very few programmers are skilled enough write a GUI in pure C++). That's worse than Android fragmentation.
For example, I use YNAB, they quit supporting Linux because they're not in the business to troubleshoot your desktop to make their app work.
Actually, it has to do with the run-time issue. YNAB was never actually developed for Linux; it was developed on top of Adobe AIR. People just discovered that it worked on Linux machines with Adobe AIR installed, and YNAB started advertising Linux compatibility without actually testing it. When Adobe killed AIR for Linux, YNAB killed YNAB for Linux shortly thereafter. It wasn't troubleshooting YNAB issues; it was troubleshooting Adobe AIR installation issues.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2014 12:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
Agree. This is stupid for SO many reasons.

This is taking infotainment in an even worst direction. Car systems should work with every phone, proprietary solutions are a horrible idea.

This is lame attempt to lock in automakers before they join Googles open automotive alliance, most likely.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By zlandar on 3/3/2014 5:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
Then come up with an OS-agnostic solution and be rich.

If Google or any other company for that matter can offer a better solution then I'll buy it instead.

Anything is better than the fragmented half-backed in-dash touchscreens currently being offered by car makers.

RE: Guaranteed no buy
By waxhawg on 3/19/2014 12:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
Apple was simply first to market with their product. You're not wed to using an iPhone with the car. You can use the car's infotainment system in its out-of-the-box, app-less state and probably have an acceptable experience. But, for iPhone/iPad users, it will be a great option in order to get a user experience that is closely matched to the experience they're already accustomed to with their phones and tablets.

I'll buy when I need a new car
By zlandar on 3/3/2014 10:44:22 AM , Rating: 5
I have been looking for a in-dash touchscreen system that integrates with your smartphone nav system. The major failure of non-smartphone GPS systems is the lack of decent traffic information.

The traffic systems offered by Garmin and other GPS makers is a joke. They only work on major highways and the information is often delayed or flat-out wrong.

Using your smartphone for navigation can be problematic with the smaller screen and/or if you use it for phone/podcasts on top of navigation. This would solve the problem and I wouldn't be paying extra for a built-in navigation system I don't want anyway.

RE: I'll buy when I need a new car
By Reclaimer77 on 3/3/2014 11:04:58 AM , Rating: 4
Text raffic systems offered by Garmin and other GPS makers is a joke. They only work on major highways and the information is often delayed or flat-out wrong

I'll take it over Apple maps. Garmin never tried to drive me off a bridge.

RE: I'll buy when I need a new car
By chripuck on 3/3/14, Rating: 0
By weskurtz0081 on 3/3/2014 3:06:02 PM , Rating: 2
Considering this article is about Apple and their infotainment system, and the picture shows Apple's navigation system, he seems to have a point.

RE: I'll buy when I need a new car
By hpglow on 3/3/2014 5:00:07 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe if your Garmen had read some of your posts on here it would have a change of heart.

RE: I'll buy when I need a new car
By waxhawg on 3/19/2014 11:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
You're so silly.

Toyota Entune
By ctodd on 3/3/2014 7:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
I just got the new 2014 Toyota Entune and I have to admit that I really, really like it. The NAV kind of sucks, but I didn't buy it for that and I'm more inclined to use my phone anyway. I don't know if I would want the iOS after playing with my Entune, except maybe the maps but other than that, probably not. I just don't see the practicality of running iOS apps other than Pandora or some other music app, but most systems already support that including Entune.

The only thing that would be really cool is if you got all of your updates through Apple and they allowed you to update your software for a few years.

RE: Toyota Entune
By Gungel on 3/4/2014 7:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
Entune like many other infotainment systems is running on Blackberry's QNX OS.

RE: Toyota Entune
By ctodd on 3/4/2014 12:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the information; I didn't know that.

It is very responsive and extremely intuitive to use. The map interface isn't stream-lined like Apple or Google's. It gave me very bad directions the first time I used it so I'm pretty certain I will never use it again!

I had UConnect before this and it was pathetic! I can't say one good thing about it!!

RE: Toyota Entune
By Wizec on 3/4/2014 4:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
CarPlay also runs on BlackBerry QNX

By Arsynic on 3/4/2014 10:32:30 AM , Rating: 4
...Volvo goes with a proprietary interface. How stupid is this? I'm not sure who is going to buy a Volvo for this anyways.

Senior citizens tend to prefer Buicks.

By Griffinhart on 3/3/2014 4:27:22 PM , Rating: 3
If it's not platform agnostic, I am not interested in it. Especially if it is required for core abilities like Navigation. Tying what is essentially a throw away piece if technology (phone) to a purchase that will out last any phone by years if not decades is a bad idea.

Any infotainment center installed in car that would require a specific phone OS(any) would be a big negative on any car search I would be making.

IMHO, infotainment systems should just be the basics. GPS, Climate, Radio/music, and phone. Apps should stay clear of the system they are just a distraction to the driver. Any significant phone connectivity should be from API's in the car to the phone and not the other way around. they only really need to be able to receive updates required for the basic functions/tasks.

An alternative
By PhatRS on 3/3/2014 2:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
I really like the sound of this feature, but until it becomes more widely available I'll continue using "Harken For iPhone" in the car. It's much easier to use than Apple's music player (bigger text, large buttons/touch areas). There's also "Harken" on the iPad but I need a new cradle for my iPad so I can't use it at the moment.

BT > Lightening
By BillyBatson on 3/3/2014 6:24:03 PM , Rating: 2
You need to connect a lightening cable?... so no BT support for connectivity? I don't want to plug in my phone every single time I enter my vehicle! If they are going to require a physical connection they better build a dock into the dash or a slot a lot like you would push a cassette tape into but for your phone and even then it would require the removal of any sort of phone case. If it can't function wirelessly with my phone I am not interested.

By Wizec on 3/4/2014 4:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
The secret to Apple's new CarPlay? BlackBerry

Nice integration
By waxhawg on 3/19/2014 11:52:54 AM , Rating: 2
Calm down, haters. You can use the car's native infotainment OS, or iOS via CarPlay if you're so inclined. So, you have more options not less.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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