Volkswagen Shows off iBeetle in Shanghai
April 22, 2013 9:29 PM
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iBeetle to hit dealer showrooms in early 2014
Volkswagen is set to show off a new version of its Beetle at the Shanghai Auto Show. The new version of the Beetle is dubbed the iBeetle. The vehicle is the first Volkswagen with the company's newly developed iPhone docking station that integrates iPhone functions into the vehicle. The integration of the iPhone and the car does require a Beetle app.
The iPhone docking station will be available as an optional feature. It's unclear if the option will only be available on the Beetle or if it will be available on other Volkswagen models as well. The iPhone docking system will be standard on the iBeetle and the iBeetle Cabriolet.
The iBeetle models will launch in the beginning of 2014. Volkswagen also plans to integrate functionality for the iPhone 4/4S in the existing Beetle and Beetle Cabriolet in the autumn of 2013. The interface will be located on the dashboard of the Beetle and the iPhone will snap into a cradle on the dash.
All iPhone functions will be supported in the Beetle and the user will be able to navigate, make calls, and listen to music from their media library using the car's audio system. The Beetle app will have a main menu with quick links to a number of functions including Spotify, Expert, Trainer, Reader, Postcard, Photo, Post, and Milestones functions.
The Spotify function as for streaming audio from the phone through the car. The Expert menu turns the iPhone into an extension of the instrument cluster for the beetle showing various automotive functions. Trainer can be used to compare driving times, distances, and fuel economy values between different routes between two destinations.
Reader will list of messages from social networks such as Facebook and the iPhone can read them aloud. Postcard will send the drivers current location to friends as a digital postcard with the map motif. The Photo section allows photos to be taken and uploaded using the iPhone to various social networks.
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4/23/2013 9:17:47 AM
Integrating a device with a 2 year expected life with a device with a 10 year expected life is a bit silly. Also, how many people who buy one of these cars have an iPhone (not an Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry or anything else).
It seems rather narrowly focused when they should be focusing more widely on smartphones as a whole. What they really need is a car-smartphone integration standard. Although I'm still not sure I'd use it anyway.
4/23/2013 11:28:02 PM
To me it seems like a match made in heaven. Two things that have tired designs that are philosophically tied to yesteryear's versions. And two things that are coveted by Starbucks baristas that think they are all indie and hip.
5/14/2013 11:06:39 AM
barista could afford a new Beetle, particularly a special-edition of one ;)
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