Apple CarPlay: iOS-Powered In-Car Infotainment System Announced

Apple has announced its new in-car infotainment system called CarPlay that will be officially presented at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

In a super-exciting pre-Geneva Motor Show reveal, Apple has finally announced its hugely anticipated iOS-powered infotainment system for automobiles. Called CarPlay, the interface will integrate all the iPhone functions into an automobile dashboard for smarter and safer in-car infotainment experience.

CarPlay will be available as an update to iOS 7 and is only compatible with the iPhone 5, 5C, 5S or higher. The car itself, won’t be running iOS; instead they’ll be receiving a signal from the handsets when they are connected to the car via Lightning cable. Drivers will be able to use CarPlay either with fingers on the touch screen or by speaking out aloud to SIRI.

We take a look at the some of the initial features and functionality that the Apple CarPlay will bring to your cars:

1. CarPlay features SIRI voice control and it is specially designed for driving scenarios. It also works with you car’s controls – knobs, buttons or touchscreen. And the apps that you want to use in the car have been reimagined, so you can use them, while your eyes and hands stay where they belong.

2. As expected, Apple Maps will also feature in CarPlay – complete with turn-by-turn directions, traffic conditions and estimated travel time. CarPlay can also predict where you most likely want to go using addresses from your email, text messages, contacts and calendars.

3. With the CarPlay app, you can also make voice calls, return missed calls and listen to voicemail. SIRI can help you do all these things.

4. When it comes to messages, SIRI will also be able to read, write and reply to your text messages.

5. The interface will be able to access the entire music playlists, which is in your iPhone device and will be able to play it through the car’s music system. To enable the feature, you can either use your car’s in-built system or just ask SIRI. CarPlay will also be able to support additional audio apps that you’ve downloaded to your iPhone for enjoying podcasts, music and radio.

CarPlay will be available in ‘select cars’ shipping in 2014, according to Apple. Ferrari, Mercedes Benz and Volvo will showcase their CarPlay compatible gadgetry at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, while Jaguar, Hyundai and Honda will show their wares later this year. Other carmakers who have signed up for the Apple CarPlay technology are BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Kia, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

Ever since the debut of the iPod, the device’s compatibility became am imperative feature for most cars out there. If that trend is anything to go by, the CarPlay interface from Apple is bound to take automobile infotainment system to a whole new level.

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