Apple confirms plans for CarPlay; offers new in-car interface for iPhone owners

There have been rumors for nearly a year that Apple planned to offer car owners a way to integrate iOS features like Siri and Maps inside a vehicle's dashboard. Today, Apple confirmed those plans as it introduced CarPlay, which will be offered in a select number of vehicles later this year.

Apple's press release says that CarPlay is designed to work with the iPhone. Once the handset is connected to a car with CarPlay, it uses the iPhone's Maps feature to provide GPS information such as route info, traffic conditions and more. It will even try to anticipate where users might which to go based on the iPhone's recent emails, contacts and texts.

Naturally, CarPlay also uses the iPhone's Siri voice feature. Apple states:

When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.

CarPlay also allows users to access their iTunes music collection, along with any podcasts, audiobooks and even third party streaming services like Spotify and iHeartRadio. Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will start rolling out CarPlay integration in some of their vehicle models later this year. Other car manufactures that will support CarPlay in the future include Ford, General Motors, Honda, BMW, Toyota, and more. CarPlay will only work with iPhone 5 models and higher due to its use of the Lightning connection.

Source: Apple | Image via Apple

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32 Comments

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Why can't car manufacturers just be open to all of the mobiles in the world, and not limit their customers to something they may not like?

It's like my car. I have to use AUX because it only has an iphone dock. I don't want that crap.

Apple maps? that's scary! i learned firsthand 2 weeks ago that it's still broken, it got me so lost i had to get my phone out with google maps to find my way back to the highway. and this was Orlando, FL, not some desolate place...

I know the feeling. I used it a few weeks ago to find real estate properties and it was just horrible. The problem is that Maps is too picky in the way you type in the address.... like for example if you omit the zip code or city, it finds the first similar named location and sets it as the destination (even if it's in another country). In Google Maps you can just type in the first part of the address and using your location it knows where to find it. It's sad they decided to go on their own if their software sucks that bad.

I dunno. I've never used Apple Maps personally, but I have gotten lost (because I wasn't driving lol) due to incorrect information shown via Google Maps.

Was a bit embarrassing because most of the people in the car, including myself, had laughed at the guy trying to use Apple Maps. Apple Maps actually got us to our destination that evening...

All I've gathered is that I like mapping out my destination ahead of time, using GPS only for support. I don't like the idea of being lost.

Car companies need to make these modular. Allow to be swapped fora WP, Google, or Apple device. I will not buy a car with one of these in it unless I have options.

techbeck said,
Car companies need to make these modular. Allow to be swapped fora WP, Google, or Apple device. I will not buy a car with one of these in it unless I have options.

For the most part, right now, they do. That's why you see so many cars with smartphone companion apps on both iOS and Android. Those act as the middle man between the car and whatever app-ish experience was thrown together.

It's usually a morbidly depressing user experience (oh, Entune, you're just...so...the worst thing about owning a Toyota), but that's a combination of (1) car companies aren't software companies and (2) everyone panics over driver distraction guidelines.

Too bad you can't trust their mapping system to take you to where you really want to go. Been lead down the wrong roads too many times for me to trust Apple maps. Google , Bing and Here(Nokia) are more accurate. I like the Apple maps integration when it does lead me to the correct location. Sync is not a bad infotainment but definitely can use some updating. I have always wanted to see a phone once synced to a car use it's OS to drive the infotainment hub and it's navigation.

Haha, seriously, way to sell phones.. this #### is soo apple like, lets make users to buy our #### because our #### isnt working with anything else than our ####. "CarPlay will only work with iPhone 5 models and higher due to its use of the Lightning connection."

Get over it dude I don't mind Lighting cable is much better then either 30 pin or micro usb. I have used both and there is no question the 30 pin and the usb mirco cable are harder to plugin without looking.

you're missing my point here dear sir.. the point is, you can use it ONLY with apple, you cant use it with other devices and this is the thing that makes it suck so damn much.

The reason why its over lightning cable is because the wireless ability is not ready yet. It should be just not yet. Android is still way behind in this one area.

I think it is in addition to whatever car manufactures have as media control features. Microsoft and Google are way behind in this area even though they both have are doing. I have S4 and it's such a joke just pairing bluetooth with an existing car radio.

Melfster said,
I think it is in addition to whatever car manufactures have as media control features. Microsoft and Google are way behind in this area even though they both have are doing. I have S4 and it's such a joke just pairing bluetooth with an existing car radio.

Though, last I checked, Android devices can integrate with a car a lot more deeply over Bluetooth than iPhones can, which require a wired connection for anything more than audio.

Well I don't think you have been keeping up with iOS has lot better compatibility with car manufactures. I have both S4 and an Iphone and I can tell you it much better with Iphone. Android is not even the ballpark. In fact a co-worker of mine just gave up S4 and got a Iphone 5s for this very reason.

Melfster said,
Well I don't think you have been keeping up with iOS has lot better compatibility with car manufactures. I have both S4 and an Iphone and I can tell you it much better with Iphone. Android is not even the ballpark. In fact a co-worker of mine just gave up S4 and got a Iphone 5s for this very reason.

You're missing some context. What kind of car, and which platform? Because I can tell you right now that Toyota and Nissan at least require a cabled connection for their app platforms to work in full on iPhone, while Android will work entirely over Bluetooth.

This is documented directly on the manufacturer's websites, right now, even in 2014 models.

Joshie said,

You're missing some context. What kind of car, and which platform? Because I can tell you right now that Toyota and Nissan at least require a cabled connection for their app platforms to work in full on iPhone, while Android will work entirely over Bluetooth.

This is documented directly on the manufacturer's websites, right now, even in 2014 models.

What context is necessary here? You purpose this with only your recollection to back it up.

Though, last I checked, Android devices can integrate with a car a lot more deeply over Bluetooth than iPhones can, which require a wired connection for anything more than audio.

Can YOU be more specific? The last few car rentals I had (last was a Sonata 2014) that had bluetooth features worked 100% with my iPhone w/o any problems w/s/e. A2DP worked, voice calls worked, as well as the contact sharing. What amazing features would I have had access to beyond that if I were using Android? I doubt you have any real context for your initial post other than pure postulation based on your own smartphone "ideology". Am I right?

So is this an ICE system that ONLY works with the iPhone, or is it just an enhanced interface for iPhone owners, and a more basic interface for everyone else?

If it's the former, that seems like a horrific idea

Jarrichvdv said,

Do you really believe that yourself?

I suspect there will be limited bluetooth support that is similar to what is currently in vehicles. Such as A2DP for audio and microphone (car speaker phone and music), and contact sharing. I doubt there will be much (feature wise) beyond that in regard to support for non-iPhones.

Your turn Google and Microsoft. I hope car manufacturers offer an infotainment system that can handle multiple mobile OS's. I would hate to be stuck with just iOS or Microsoft or Google and have to pick my car based on that

/firstworldproblem

cyborgs said,
MS will play catch up again after 2 years.

I actually emailed them around 1996 when I was studying computer science at college. We were discussing IT projects and what we would like to see. I said I'd like to see some media technology go into cars like WMP.

cyborgs said,
MS will play catch up again after 2 years.

Doesn't matter really if their implementation turns out to be better than the rest.

Jarrichvdv said,

Doesn't matter really if their implementation turns out to be better than the rest.

Like the Zune

0sit0 said,
Like the Zune

Everyone I hear who had a Zune has nothing but great things to say about the device. Too bad Microsoft killed it.

Other than being on the car's screen, you can do all of this just fine with Android.

Tying a car screen to a single OS is ridiculous. Auto makers should just embrace device mirroring technology for their screens.

I would definitely not buy a car with iOS only options.

dead.cell said,

Everyone I hear who had a Zune has nothing but great things to say about the device. Too bad Microsoft killed it.

I loved my Zune... mostly the software. They had a great idea, but like always they were too late.