We have smartphones and tablets and even wearable computers, but the whole totally interactive and customisable computer in a car has never really taken off, outside of proprietary solutions in specific vehicles, but Apple has a fix for this.
In what could turn the car industry on its head, Apple’s CarPlay is a new product that Apple is gearing up for automobiles, working with leading manufacturers to bring music, navigation, messaging, and even Siri to cars across the world.
The concept will rely on an iPhone, so if you don’t have one, there’s not much use in you asking if it will work with your non-Apple phone, and will connect to the car, providing controls on the steering wheel to let users get at functions on the phone.
Apple’s voice activated Siri will talk to you, providing information about missed calls, notifications, and even dictating messages directly to you as you drive.
“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Apple’s Greg Joswiak, Vice President of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing.
“iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimised distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”
The CarPlay concept will also work with maps and contacts to provide better navigation, and even tune into iTunes Radio, your music collection, listen to podcasts, and hear an audiobook or two, integrating directly with the music origins of the iPhone altogether.
As for availability, this one is dependent on car manufacturers, as CarPlay is more than just an accessory for your phone or car, and is deeply integrated in the vehicle itself.
Because of this, you’ll basically have to wait until the various automobile makers start to release CarPlay-compatible vehicles on the market in Australia.
That said, Apple has partnered with a number of manufacturers, include Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, and Holden-owners General Motors, so you’ll probably end up seeing CarPlay support in quite a few cars coming to market either late this year or sometime in 2015.