Apple has unveiled the CarPlay infotainment service at the Geneva International Motor Show, which is coined as “the best iPhone experience on four wheels.” Using voice commands, CarPlay can make phone calls, play dictated text messages, get directions with Apple Maps and control your music without distraction.
Music apps supported through CarPlay include iTunes Radio, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Beats Radio and Stitcher. Unfortunately, Pandora is not available with Apple CarPlay. “At this time, Pandora is not integrated with Apple CarPlay. As a first mover in the auto space, we continue to broaden our relationships with OEMs while also exploring other opportunities to expand our presence in the car. Apple has been and continues to be a valued partner,” said Pandora in a statement to MacRumors.
It is unclear why Apple decided not to integrate Pandora into CarPlay, but Apple iTunes Radio and Pandora having similar functionality could be a major reason. Both services can create custom stations for users after selecting a genre, artist or song. Spotify and Beats Audio lets users search for specific songs and albums to play, while Stitcher and iHeartRadio is used for listening to radio stations.
Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz will build the first vehicles that have CarPlay built-in. Volvo suggested that the new XC90 sports utility vehicle would handle iOS devices using a cord, but WiFi would come “in the near future.” Other automobile manufacturers that plan to integrate CarPlay into its vehicles include BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.
Apple CarPlay will compete head-to-head with several other infotainment platforms, including Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Automotive, Google’s Open Automotive Alliance (Android), BlackBerry QNX, and GENIVI Alliance (Linux). Ford Motor Company is rumored to be switching from Microsoft in favor of another infotainment system platform for Sync 3. There is speculation that Ford will choose BlackBerry in this case.
“iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized 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,” said Apple VP of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing Greg Joswiak in a statement.
There are 12 states that prohibit all drivers from handheld cellphone usage while driving and 42 states ban text messaging for all drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. CarPlay can save lives by preventing users from taking their eyes off of the road. Multitasking while driving is dangerous, but CarPlay is a step in the right direction.
From “iOS in the Car” to “CarPlay”
CarPlay is a rebrand of the original name, “iOS in the Car.” Apple announced iOS in the Car at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last June.
“Ninety-five percent of the cars being sold today have integrated music playback and control from an iOS device, but we want to take this integration to a whole ‘nother level,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services during a demonstration of iOS in the Car at WWDC. “What if you could get iOS on the screen that is built into your car so that you could make phone calls, play music, go to Maps, get your iMessages right on the screen in your car or eyes-free using Siri”?
CarPlay will be available as an update to iOS 7 and will work with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5.
What are your thoughts about CarPlay? Are you looking forward to using iOS in your car? Let us know in the comments below.