After extensively working on ‘iOS in the Car’ with several manufacturer’s and even offering some minor operating features like ‘Siri Eyes Free’ on some models, Apple has finally released a fully integrated, greatly enhanced, finished product called CarPlay.
Apple, as they’ve always done with every new release, has a teaser on their website saying CarPlay is ‘coming soon’ but lists down the apps abilities.
CarPlay has enhanced Siri’s integration adapting it to driving scenarios but aside from voice-control, Apple has worked with manufacturers so that every knob, button or even the touchscreen is redesigned so that you’ll be able to access all apps and features of your iPhone without having to take your eyes off the road.
The much-maligned Apple Maps app gets a new lease on life on your vehicles built-in screen complete with turn-by-turn directions, traffic updates and estimated travel time. But its most useful feature will be access to your Address Book, Mail, Messages and Calendars to extract addresses and plot your route.
The no-brainer feature is the complete ease of telephone use. Just call on Siri and she’ll do the rest. Whether is dialing a number, SMS dictation and sending or just plain read-back of a message.
And just like any music player, your iPhone music library, Podcasts and iTunes Radio is Siri-controlled. Just tell her what to play.
CarPlay also has support for third-party apps like Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and Beats Radio. If you’re most-used app isn’t on the list, don’t worry. It’s already on the way.
CarPlay, unfortunately though, won’t be available for iPhones that are not Lightning cable-compatible. It only supports iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and the iPhone 5. So remember to upgrade your iPhone 4s if you plan to buy a vehicle with a CarPlay feature.
CarPlay will already be available on select models from Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedez-Benz and Volvo but Apple expects ‘committed partners’ BMW, Chevrolet, Kia, Ford, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Open, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota to follow suit very soon.
CarPlay will initially be available in select models sold in these countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Spain, Switzerland, USA and the UK.