04 June 2014
Once again, it seems that Apple is leading the way when it comes to pushing smartphone technology into new areas. While the ability to integrate smartphone functions into in-car technology is certainly not a new thing, Apple CarPlay may be the product that changes the way we think about in-car functions forever. Praise aside, just what is CarPlay exactly and how can it improve your driving experience?
What Does CarPlay Do?
Although it is already possible to connect iPhones and iPods to car audio systems, CarPlay takes things to the next level by using a new Lighting Connector which allows users to access a lot more iPhone functions and apps via their car dashboard. Perhaps the biggest advance is the ability to control functions simply by voice alone, via Apple’s Siri operating system. With driver safety in mind, CarPlay users can control music content, operate navigation systems and make and receive calls and texts simply through voice command. In addition to voice control, CarPlay can be operated by touchscreen or via buttons mounted on the steering wheel. The exact options when it comes to controlling the CarPlay dashboard screen are dependent on the make of car.
So far, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari have announced that a number of their latest models will feature pre-fitted CarPlay systems. Although it may seem at first glance that Apple’s new system will only be available in high-end cars, other manufacturers such as Ford, Hyundai, Peugeot, Vauxhall, Toyota and Honda are all looking at incorporating the technology in the future. At this present time, the CarPlay system will only be included in brand new cars and will not be available for purchase separately. As with most new technology releases, this situation will likely change over time.
Before you take the plunge and buy a new car that incorporates Apple’s new system, be aware that not all iPhone models are compatible, due to the use of the new Lighting Connector. The only iPhone models that are actually compatible with the system are the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. If you have any other model, they simply will not work with CarPlay, so the next time you are looking to purchase new accessories such as personalised phone cases or customised phone cases, consider upgrading the iPhone itself too! An iOS 7 software upgrade will be made available soon to ensure CarPlay compatibility. While Microsoft and Google have also developed new in-car smartphone technology, Apple has stolen a march on its rivals with the release of CarPlay. Its ease of use and dazzling array of options ensure that the Apple system is technologically superior to its contemporaries. Apple may well have changed the way we look at the humble motorcar forever.
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Rahima Aktar on Wednesday, June 04, 2014 · Leave a Comment