Apple CarPlay to bring iPhone experience to your next car's dashboard

What once was iOS in the Car is now CarPlay, and Ferrari, Mercedes, and Volvo will all have models on display at this week's Geneva auto show.

We've been covering Apple's plans for iOS in the Car quite closely , and now the final product is being shown to the world -- and given a new name.

Gone is that mouthful, in is the new moniker: CarPlay. (Not to be confused with a Monster product by the same name .) The concept stays the same: replication of a simplified iOS interface into a touch-screen display in the car, plus extensive voice command. As we saw in earlier videos, the focus here is simplicity and safety, with no complex interface elements and, seemingly, no virtual keyboards.

Instead, many actions will be made easier thanks to some intelligent coding. For example, CarPlay can look at your calendar and e-mails to anticipate upcoming meetings and appointments, suggesting directions to the appropriate destinations. Similarly, Siri can read any incoming text messages and let you dictate a response. Calling, of course, is possible as well, through voice command.

And it wouldn't be an iPhone experience without music, and you'll be able to listen to music and podcasts, plus Spotify and iHeartRadio. Those, along with Stitcher and Beats Radio, appear to be the only non-Apple apps that will be available through CarPlay, at least for now. It remains to be seen whether there will be an API exposed to allow other third-party developers to get in on the fun. But we expect to learn quite a bit more between now and when the first cars hit dealers later in 2014 from manufacturers like Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. (Just about every other marque will follow suit next year.)

Apple CarPlay
Apple

And to be clear, this experience is completely driven by the phone -- more specifically, an iPhone 5, 5S, or 5C. The cars themselves won't be running iOS, just feeding the signal provided by the phones, which will be connected to the car via Lightning cable.

About the author

Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to videogame development. Currently he pursues interesting stories and interesting conversations in the technology and automotive spaces.

 

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