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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Apple CarPlay

Maps a la CarPlay

This is CarPlay calling

Get the message

CarPlay that funky music

Behold Apple's new CarPlay -- the integration of iPhone functions into an automobile dashboard. On March 3, Apple unveiled CarPlay (known previously as iOS in the Car) as a new way to let drivers "use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction."

CarPlay will be available as an update to iOS 7. But as CNET's Tim Stevens points out, cars themselves won't be running iOS; instead, they'll be receiving a signal from the handsets -- the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S -- when they're connected to the car via Lightning cable. Drivers will be able to use CarPlay either with fingers on the touch screen or by speaking out loud to the Siri software.

Caption by / Photo by Apple
Apple says that CarPlay's Maps feature will offer up routing instructions, traffic conditions, and ETA, and will even try to anticipate your destination based on recent trips via contacts, e-mails, or texts. As with the iPhone itself, Siri can provide turn-by-turn directions.

CarPlay will be available in "select cars" shipping in 2014, according to Apple, from automakers Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. At this week's Geneva Motor Show, we'll all get a look at some CarPlay-equipped models from Ferrari, Mercedes, and Volvo.

Caption by / Photo by Apple
No need to hold your iPhone to your face when the dashboard gets involved. "CarPlay brings your car and iPhone together for a thoughtful experience that lets drivers focus on driving," says Apple.
Caption by / Photo by Apple
Similarly, drivers will be able to speak and listen to Siri to deal with incoming messages and notifications, displayed on the CarPlay screen.
Caption by / Photo by Apple
CarPlay will support iTunes Radio, of course, but also a smattering of third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio, along with a user's downloaded tunes, podcasts, and audio books.
Caption by / Photo by Apple
Volvo said on March 3 that it will offer the Apple CarPlay system in its update to the XC90 SUV later in 2014.
Caption by / Photo by Volvo
Volvo's touch screen will show content from both Volvo and the iPhone at the same time.
Caption by / Photo by Volvo
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