Apple announces CarPlay, brings iPhone to the dashboard

Apple has announced its in-car service, CarPlay, which promises to integrate your iPhone into your dashboard.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

As predicted, Apple has announced CarPlay, its new way of using your iPhone in the car. And also as predicted, it's signed up an impressive roster of big-name car manufacturers who'll incorporate it in their motors. Such as? Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will show it off this week at the Geneva Motor Show, while others including Ford, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Peugeot and Toyota will use it in future.

Let's take it for a spin and see what it can do.

CarPlay lets you access all your contacts, make calls, and listen to voicemails using Siri, Apple's digital butler. So there's no need to take your eyes off the road to tap the screen. Siri also reads out your messages, and lets you dictate replies or call the person who messaged you.

You can use Apple Maps in your car too, so let's hope Apple has ironed out all those bugs that directed people the wrong way. Maps will anticipate where you're going based on recent trips via contacts, emails, or texts. While you're on the move, it acts just like a satnav, with routing instructions, traffic conditions, and estimated time of arrival. Or you can get Siri to give you turn-by-turn directions.

CarPlay can also access all your iPhone's tunes through your car's stereo, and you can control them using your voice or your car's in-built controls. There are also some third-party audio apps to choose from, including Spotify and iHeartRadio, which can provide a soundtrack while you're out on the road.

CarPlay comes as part of an update to iOS 7. It works with Lightning-enabled iPhones -- so that's the 5S, 5C and 5. CarPlay-enabled cars will start arriving this year, though for word on exactly when, we'll have to wait for the Geneva Motor Show to get going later this week.

Google is also jumping into the passenger seat with the Open Automotive Alliance, so expect competition between the two to heat up later this year. 

Do you like the sound of CarPlay? Let me know in the comments, or rev your engines over on our Facebook page.