Apple iPhone may let you control your car's HVAC, radio and more, report says

According to a report, Apple's looking at expanding what its smartphone can do for your car beyond CarPlay and a smart key.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
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2021 Honda Passport standard ACP

Project IronHeart could take CarPlay way further.


Apple CarPlay is not the end of the tech giant's automotive technology ambitions, according to a new report from Bloomberg on Thursday. According to the report, Apple is hard at work on a project called "IronHeart," which will allow iPhone users to control more of their vehicles' functions. This could provide iOS users access to a car's radio, heat and air conditioning controls, power seats and even the gauge cluster.

The idea is to provide a one-stop solution to alleviate frustrations CarPlay users have flipping between the smartphone mirroring system for media, but native controls for other vehicle functions, Bloomberg's sources said. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment, but expect silence on this type of secret project. The sources also likened this project to how Apple approached its smartphone and health ecosystems to provide one place for all controls.

Project IronHeart comes as the latest round of Apple's work to further integrate iPhone and its Watch into cars slows. CarKey, by far the most useful new initiative, is only available with BMW vehicles currently, for example. It also comes as Apple Car rumors remain in flux. While it seemed like the project was primed for takeoff earlier this year with a potential Hyundai deal, things cooled off after Apple lost its top Apple Car project talent, ex-Tesla veteran Doug Fields, to Ford. If and when we ever get an Apple Car, IronHeart may be an important building block.

Watch this: Are cars too much like TVs for Apple?