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Phones

VW iBeetle has its own in-car iPhone apps

Your phone becomes part of the car with Volkswagen's upcoming iMotor.

This could be the start of a whole new era of apps. Volkswagen's new iBeetle (the clue's in the name) comes with a dock for the iPhone 5, so your mobile will perch atop the dashboard. It's an official collaboration with Apple that'll see apps specifically made for use in-car.

Apple better get to work fixing its Maps app, sharpish.

Volkswagen's set to unveil the motor at Auto China 2013 in Shanghai next week. All you'll need to do to use the car's smart features is snap your iPhone into the dock, and hey presto, it becomes like part of the car, with an interface that was "co-ordinated with Apple".

Your mobile will still work as a phone, but it'll also show the vehicle's instruments (and let you control them), readouts for g-force, oil and coolant temperature, compass and timer, and data for time, distance, and fuel economy.

If that sounds a bit practical and boring, then don't worry, it'll also read out your social networking messages, post photos online and play music through Spotify and iTunes. A nifty Postcard function will also send your location to friends, along with a map.Basically, this is as close to being an iCar as we're ever going to get.

All these functions will be accessible through the Beetle app. There's no word on whether it'll work with apps from third parties, but I'd imagine so, seeing as Spotify is already mentioned.

The iBeetle will launch at the start of 2014, in a standard coupe model or a convertible. The colours and equipment design are also "stylistically linked" to Apple, according to Volkswagen.

It was just a few years ago that in-car iPhone connectors became standard (then Apple changed the port, annoyingly). But this shows Apple's influence has gone to the next level. The fact Volkswagen has named the car after Apple's iconic product tells you everything.

Do you want your phone to become part of your car? Or should the two be kept separate? Let me know in the comments, or on Facebook.