Hot on the heels of a pair of yesterday’s reports which asserted that Apple’s upcoming iOS 7 will have a “very flat” user interface akin to Windows Phone’s ‘Metro’ visual style – along with Mac OS X 10.9 borrowing core multitasking features from iOS 7 – 9to5Mac writer Mark Gurman is back at it again with another exclusive. Today’s story details an alleged integration of Apple’s Siri digital personal assistant and in-house built Maps service in iOS 7 with your car’s dashboard…
Citing unnamed people familiar with the plans, Gurman claims Apple is working with car makers on updated versions of car center consoles that could attach to iOS devices like the iPhone.
Specifically, an iPhone could be plugged into a car and an optimized, redesigned version of Apple Maps will appear on the car’s built-in display instead of a proprietary GPS system found in many cars.
The report goes on to compare the feature to a video-out or mirrored display representation of the iPhone’s Maps app, only designed for the bigger screens found in many vehicles today.
“With the iPhone connected, Siri would be used to control the Maps functions and other iOS features,” Gurman writes.
He cautions a public release could be potentially far off as Apple will need to carry out extensive car-based testing, cut deals with car makers and improve upon its Maps and Siri cloud infrastructures.
The feature is thought to be resource-hungry and as such may be “exclusive to recent iOS hardware.”
Notably, Apple’s iCloud chief Eddy Cue now sits on the Ferrari board. The luxury automaker recently started outfitting one of its cars with iPad minis. It is also no secret that Steve Jobs wanted to take on Detroit with a rumored iCar project.
Apple has also filed a number of interesting patents related to in-car iDevice integration.
Among the recent filings: a solution which strives to replace your car’s key fob with the iPhone and a Bluetooth connection to remember your location in a crowded parking garage, as well as create an intelligent car starter/theft prevention tool.
Currently, people can use Apple Maps for in-car navigation.
But unlike Android which features a special in-car GPS navigation mode with large icons and simplified menus, Apple Maps look and behave the same whether or not the device is docked in the car or on your desktop.
As for Siri, Apple’s Eyes Free initiative has seen a modest success, with select car makers choosing to provide a special Siri button which allows drivers to check their messages and weather, find routes and more without taking their hands off the steering wheel.
As noted by Wired.com, Apple’s in-car Siri integration has hit a roadblock, so to speak, because ten months down the road only General Motors has implemented the feature.