BMW Siri integration

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.

eyes free

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, 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.

  • I followed by apple maps to a store that I can buy ram but I got to a wrong place :s
    I almost got lost :/

  • yahmed

    Apple should really get a contract with google to use their maps. The iOS 6 Apple maps just isn’t good enough. Some of the Apple map data is provided by TomTom. I don’t get why the TomTom map isn’t used in some areas

    • That wouldn’t make sense to pay the competition when you can develop your own. Apple Maps looks better than Google currently and will one day also be better than Google maps. It took Google years so believing Apple won’t take time is just crazy. I get lost using Google maps to this day as its not perfect as well. Time is the only thing that can fix map applications.

      • Gorgonphone

        apple maps looks better but tomtom works better

      • Apple just needs to rely more on crowd-sourced maps since that surely must be the future of maps apps. Think of it like this “If Wikipedia did Maps” where you go to a restaurant, go into the maps app, set it to locate your exact position and then submit this as a restaurant with the restaurant name and contact information. At the moment it is actually possible to do the above on Apples maps only I genuinely believe that Apple just ignores them. Since many times have I submitted bugs about Apples maps but nothing has changed. Does it really take an entire OS update just to fix/update a Maps app with more data?

      • AltF5

        I don’t know why Apple doesn’t keep the nice look of their maps, but license out Google’s Database data for POIs, and hence actually work for more than just addresses in big cities.

      • yahmed

        Currently? People have gotten lost into no man’s land relying on these maps!

      • Going to be better than Google’s, huh? how much are you willing to bet? Google had amazing capabilities with Google Earth far before it was ever even in mobile phones.

    • They need time, like other maps needed. Remember when Google maps, TomTom, Garmin and many others were launched?

      People just love to bash…because “it’s apple”. The World Map is a living form…only with time and hard work you get accurate maps! And mistakes can happen more often than people realize, in any map system.

      • yahmed

        I agree, but this doesn’t just take a few months

      • Its more like because people are Apple fans they bash everyone else…

      • You can say exacly the same thing about Fandroids and Windows fanboys. Every fan think they are better and bash everyone else.

      • Im partial to android, but i dont go around saying im better than you because of it. the people that do that shit really need to grow up

  • Mohammed

    I don’t know
    I don’t think I can trust apple maps anymore
    Almost got lost anymore

  • this is exactly what the car industry needs – integrated GPS is pretty much the worst idea yet. Within 3-4 years, the GPS data/interface/resolution will be very outdated, let alone 8-10 years when the car finally bites the dust.

    Having a third party mapping system that updates/improves independent of the car is what I’m holding out for.

    • AltF5

      Agreed. Especially since companies like Sony, release expensive HeadUnit (such as the XAV-64BT), and don’t provide any Firmware update support for it. It’s hurtful to see an investment as expensive as the iPhone, go to waste, when simply a software update would be all that’s needed to fix copious amounts of problems, bugs, and annoyances. I guess we are spoiled with Apple, Google, and all the Software / App Developers out there that adapt and provide us continuous updates (which is now defacto – buy once, improve always).

  • After reading some comments of this article, I have to say, I agree and disagree with some of them. While Apple Maps are most definitely more beautiful than Google Maps, Google already has 8 years on Apple when it comes to maps. I don’t think Apple Maps will ever be better than Google’s, but they will most definitely progress and get better. If anything, Apple Maps will become a reliable, first party solution that integrates into iOS and OS X so that anything address you click will open natively. But, it is wonderful to have Google Maps available on iOS just like it’s wonderful having Google Now. It would be cool if Google Chrome could maybe integrate Google Now into it, and maybe the other Google applications.

    • i dont get it… this isn’t directed at you necessarily but Apple fans say hurrah to no more Google, but love seeing Google products on their iPhones..?

      • I never said that. I was fine with Google Maps as the native app. I was actually pretty upset with it. But because Apple has split up with Google, I have to be realistic and support Apple Maps as it is my native Maps App on my iPhone. I think Google is a great company though, I’m just prefer iOS and OS X for my computing software.

      • And when I say “upset with it” I mean the change from Google Maps to Apple Maps.

  • Gorgonphone

    i use google maps to search for my destination then tomtom to get me there.. .. best solution so far

    • AltF5

      Do you just copy over the address from the POI?
      How is it entering addresses in the TomTom app? (Is it a simply textbox like Google).
      How does the navigation interface compare to Garmin or Navigon?

      • Gorgonphone

        I am jailbroken so i use the “navigate from maps” tweak its ads a button to google maps and apple maps that auto loads everyhing in tomtom an it start navigating instantly

  • sensible guy

    …………………………………………………… ……………………………………… …………… ………………………… ………………………………. ……………… ……… ……………………………………………………. ………………. ……. …………

    those dots were made by me falling on the keyboard while laughing my a** off!
    this is ABSOLUTELY what we need – Apple Maps replacing the in-car navigation, and directing us to a nearby lake when we searched for a supermarket!

  • Zaidan Umar

    What is wrong with you guys? Apple maps are using TomTom data. I agree not in all areas, but it will in the next few months or years. It will take some time. Apple has already got a lot of trouble because of the maps. The last thing they want is another issue. They WILL and SHOULD improve the maps if they are going to take a step like this. We all agree apple maps are not good enough, no use crying about it over and over. WE GET IT!!