Apple launches ‘CarPlay,’ a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car

By , Mar 2, 2014

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As expected, Apple has launched its iOS in the Car initiative today at the Geneva Motor Show. It’s officially calling the offering ‘CarPlay,’ and is advertising the feature as a smarter, safer and more fun way to use your iPhone while in the car.

But looking at the press release, CarPlay will function exactly as we’ve been led to believe it would. Users will be able to control it through their car’s native interface, or by activating Siri via the voice control button on their steering wheel…

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Once an iPhone is connected to a CarPlay-supported vehicle, its user will be able to easily access contacts, make and receive calls and listen to voicemails. They’ll also be able to have their messages read aloud, and dictate a response to them.

Additionally, CarPlay enables users to access a range of other apps including Maps, Podcasts and various iTunes elements like audiobooks and iTunes. It also supports third-party music (i.e. Spotify, Pandora, etc.) and sports broadcasting apps.

From Apple’s press release:

GENEVA―March 3, 2014―Apple® today announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone® in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri® without distraction.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

As reported last week, CarPlay will debut in vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, and will be made available by several other manufacturers at a later time. Apple says BMW, Ford, GM, Jaguar Land Rover and many more are on board.

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Today’s announcement comes nearly a year after Apple unveiled ‘iOS in the Car’ during its developers conference last summer. Following rumors of an indefinite delay, a report in January claimed the project was plagued by ‘organizational issues.’

Apple says that CarPlay is available as an iOS 7 update, but doesn’t mention a firmware version or timeframe—at the time of this writing, there’s no update available. It’s believed that iOS 7.1—currently in its 5th beta—will launch in mid-March.

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  • Lady GAGA

    So if this was released now , what big feature we still have for ios 7.1 ,
    Nothing haa!

    • Yaseen AlSuwaidan

      “Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 “

      • Lady GAGA

        I could read it in the article . Mr.yaseen

    • SkyFall

      Apart from the Bug fixes (That make iPads below 7.1 unusable), the GUI tweaks, the faster more responsive and fluid animations, yeah I would say that 7.1 doesn’t have big features. (sarcasm)

      • Lady GAGA

        that aren’t features , that are enhances … By the way you don’t say that you’re sarcasming when you are sarcasming , that kills the point of it , Mr.SkyFall

      • SkyFall

        Some of them are features some of them are enhances. I wrote sarcasm because there are people who don’t understand sarcasm, so to make their lives easier I wrote it.

    • Barbara Eberly

      IOS 8 will be released in the Fall.

  • @dongiuj

    Well, maps needs more detailed updates and Siri needs just a little better response, in MY opinion. Apart from that it all sounds like a good start and something I WAAAANT!!!!!!

    • smtp25

      Was given an sg4 and s voice can actually understand me and gives much better answers

      • Anonomous.TECH.man

        Your kidding right.

  • @dongiuj

    Well, if apple maps gets better more detailed updates and Siri too, in MY opinion, then it sounds like a good start and I WAAAAANT!!!!!

  • Quang

    I’m ready to buy a new car :)

    • Lady GAGA

      blurt

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Very fancy, but too proprietary…as always.

    This could be replicated and be much more flexible (i.e. not limited to buggy Apple maps) with a Bluetooth headset ($25), windshield phone holder ($5) and Auxiliary cable ($3) if there were some jailbreak tweak that routed outgoing audio through the iPhone’s headphone jack and incoming audio through its mic even when a Bluetooth headset is connected…make it happen devs.

    • Brandon Miranda

      I’m glad to see your back.

    • Barbara Eberly

      I have bluetooth built into my car, 2014 Honda Civic Coupe EX, never take my phone out of my purse, use Siri Hands Free, and steering wheel controls. I do not use a headset, no need for one.

      • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

        Nice, but that’s if your vehicle has Bluetooth and the Bluetooth software supports toggling a voice assistant on your Bluetooth connected device. Not all vehicles have Bluetooth and not all Bluetooth-equipped vehicles support toggling a Bluetooth connected device’s voice assistant; like my friend’s GMC Alcadia has Bluetooth but pressing the voice button activates the vehicle’s own hands-free assistant, not Siri.

        This method I proposed works for every vehicle with a built-in AUX jack…

  • Litchy

    I’d love to see third party interfaces that can use CarPlay for less expensive cars :)

  • dhangethi

    Good

  • hkgsulphate

    can’t they get a better name?

    • John

      Well, genius, what do you suggest?

      Two syllable name which follows the same patterns as their current AirPlay and AirPrint. Simplicity at it’s best, rather then “iOS in the Car”, the alternative that’s more then twice as long.

      • Lady GAGA

        Lol iCar

      • John

        iPhone, iPad, iOS, iPod.
        Describes the product they are selling.

        They aren’t selling a car.
        Genius.

  • M_thoroughbred

    What I want to see is car stereo makers have a chance to integrate carplay in their units instead of having to purchase a vehicle that has this feature.

  • Sputnik09

    And within a few weeks… SamDUNG will also release CarMess®… “a dumber, dangerous way to get kill in your car”.

    • Lady GAGA

      Isn’t android already in cars !?

      • Sputnik09

        Wow! You made think twice about driving again.

  • Vitaliy Anonymous

    I really hope that Apple does not make the streaming codec something proprietary between iOS devices. It will give competitors an edge. If it makes it a standard, it makes everything so much more simpler.

  • smtp25

    Don’t know why this comment was deleted buts it’s true. Siri either got some garbled version or said I’m sorry try again later or I gave give directions outside of the us.

    “Was given an sg4 and s voice can actually understand me and gives much better answers”

  • Judge

    Hmm cant I already do this? Ipad mini in car with a mount? via bluetooth?

  • Barbara Eberly

    I have 2014 honda civic coupe EX. Have been asking for months when CarPlay will be up and up and running in my car? I saw info on iOS in the Car, now CarPlay months ago, bought iPhone 5S, then the car, in anticipation of this awesome feature. When will it be released to Honda? I call Honda, their robotic answer, “We have no information at this time.” Frustrated.