Toyota says CarPlay coming to 2015 vehicles, then changes its mind

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2014

You probably know by now that Apple’s CarPlay feature in iOS 7.1 has 100 percent guaranteed support from Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz in their select 2014 models.

The company also hinted in a media release that BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp will be bringing CarPlay to their drivers “down the road.”

It now looks like one of the aforementioned manufacturers, Toyota, may have officially joined the initiative. According to the car maker’s original announcement, CarPlay was supposed to be “coming soon” to select 2015 vehicles, but it’s quickly backpedalled on the claim without saying when exactly CarPlay will hit the dashboard of its vehicles… Read More

 

iOS 8: Apple apparently working on TextEdit and Preview apps with iCloud integration

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 13, 2014

After reporting yesterday that Apple is considering moving iTunes Radio to its own standalone app in iOS 8, the same reliable blogger is now citing sources with knowledge of Apple’s initiatives as claiming that the next major revision to Apple’s mobile operating system will bring two apps over from the Mac – Preview and TextEdit – both supporting Documents in the Cloud, a feature that lets software store documents in iCloud to be readily available on all devices.

Preview and TextEdit in OS X Mavericks already have support for iCloud documents so this development indicates Apple’s intent to make iOS 8 and OS X even more tightly integrated… Read More

 

Pioneer exploring aftermarket CarPlay compatibility

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2014

Apple’s CarPlay, a new iOS 7.1 capability designed to integrate select iOS features right into your car’s infotainment system, has a major problem on its hands: it’s currently hinging on the good will of manufacturers to support it in their future vehicles. Thus far, only Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Volvo have confirmed that some of their upcoming 2014 models will support CarPlay.

A bunch of other vendors have hinted they’re considering implementing the feature. So, unless I buy a brand new car with CarPlay integration, I’ll be left out in the cold, right?

Not so fast.

For starters, Mercedez-Benz has decided to cater to owners of unsupported vehicles by promising aftermarket CarPlay upgrades as a dealer installed accessory for select previous models.

But what about CarPlay in unsupported cars? That’s where Pioneer Electronic jumps in. The maker of many in-car electronic systems, Pioneer’s reportedly exploring the possibility of adding CarPlay compatibility to its existing and future products… Read More

 

For some, Touch ID isn’t playing nice with iOS 7.1

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2014

Apple two days ago released its iOS 7.1 software update containing a host of bug fixes, performance improvements and a couple new features.

Among the enhancements: better Touch ID accuracy and reliability. For the vast majority of iPhone 5s owners, Touch ID indeed seems to be working better and faster after upgrading to iOS 7.1.

On the other hand, a growing thread on Apple’s support forums clearly indicates that a subset of iPhone 5s owners could be plagued with various issues with the sensor.

The hiccups vary from Touch ID not working at all or functioning only sporadically to having difficulty producing a match, saved prints in iOS Settings > Touch ID & Password mysteriously disappearing and more.

And how’s Touch ID for you in iOS 7.1? Read More

 

Apple reportedly testing iTunes Radio as a standalone iOS 8 app

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 12, 2014

According to a new report by the well-connected Apple blogger Mark Gurman, the iPhone maker is testing iTunes Radio as a standalone iOS 8 app.

iTunes Radio is currently part of the stock Music app in iOS 7 and moving it to a standalone app is said to be a way of boosting usage, according to sources briefed on the plans. This should allow users to more quickly access iTunes Radio and, which will come pre-installed in iOS 8.

The UI of the standalone iTunes Radio app is said to be “nearly identical” to its iOS Music counterpart, with the Home screen icon resembling a terrestrial radio graphic atop a red background… Read More

 

24 hours later, iOS 7.1 adoption hits 5.9 percent of active devices in North America

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2014

In its first 24 hours in the wild, Apple’s new iOS 7.1 software is now on 5.9 percent of active devices in North America, research firm Chitika reported Tuesday. The figure was derived from “tens of millions” of iOS-based online ad impressions generated within the Chitika Ad Network in the United States and Canada from March 9 through March 11, 2014.

By comparison, the number is comparable to the crucial iOS 7.0.6 update which fixed a nasty SSL security exploit, with iOS 7.0.6 users generating six percent of all iOS 7.0.6 traffic 24 hours post-release (or a nice 13.3 percent adoption in 48 hours)… Read More

 

Poll: does iOS 7.1 crash less on you?

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2014

If you’re a proud iPhone 5s owner, I’m sure you’ll agree that the experience of using iOS 7 on a daily basis is less stellar than what we’ve normally come to expect from our favorite fruity company. If anything, iOS 7.0.x has taught iPhone owners, especially iPhone 5s ones, to get used to random crashes at least a couple times a day.

It’s not just that Safari crashed a lot on me, I crashed while listening to music, reading books and taking pictures – I even crashed on the iOS app switcher. It was almost as if my iPhone 5s would restart if I looked at it the wrong way.

I’m pleased to report that iOS 7 crashes far less on my iPhone 5s versus any prior iOS 7.0.x version, including the recently released iOS 7.0.6. Of course, your mileage may vary and with less than a day’s worth of running newly-released iOS 7.1 not everyone’s had a chance to experience just how stabler and snappier the new version is.

Having said that, I’d like you to vote in this non-scientific poll about iOS 7.1 stability and learn about your experience thus far. Go ahead, cast a vote and join the civil discussion down in the comments…. Read More

 

New in iOS 7.1: Maps navigation prompts through your car’s stereo over Bluetooth

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2014

Apple has delivered iOS 7.1 yesterday, its first major iOS update since the software’s launch nearly six months ago. We’ve already detailed some of the noteworthy enhancements like Touch ID reliability improvements, new Siri features, CarPlay support, a bunch of bug fixes – some of which have been credited to prominent iOS hackers like the evad3rs team - and more.

According to developer Mike Piontek, Maps in iOS 7.1 includes a poorly labeled new feature called HFP Prompts which allows the app to play navigation prompts over your car’s speakers, via Bluetooth, even when the iPhone is not selected as the audio source. It’s a great addition to Apple’s in-car initiative because no longer do you have to fiddle with audio settings as HFP Prompts automatically does the right thing for you.

Jump past the fold for the full breakdown… Read More

 

Report sheds light on public transit directions in iOS 8′s Maps and other new features

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 11, 2014

A new report by the reliable blogger Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac has offered new details concerning Apple’s Maps service in iOS 8, the next major iteration of Apple’s mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices, which is expected to be released later this year.

Gurman learned from sources briefed on Apple’s plans that CEO Tim Cook, SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi and Maps head Patrice Gautier have been leading teams of Apple engineers since former iOS chief Scot Forstall’s departure in order to polish and enhance the service so it lives up to the “incredibly high standard” of Apple’s customers.

Here’s what you should expect from Apple Maps in iOS 8… Read More

 

Apple credits iOS 7.1 security changes to evad3rs and other jailbreak community members

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2014

Following the release of the first major iOS 7.1 software update earlier today, Apple has now updated contents of the support document which outlines security updates for its products with a link to this newly created document describing iOS 7.1 security improvements.

In it, Apple credits prominent members of the jailbreak community such as evad3rs, the team behind the evasi0n jailbreak, as well as Google and others who reported issues and helped contribute toward the security changes within iOS 7.1… Read More

 

iOS 7.1 is out with CarPlay support, Siri and Touch ID improvements and more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2014

Apple has just released long-expected iOS 7.1 for public consumption, the first major software update to its mobile operating system in nearly six months. As you know, Apple last September gave iOS a substantial visual makeover that inadvertently brought issues like random restarts and crashes.

Apple claims it’s fixed these problems while adding a myriad of user interface refinements and a few new features, including Siri and Touch ID enhancements.

You’ll also appreciate noticeably faster animations and transitions, as well as new accessibility options, performance improvements and more. If you’re jailbroken, do not upgrade to iOS 7.1 – you’ve been warnedRead More

 

Mercedes-Benz hints at CarPlay aftermarket upgrades for older vehicles

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 6, 2014

I immediately noticed writing about Apple’s CarPlay that our commenters have been wondering whether this new feature that basically puts iOS in the car front and center would be available for older vehicles.

Turns out this just might be a possibility because Mercedes-Benz, one of Apple’s launch partners for CarPlay, has now officially confirmed that it is working on aftermarket installations for older vehicles.

Jordan Kahn of 9to5Mac was able to confirm with a Mercedes-Benz representative that the car maker is looking into getting an “an after-market solution for previous cars”, confirming the option should become available by the end of the year… Read More

 

Real Racing 3 gains iOS 7 controller support, Photo mode, car customization, Aston Martin and more

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year already since Electronic Arts released its free-to-play Real Racing 3 in the App Store. On the downside, a year is a long time in mobile so aside from avid fans, many casual gamers may have by now stopped enjoying this otherwise excellent racer.

If you needed an excuse to re-download and fire up Real Racing 3 on your device, Electronic Arts is celebrating the game’s first anniversary and has marked the occasion by issuing a fresh content update today. It contains a bunch of new goodies, including support for the physical iOS 7 controllers helping turn Real Racing 3 into a more of a console experience.

Some of the surprises include deep car customization options along with a brand new Photo mode to go with it. “After seeing everyone creating amazing screenshots with Replays, we’re excited to see what players do with Photo mode,” developer Firemonkey teased.

As a bonus, you can now drive Aston Martin sports cars and everyone gets to grab a free 1972 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7. Jump past the fold for the full reveal… Read More

 

Ferrari shows off CarPlay integration with last-century resistive touchscreen tech

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014

Following Volvo and Mercedes-Benz video tours of Apple’s newly announced in-car system dubbed CarPlay (formerly iOS in the Car), Apple’s third launch partner – the Italian sports car maker Ferrari – today showcased the technology at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland.

Apple has even dispatched its VP of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing, Greg Joswiak, to help launch the new Ferrari FF with CarPlay. Unfortunately, the car manufacturer has made a terrible decision outfitting the Ferrari FF with a resistive touchscreen that requires users to press firmly to register touches… Read More

 

Mercedes-Benz posts CarPlay video tour showcasing real-world Siri integration

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014

After Volvo yesterday posted a nice hands-on video highlighting Apple’s newly launched in-car system dubbed CarPlay (previously known as iOS in the Car), Mercedes-Benz (one of the three CarPlay launch partners) has posted a video tour of its own which gives us a hands-on demo of CarPlay in its new C-Class and showcases real-world Siri integration.

The clip depicts a driver using Siri to get visual directions with a little help from Apple Maps and using a dedicated hardware button to interact with Apple’s smart voice assistant. As previously stated, CarPlay does not allow for third-party mapping apps such as Google Maps… Read More

 

Apple’s CarPlay is powered by BlackBerry’s QNX

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 4, 2014

Monday, at the Geneva Motor Show, Apple’s in-car system previously known under the ‘iOS in the Car’ moniker got formally announced and rebranded as CarPlay. Launch partners Volvo, Ferrari, and Mercedez-Benz backed the feature as dozens of vendors pledged to support CarPlay in their upcoming vehicles later this year.

Volvo confirmed that CarPlay’s connection and video mirroring functionality is based on a streaming H.264 video feed, prompting watchers to speculate that the feature is based on AirPlay, an Apple-designed media streaming technology.

In a rather surprising find earlier today, N4BB was able to confirm that CarPlay runs on QNX, an operating system the embattled Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry acquired Harman International Industries back in 2010… Read More

 

How CarPlay predicts where you may be heading

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

Apple’s press release and the CarPlay preview page state that the newly rebranded feature lets drivers access some iPhone functionality through their vehicle’s in-car infotainment system.

Specifically, Apple mentions getting directions, making calls, sending and receiving messages and listening to music.

This is all pretty basic stuff, unless you take a closer look at how Apple brought context awareness and tapped artificial intelligence to predict where you may be heading, so you don’t even need to enter in an address for a final destination… Read More

 

Mercedes-Benz shows off CarPlay integration

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

After Apple formally announced its long-expected iOS in the Car initiative today at the Geneva Motor Show - rebranded as CarPlay - car maker Volvo was quick to post a video showing it off in action. Not to be outdone by Volvo, rival Mercedes-Benz has now shared additional tidbits pertaining to how it plans to integrate CarPlay into an upcoming C-Class.

And just like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz is keeping its options open by not pledging exclusive support for CarPlay. In addition to its own in-car entertainment system, the company is going to support not only Apple’s CarPlay, but also Android-based in-car infotainment system when it launches later this year. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty… Read More

 

Microsoft to make it easier to add Xbox Live functionality to iOS games

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

Software maker Microsoft last November released its companion free SmartGlass app on the App Store, giving Xbox One owners a way to connect to their console to browse the web, navigate the dashboard control content, access achievements and more, all from their iPhone and iPad devices.

But Microsoft isn’t standing still.

According to a new report by The Verge, the Redmond giant is now looking to push the Xbox Live service cross-platform “in a big way” soon. For months now, Microsoft has been offering tools allowing third-party iOS and Android developers to integrate Xbox Live functionality into their apps and games.

But as games developers balked at Microsoft’s required certification process, the company is now looking to “win back” their support by making Xbox Live “a lot easier” to integrate into apps and games… Read More

 

Volvo posts video of Apple’s CarPlay in action

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 3, 2014

Hot on the heels of Apple’s CarPlay announcement earlier this morning at the Geneva Motor Show, car maker Volvo has posted a video showing off iOS integration in action.

Unlike CarPlay implementations by other vendors such as Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz, Volvo took the feature to the next level.

Specifically, Volvo’s system allows for both CarPlay and Volvo controls to be available to drivers simultaneously on the vehicle’s large touchscreen. I’ve included the video for your viewing pleasure right after the break… Read More