Apple’s Car Play: Smartphones And The Future Of Car Shopping

Last year apple announced the revolutionary idea of having iOS software in a car.  Now they have come out with a more details and a name: CarPlay.  The idea is to have a safer way to operate your phone in your car.  This way you get your iPhone interface with all of your custom iPhone settings right on the monitor of your car.  Everything can be voice activated so you can keep your focus on the road.  Apple says: “available on select new cars in 2014, CarPlay is safer, smarter way to use your iPhone in the car.  CarPlay takes the things you want to do in your car while driving, and puts them right on your cars built in display.  You can get directions, make calls, send and receive messages, and listen to music, all in a way that allows you to stay focused on the road.  Just plug in your iPhone and go.”

This is unique in that car companies are giving up a large amount of control of their in-car experience to an external company.  They are also somewhat limiting themselves to one type of phone user, as cars that support CarPlay will not be able to support Android users.  Dan Wallach from The Truth About Cars says, “To my mind, the big issue here is lock-in.  Are you an Android user? Sorry, CarPlay appears to be proprietary and will not support your phone. Oh, did you want a new VW/Audi car? Looks like they’re working with Google in the competing Open Automotive Alliance, which is a bit shy on details but does say ‘you can expect to see the first cars with Android integration by the end of this year.’”

CarPlay will support the iPhone 5 and newer models and will work with car companies such as Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes, and Volvo in 2014 and several more in 2015.  The most notable absences from the list being: Volkswagen, Audi, Chrysler, Fiat, and Tesla.



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