Apple

Apple To Bring iPhone Software To Cars

Apple's CarPlay will provide hands-free control of the iPhone while driving. It will be available in select car models later this year.

By Jasmine Bailey, Amy Kluber | March 3, 2014

We all know playing with your phone while driving is a big no-no, and now Apple's "iOS in the Car" will help drivers stay hands-free.

It's called CarPlay and will be available with the next iOS 7 update on iPhones 5, 5c and 5s. CarPlay will allow you to "get directions, make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music." All you have to do is "plug in your iPhone and go." (Via Apple

But there is sort of a catch — your car has to be compatible with CarPlay in order for the system to work. 

"Top tier auto brands like Ferrari, Mercedes Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to drivers this week while BMW, Ford, GM and others are expected to implement the app further down the road." (Via KTVB)

But for the cars lucky enough to have the system, it will take drivers just a word, touch or twist to get started. Apple says anything that can control your car's touch screen will control CarPlay. (Via Volvo)

Apple boasts a safe driving experience because CarPlay works with in-car controls and voice commands via Siri to operate the system hands-free.

The move puts Apple ahead of its competitors Microsoft and Google, who have all raced to bring user-friendly software to vehicles — with Microsoft in the market since 1998. (Via The Guardian)

But according to The Wall Street Journal, what makes Apple's CarPlay unique is the goal of making the iPhone a "brain for operating dashboard electronics" instead of just an accessory.

The iPhone currently needs to be connected to a compatible car's software by Lightning cable — but TechCrunch reports Wi-Fi connectivity in Volvos will be coming soon, opening up the possibility of using older iPhone models with the system.

CarPlay-enabled cars will start shipping some time later this year and will hit dealers in the fall.

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