TuneIn Radio adds real radio stations to CarPlay + Apple Watch controls

TuneIn CarPlay

TuneIn Radio is the latest addition to Apple’s short list of App Store apps that work with the iPhone’s CarPlay feature. The service streams “over 100,000 real radio stations from around the world, including sports, news, talk, and music.” The latest version of TuneIn for iPhone brings radio station streaming to the CarPlay interface and includes Apple Watch support for controlling stations from your wrist. Read more

Pioneer’s second-gen CarPlay NEX head units are now available

Pioneer NEX 8100 CarPlay

Pioneer’s second generation NEX series of in-dash receivers with CarPlay support are now available through authorized retail channels, the company announced today. Apple’s CarPlay feature made its aftermarket debut last fall through a firmware update to several models of Pioneer’s first-gen NEX head units, and the improved models are the first from Pioneer to be designed with CarPlay support (and Android Auto) from day one. Read more

Is Apple’s ‘Titan’ electric car project being operated by “SixtyEight” shell company in Sunnyvale?

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A report from AppleInsider claims Apple is using a shell company called SixtyEight Research and small office building in Sunnyvale, California to work on its secretive electric vehicle project. The report doesn’t definitively confirm that Apple is actually using the site for its car project, but it does discover some connections with Apple and points to recent automotive related renovations at the building: Read more

BMW denies Apple Car collaboration, but report hints i3 electric car could get Apple OS

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BMW has denied a report in the German car magazine that it is developing or building a car for Apple, but not responded to a claim suggesting that Apple may be developing an ‘operating system’ for its i3 electric car.

Auto Motor Sport claimed that Apple was in discussion with BMW about the possibility of developing an electric car based on the BMW i3, following numerous reports that the Cupertino company plans to develop an Apple Car. However, Reuters reported shortly afterwards that BMW had denied this.

German carmaker BMW said on Thursday its talks with technology giant Apple did not involve developing or building a car, denying a German magazine report.

BMW did confirm that it was holding “regular talks” with Apple on “topics like connected vehicles,” offering no comment on the idea that Apple may be working on an ‘operating system’ for the car …  Read more

Apple wins patent for Maps feature that could help you avoid routes w/ weak cellular signal

Maps details

Apple applies for and gets awarded patents for everything under the sun, and patents don’t always translate to shipped features. Disclaimer aside, the iPhone maker was recently awarded a patent for a potentially useful feature that could help you avoid areas with weak cellular coverage when planning your trip with navigation in Maps.

The USPTO awarded Apple with a patent (via Gigaom) to analyze routes between two locations and “employ an algorithm that considers wireless network signal strengths along those routes.”

In other words, because your iPhone can collect and measure cellular signal data and many iPhone users anonymously share travel data with Apple, there’s potential for Maps to know which routes problematically contain dead zones and suggest lengthier routes with better signal. Read more

Koenigsegg includes CarPlay in crazy (and gorgeous) new 1782bhp hybrid hypercar

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You’d think putting three electric motors into a sportscar to generate a total of 697bhp would be pretty impressive in itself, as would a 1085bhp 5-litre V8 gas engine, but no: Koenigsegg had to combine the two. The exclusive Swedish supercar manufacturer’s new Regera hybrid delivers a total output of 1782bhp.

With all that power, it might be a little hard to hear the stereo over the engine noise and tire screeching, but Koenigsegg has fitted a CarPlay unit to the car for those times when you’re taking things a little easier …  Read more

Apple hires head of Mercedes-Benz R&D, other auto experts for new secret research lab

Apple has hired former president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Johann Jungwirth to join the company as Director of Mac Systems Engineering. The hire was confirmed by Jungwirth’s LinkedIn page, and first noted by a report in the Financial Times detailing Apple’s recent hires in the automotive industry and secretive new automotive research lab.

The report claims Apple’s automotive hires are for a new research lab where “experienced managers from its iPhone unit, are researching automotive products.” Read more

iOS 8.3 brings wireless CarPlay, improved Google login, new Emojis, China Apple Pay

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Earlier today, Apple seeded the first iOS 8.3 build to developers alongside Xcode 6.3 beta with Swift 1.2. Readers have discovered that the new operating system brings a new wireless CarPlay feature to the iPhone. This means that users can now wirelessly connect their iPhone to the car to bring an iOS-like experience the dashboard. Previously, users would have to connect their iPhone to the car via a USB Lightning cable. We first reported in March 2014 that Apple has been working on wireless CarPlay. It’s yet to be seen how long the wireless CarPlay rollout takes and which cars support it in the future. The new update also, like with OS X 10.10.3, brings easier Google login functionality for users with two-factor accounts:

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Why my next car probably won’t have CarPlay (Spoiler: Apple Watch)

Apple Watch CarPlay

My next new car probably won’t have CarPlay. I’ve reached this decision in part due to automakers’ slow crawl to put CarPlay in vehicles that you can actually buy today. While 2015 may bring the feature to more vehicles on the road with more than 30 automobile brands committed to ship CarPlay in the future, we’re still not there yet and the roll out is slow.

More influential, though, is my experience using aftermarket CarPlay in my current car for several months convincing me that CarPlay’s features are not yet where they need to be. As I noted in my hands-on review last fall, CarPlay introduces a new set of problems while trying to make using your iPhone in the car safer and easier.

So if CarPlay isn’t ultimately the answer to creating a better iPhone experience on the road, then what is? I’m convinced the Apple Watch will be better suited…

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