Roundup: Find all of 9to5Mac’s CES 2015 coverage in one place

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If you’ve somehow missed the overflow of coverage from CES 2015 last week, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. During the show we took a look at the latest devices and accessories that are expected to be released throughout 2015. The show was packed with new smartphones, home automation tools, cases, and some unexpected surprises. If you didn’t catch all of the coverage from the show, check out the roundup below with links to everything that we found interesting…

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Harman debuts touchscreen-free CarPlay solution, Integrated Essentials Cockpit

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Demonstrating how Apple’s CarPlay will be integrated into upcoming budget vehicles, Harman has shown the Integrated Essentials Cockpit, a new OEM solution that does away with direct touchscreen interaction in favor of a steering wheel-mounted touchpad. The Integrated Essentials Cockpit eliminates the currently popular center console-mounted screen, instead bringing Apple’s CarPlay interface directly into the dashboard behind the steering wheel.

Unusually, the CarPlay UI then sits between a left-side speedometer and a right-side tachometer, below a bar with a thermometer and above a fuel gauge and odometer. More pictures and details are below.

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Pioneer unveils its improved NEX in-dash receivers with CarPlay

Pioneer NEX 8100 CarPlay

Pioneer was first to bring CarPlay to the market without requiring you to buy a new car, and at CES 2015 today the company announced the second generation of its CarPlay-enabled NEX in-dash receivers. The latest Pioneer NEX displays all support CarPlay and start at $700 with 6.2-inch and 7-inch resistive and capacitive touch displays.

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Kenwood introduces its first aftermarket CarPlay display at CES 2015

Kenwood CarPlay

Kenwood announced today at CES 2015 its first entry into the aftermarket CarPlay space with its new DDX9902S multimedia receiver. Kenwood’s announcement follows the roll out of competing aftermarket CarPlay head units from both Pioneer, which was first to bring CarPlay to the market and Alpine, which built a dedicated CarPlay display. In addition to supporting CarPlay, Kenwood says its DDX9902S display will support Google’s Android Auto feature in the same unit. Read more

Volkswagen confirms plans to launch CarPlay support later this year

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Volkswagen, at CES 2015, has finally announced what it plans to do with both CarPlay and Android Auto. The German auto manufacturer has confirmed that it will begin shipping cars with CarPlay capabilities later this year in its 2016 models. We reported back July of last year that Volkswagen and Apple were in talks to bring CarPlay to VW’s 2016 models.

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Parrot introduces CarPlay-powered RNB6 infotainment system

Parrot today introduced its new infotainment system, currently known only by its model number, “RNB6,” that features a 7-inch 720p display. The system runs on a custom build of Android, but has full support for the iPhone’s CarPlay feature, allowing control of your cell phone’s key functions through your dashboard.

Even without a phone connected, the system offers onboard navigation (integrated with the dashcam), phone call capability (presumably over Bluetooth unless connected via CarPlay or Android Auto), vehicle diagnostics, music and climate control, and more.

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Apple fast tracks CarPlay hardware development w/ official MFi specs for head units

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Apple’s new CarPlay iOS feature has recently arrived through a limited number of in-dash vehicle entertainment systems and aftermarket products, but Apple has now introduced official guidelines for companies building CarPlay hardware through its Made-for-iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) licensing program, according to sources.  Read more

Zac’s holiday gift guide – a little something for everyone’s iPhone, iPad, & Mac

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Most of my favorite gift picks this year fall into the category of using the iPhone and iPad on the road so I already shared my favorite gift items for road warriors including CarPlay in-dash receivers and more. The Mac, though, is less transit-friendly when it comes to gifts unless you’re looking for a power adapter for charging in the car, so below I’ve collected some more Mac-friendly gift picks as well as a few analog options and more. Catch up with the rest of 9to5Mac’s holiday gift guides for more ideas and follow 9to5Toys.com for the latest deals.  Read more

Apple CarPlay vs Google Android Auto — full comparison (Video)

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Apple and Google are back at it again and attempting to bring a safe and friendly mobile experience to your car. Android Auto and CarPlay are the two company’s re-imagining of mobile user interfaces for the car and both are gearing up for a major rollout over the next year.

Each system is designed to work with its respective native mobile platform, but there are differences between the two that may appeal to different people. Today we’re comparing Apple’s CarPlay to Google’s Android Auto using the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. This car comes packed with both systems, so you won’t have to compromise either way, but there are some important differences between the two…

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Holiday gift guide: using iPhone and iPad in the car

holiday gift guide iPhone and iPad in the car

The iPhone has easily become the best jukebox in the car with your iTunes library, iTunes Radio, streaming services like Beats Music and Spotify, and great apps for keeping up with podcasts. With hands-free features powered by Siri, you can even stay in touch with phone calls and text messages all without ever taking your eyes off the road. If you’re a passenger, the iPad is a great screen for gaming, reading, watching movies, and more.

This holiday season is especially exciting with new features built-in to iOS like CarPlay and Hey Siri, which allows you to activate Siri while your iPhone or iPad is charging completely hands-free, and below are some of the best products to gift the iPhone or iPad-owning driver this year. Read more

Apple defends safety of Siri use while driving after university study rated it highly distracting

 

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Apple has responded to a University of Utah study which criticized the safety of using Siri while driving, stating that it didn’t test the company’s in-car versions, Siri Eyes Free and CarPlay.

Of the six speech-recognition systems tested by researchers, Siri was found to be the worst for driver distraction. The study hooked up drivers to heart-rate monitors and other equipment designed to measure the degree of stress experienced by drivers while carrying out a range of voice-command tasks, giving each system a distraction rating from 1 (best) to 5 (worst) …  Read more