USA Today for iPhone outs itself as a future CarPlay app

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USA Today has revealed that it will soon be added to Apple’s list of supported third party apps with support for CarPlay. The mention slipped into the release notes of the USA Today’s latest iPhone app update mentioning that the app would no longer feature audio versions of articles as it prepares to add integration with CarPlay.

Audio versions of top articles have been temporarily removed while we prepare for a seamless integration with CarPlay.

Support for CarPlay is currently limited to apps officially whitelisted by Apple. Since the official announcement of Apple’s feature integrating iPhone apps with car infotainment systems earlier this year, MBL At Bat has been the only third party app to join the initial list of supported apps. Read more

Volkswagen in talks with Apple to bring CarPlay to 2016 VW models

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Volkswagen’s VW line, one of the few notable holdouts from announcing future integration of CarPlay into its vehicles, is in talks with Apple to embed the iOS-based feature, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

An announcement from the two companies is expected in the coming months, but specifics on which models will receive CarPlay are currently unavailable, except sources say that Volkswagen is targeting CarPlay for 2016 models, not 2015 versions…

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Apple patent details automatically adjusting security settings based on location, biosensors & behavior

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A new patent application published today by the United States Patent & Trademark Office details a system Apple could use to automatically configure security and other settings of a device based on its location or the habits of its user (Google filed for the same patent 2 months prior but who’s counting?). The majority of the patent discusses intelligently adjusting settings by detecting a device’s location while using retinal scans, DNA, fingerprints, or other biosensors to present an appropriate level of security to the user: Read more

Apple announces 9 new CarPlay partners including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Fiat

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Apple today announced nine additional partners committed to shipping CarPlay integration in future vehicles marking the first expansion to that list since the feature was officially introduced in March. Joining the list of existing CarPlay partners for 2014 and beyond is Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Mazda, and Ram. Each new auto manufacturer is committed to integrating CarPlay in models planned to be announced and released in the future.

Audi, as you may recall, first mentioned its plans to introduce CarPlay in an announcement last week, and yesterday the luxury car maker expanded on those plans saying support will roll out in Europe in 2015 and the United States during the following year. Read more

Audi says it plans to bring Apple CarPlay to its cars next year

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Audi today announced in a press release that it plans to integrate Apple’s CarPlay technology to its vehicles possibly as soon as next year. This makes Audi the first automobile company to join Apple’s initial list of committed partners since the Cupertino-company announced the feature’s roll out plans in detail earlier this year in March although Alpine and Pioneer have been added for announcing support for aftermarket solutions.

Audi has not yet been added to Apple’s CarPlay microsite which lists each car company with a commitment to support CarPlay, but Audi says that CarPlay integration with its vehicles “is taking place through intensive dialog between the Audi development lab in Silicon Valley and Apple.” While its unclear just how far along Audi’s partnership with Apple is since Apple hasn’t added Audi to its list of partners, for its part Audi says it plans to roll out the first models supporting CarPlay in 2015. Read more

Apple adds MLB At Bat to list of CarPlay-supported apps

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(Screenshot from USA Today demo)

We already saw MLB.com At Bat make an appearance in USA Today’s demo of CarPlay during Apple’s WWDC developer conference earlier this month, and today Apple has updated its CarPlay microsite to include the baseball-dedicated app to its list of apps that support the feature. In the shot above and below you can see the icon for At Bat as well as a preview of the CarPlay specific user interface from USA Today’s demo. The app is expected to support streaming audio from baseball games for MLB.com At Bat subscribers.

MLB At Bat is the first app to join the CarPlay compatible apps announced earlier this year with major third party apps like Google Maps and Pandora Radio notably lacking support. As it stands currently, though, Apple is the gatekeeper for integrating CarPlay support as it decides which apps it wants the feature to support.

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Chevy Spark featuring built-in CarPlay shown off at WWDC ahead of announcement from Chevrolet

Chevy Volt CarPlay

Earlier this week we pointed out that several cars were spotted on display in Moscone Center during the morning of Apple’s WWDC keynote. While Apple’s CarPlay technology did not get a mention during the information-dense two hour keynote on Monday, it turns out those cars were used to give CarPlay demoes to press and attendees at the conference.

We already noted Ferrari’s FF model, which has had CarPlay support since the official announcement, and USA Today mentions that a 1965 Ford Mustang was featured as well (with an aftermarket solution offered by Pioneer). However, Apple gave USA Today a CarPlay demo in a Chevy Spark as seen in the video below. Interestingly, Chevrolet is noted as a “committed partner” on Apple’s CarPlay microsite but not included among automakers shipping CarPlay-equipped vehicles in 2014… Read more

Apple’s home automation system will be less of a hub, more of a ‘made for iPhone’ program

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Acquiring the Nest Learning Thermostat was Google’s big step into home automation

As first reported on Monday, Apple is said to be preparing a home automation system for debut at WWDC next week. While this was the first anyone had heard of any such plans, several different sources have quickly come together to give an idea of how an “Apple Smart Home” will likely function.

On Monday, as noted above, the Financial Times first reported that Apple’s new program would not consist of a group of first-party automated appliances or other devices connected to an iPhone. Instead, the program will work similarly to Apple’s existing “Made for iPhone” program. Essentially the only role Apple will play is to grant special branding to compliant devices.

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Hyundai announces CarPlay coming this summer to its 2015 Sonata

Hyundai CarPlay

Hyundai announced today at the New York International Auto Show its 2015 Sonata will be the first of its vehicles to feature Apple’s new CarPlay technology bringing phone, messaging, music, and navigation functionality from the iPhone to the in-dash display through iOS and Siri. Apple rebranded its iOS in the Car feature announced at WWDC in 2013 as CarPlay earlier this year with a number of committed partners including Hyundai, and today’s announcement by the automative manufacturer is the first unveiling of its official plans to bring CarPlay to market with its brand.

Hyundai says its 2015 Sonata will be available at dealerships in early summer this year. While pricing and availability specifics have yet to be unveiled, Hyundai’s CarPlay offering is expected to be considerably more affordable than other brands partnered including Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo.

The news comes just one day after Pioneer official announced it will bring CarPlay to a number of its existing 2014 in-dash systems through a firmware update. Ford, Toyota, and other automotive manufacturers are expected to unveil new products at the auto show as it continues through the month, although Honda is the only partner committed to CarPlay in 2014 (per Apple’s CarPlay site) without a compatible car announced.

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Pioneer says CarPlay firmware update for existing 2014 in-dash systems coming this summer

Pioneer, CarPlay

Following reports yesterday that car electronics manufacturer Alpine was planning to launch aftermarket CarPlay units in the fall, Pioneer issued a press release today confirming a firmware update for existing in-dash systems. Pioneer will be bringing Apple’s new CarPlay system to existing vehicles using the company’s five 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers this summer through a firmware update.

Utilizing large, in-dash Pioneer LCD displays, CarPlay featuring Siri® voice control, gives iPhone users the features while allowing them to stay focused on the road. With CarPlay, consumers with iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 can use Siri to make and receive calls, compose and respond to text messages, use Apple Maps for navigation and listen to their music, podcasts and iTunes RadioSM. For more information about CarPlay, visit www.apple.com/ios/carplay.

As for what vehicles and in-dash systems it will support, it sounds like it will be limited to 2014 editions of the in-dash receivers mentioned above. For the US, those include the following: Read more

Car electronics manufacturer Alpine to sell aftermarket CarPlay units in the fall

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Alpine devices already integrate with the Siri Eyes Free feature of iOS devices.

In March, Mercedes-Benz said that it had plans to offer aftermarket CarPlay units by the end of 2014. As noticed by MacRumors, a Nikkei report from Saturday reveals that car electronics manufacturer Alpine has similar plans.

Alpine will begin selling a standalone car console that integrates CarPlay in the fall. Although many car manufacturers are going to offer CarPlay-equipped cars in their new ranges very soon, Alpine will be the first company to sell an independent CarPlay unit, that can be installed on current cars. The cost is reported to be between $500 to $700.

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Aftermarket CarPlay solutions? Not so fast says Volvo & Ferrari

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While we recently confirmed that Mercedes-Benz is planning to have an aftermarket CarPlay solution for older vehicles out by the end of the year, some of Apple’s other partners aren’t as confident. The two other companies that have so far announced the feature for new vehicles— Ferrari and Volvo— are both hinting that aftermarket CarPlay solutions are probably not happening anytime soon.

We reached out to Volvo about its aftermarket CarPlay strategy and the company told us there are “major roadblocks” to overcome before it commits to any plans for older vehicles: Read more