Rdio announces CarPlay support, 320 kbps audio, & iPhone 6/6 Plus optimizations

Rdio today announced support for CarPlay, allowing its users to listen and control content from the subscription music service using the built-in touchscreen of CarPlay-enabled vehicles.

CarPlay Support. Control Rdio playback and navigate your favorites and playlists from the built-in display in CarPlay-enabled cars.

Vehicles with CarPlay, Apple’s new feature that brings an iOS-like experience to in-dash touchscreens connected to an iPhone, first hit the road earlier this year in pricey new Ferrari models followed by an aftermarket solution from Pioneer. The service only has a handful of app partners so far, but we noted in our recent review that not all apps are playing nice with the feature yet. Apple currently lists iHeartRadio, MLB At Bat, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, CBS Radio, and its own Podcasts and Beats Music apps as supported apps.  Read more

Review: CarPlay has promise, but the road to perfection is long

This is CarPlay

With Pioneer now offering aftermarket CarPlay support through their existing NEX displays, I got the chance to finally test drive CarPlay (without having to buy a new car) and see how Apple’s driving-optimized iPhone experience performs on the road.

Apple describes CarPlay as “a smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car” because tasks like making phone calls, sending messages, finding directions, and playing music from your iPhone are completed using Siri and the car’s touch screen rather than fiddling with your phone in your hand.

In short, CarPlay has a lot of promise and already makes a few things easier, but it’s not without its hiccups just yet. I’ll share my hands-on experience with upgrading to CarPlay with an aftermarket Pioneer display including a few interesting tidbits and lots of photos below. Read more

Pioneer finally brings CarPlay equipment to mass market, Spotify app update adds CarPlay support

Pioneer, CarPlay

The CarPlay situation has been murky. Since being announced in the spring, most manufacturers have been quiet on when CarPlay equipment will actually be available to purchase. Pioneer is the first company to deliver on its promise, adding CarPlay as an update to its aftermarket dashboard panels (unless you count Ferrari’s integration into its high-end Ferrari California T).

Existing Pioneer device owners may not need to purchase any extras, as the CarPlay update is free for supported devices. Aforementioned units include the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX and the AVH-4000NEX with prices ranging from $700 to $1400.

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Apple quietly removes promise of 2014 CarPlay availability as it adds CBS News Radio compatibility

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Apple has quietly updated its CarPlay microsite which explains the feature to add CBS News Radio to its growing list of apps it grants CarPlay support to, but a bigger change also appears on the CarPlay site this morning. Apple is no longer promising CarPlay support from any automobile manufacturer this year as it has done since its debut in March. While there has been no shortage of CarPlay demoes and availability announcements, actually getting your hands on a model with CarPlay thus far has proven almost impossible.

The site now says CarPlay “will be available” from listed partners without offering any specific timeframe (and removing the 2014 language for specific brands altogether). This is likely due to delays in CarPlay availability thus far, even in models that have announced support earlier this year with cars that are now on the road. Read more

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

Apple-Patent-app-july-3-01

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

Apple-CarPlay-dash

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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