When CarPlay was debuted in March of 2014, a variety of automobile manufacturers signed on to support Apple’s in-car offering. One of those launch partners was Honda and despite the manufacturer having promised to support the platform from the beginning, it has yet to release any car model with support for CarPlay. Today, however, Honda announced at an event in Silicon Valley that it will begin shipping cars with support for CarPlay in 2016.
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
Update: A source close to the company tells us the feature is “more than just simple mirroring” and indeed part of Honda’s implementation of iOS in the Car. Collaboration with Apple first started in 2011 and Honda initially announced Siri Eyes Free, but the new 2014 Civic will be the first of its vehicles to expand its collaboration with Apple to the new iOS in the Car features. We’re told Honda plans to announce new iOS integration features the first week of December and that the hardware will enable a full roll out of iOS in the Car for the 14 Civic when Apple is ready with the feature later this year. We’ve reached out to Honda for an official comment and we’ll update if we hear back.
Update 2: It’s official.
After announcing back in January that it would begin supporting the Siri Eyes Free feature as an option in some of its 2013 Accord and Acura models, Honda will become the first major car manufacturer to support iOS mirroring on December 4. That could mean drivers of its new 2014 Civic just unveiled yesterday will be able to control their iOS devices using the 7-inch multitouch display built into the dash of the car. Honda confirmed mirroring technology would be available in the Civic when it goes on sale next month on its Twitter account (pictured below). It also noted that the promised Siri Eyes Free updates will be available at the beginning of December.
Earlier this year Apple unveiled a new strategy to further integrate its mobile platform into vehicles with the introduction of iOS in the Car at WWDC in June. The new features will see Apple working with car manufacturers to allow users to place calls, have more control over Siri, and view maps, but it’s unclear exactly what mirroring technology Honda will be using using in its new Civic Coupe. iOS in the Car is expected to make an appearance in new vehicles in 2014, while Apple is already working with Audi, BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and Toyota to implement Siri Eyes Free. Read more
GM announced in November 2012 that it would bring the Siri’s Eyes Free feature to the Chevy Sonic and Spark vehicles in 2013, and it officially became the first company last month to offer the enhanced Siri integration in its vehicles. GM has today kicked off a new marketing campaign to highlight the feature that allows drivers to activate Siri through a dedicated button on the steering wheel in its 2013 Sonic.
Apple originally announced a number of automakers that would include support for the feature in future vehicles, including: BMW, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda. Honda confirmed earlier this year that Siri Eyes Free would be available in its 2013 Accord, Acura RDX, and ILX models.
Some more videos showing off Siri Eyes Free are below: