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

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

Mercedes-Benz plans aftermarket CarPlay installations for older vehicles by end of the year

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Update: Mercedes told us its “goal is to offer an after market solution by the end of the year.”

There have been a lot of mixed reviews of Apple’s CarPlay, a new feature that brings iOS into the car by displaying a customized interface for core iOS apps on in-car displays of select vehicles. A couple of the the common complaints you’ll be hearing about CarPlay: Its implementation varies from vehicle to vehicle as car makers use different touchscreen technology and varying approaches to meld CarPlay with their own in-car systems. Another problem is that it’s so far only coming to a few new vehicles by the end of this year including a pricey new FF from Ferrari, a new C-Class from Mercedes-Benz, and the XC90 SUV from Volvo. That certainly didn’t make owners of last year’s C-Class model happy, but the good news is we’ve confirmed that at least some car makers are planning to offer aftermarket installations for older vehicles. Read more

Hands-on demo of CarPlay in new Ferrari & Volvo vehicles from Geneva Motor Show [Video]

Today we get our best look yet at Apple’s new CarPlay iOS feature running in new vehicles from Volvo and Ferrari. Both debuting this week at the Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari is showing off the feature in its new FF (below), while the video above from Mac4Ever gives us a hands-on demo of the feature in the new Volvo XC90 SUV. Comparing the videos, we can see that the implementation of CarPlay varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Volvo, for instance, has a system to display CarPlay and its own content simultaneously, while Ferrari appears to have a dedicated hardware button to activate CarPlay and switch between it and the traditional in-car system. Head below for the full-hands on from Ferrari and a concept Volvo demo: Read more

Mercedes-Benz gives us a look at Apple’s CarPlay in new C-Class [Gallery]

Earlier today we got a look at Apple’s just announced CarPlay feature for iOS when Volvo announced it would arrive in its new XC90 SUV, and now Mercedes-Benz has announced its partnership with Apple. As previously reported, the company confirmed today that it will be demoing the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class at the Geneva Motor Show. Like Volvo and many of the other vehicle manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz made it clear that Apple’s CarPlay won’t be the only in-car entertainment system with work continuing on Android and MirrorLink solutions: Read more

Ferrari, Volvo, and Mercedes to unveil first iOS in the Car-integrated vehicles next week

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When announcing iOS 7 last year, Apple previewed an upcoming featured called iOS in the Car that will allow automotive manufacturers to integrate iOS-powered mobile devices into the media centers in their cars. The feature was noted as “coming in 2014″ and no more was said about it until just recently when developers managed to get the system working on the iPhone Simulator.

Now, the Financial Times reports that three automotive companies are preparing to show off their first new vehicles equipped with the technology. This doesn’t necessarily mean that iOS 7.1—the update that will enable the feature on the iPhone and iPad—is coming next week.

Read more

See iOS in the Car in action on iOS Simulator ahead of release (Updated with new video)

Earlier this month we reported that a developer was seemingly able to get Apple’s upcoming iOS in the Car feature running through what we assumed was the iOS Simulator. Today, the same developer, Steven Troughton-Smith, has posted the video embedded above showing the feature actually up and running in a 800×480 Simulator window. Using the iPhone Simulator and iOS 7.0.3, the video shows the Maps app, a crude multitasking tray of sorts, and the ability to search by voice to navigate. No other apps are shown in the video, but it does appear that media controls of some kind are in the multitasking tray like in previous versions of iOS.

We noted before that the design had changed quite significantly since Apple first showed off the feature on stage at WWDC last year. The first set of screenshots posted showed a horizontal navigation bar, but the new video shows a design that’s much closer to what Apple showed on stage and what it is currently displaying on its website. Smith also made some notes of his own after playing with the simulator: Read more

Developer activates Apple’s upcoming iOS in the Car system, shows different interface

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Ahead of Apple’s launch of iOS in the Car later this year, developer Steven Troughton-Smith has seemingly activated the feature inside what we presume is the iOS Simulator. iOS in the Car allows an iOS 7 user to connect their iOS device to their car’s built-in center console display. On the console, they can use Apple Maps, read Messages, make phone calls, and control music…

Read more

iOS 7.1 likely to unlock Apple’s upcoming iOS in the Car feature

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In July, we reported that Apple was already at work on iOS 7.1 and that it would build in support for the upcoming iOS in the Car feature:

We also understand that Apple is already at work on a point update (perhaps iOS 7.1 or 7.2), and this new version will begin building in support for iOS in the Car. Apple says that iOS in the Car will formally launch in 2014 with several car makers.

iOS in the Car is a feature that allows customers to attach an iOS device to a compatible car center console via either wireless protocols or over a USB cable. An iOS interface for managing Maps, Messages, and Music appears on the car’s display…

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Honda introduces iOS in the Car mirroring in new 2014 Civic, promised Siri Eyes Free updates incoming

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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

Apple picks up Digital Dash touch screen dashboard patent that could improve iOS in the Car

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A new Apple patent published today by the United States Patent and Trademark office (via AppleInsider) could show some of Apple’s future plans for bringing iOS to the car through its partnership with various car manufacturers. Earlier this year at WWDC, Apple showed off its new iOS in the Car feature that will bring enhanced iOS integration for apps such as Maps and Siri to select vehicles sometime next year. Today, Apple describes how it could also be doing some work on the touch panels that will control these new in-car features.  Read more