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

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

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

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

Apple rebrands iOS in the Car as CarPlay, compatible vehicles launching later this year

Screenshot from Apple's website

Screenshot from Apple’s website

Update: Volvo has posted a CarPlay experience video.

Apple has officially announced CarPlay in a press release. CarPlay is Apple’s new branding for the iOS in the Car feature originally announced at WWDC last year. Apple says CarPlay enables users to make calls, navigate maps, listen to music and access messages from the dash of compatible cars. Siri can be activated by pressing the dedicated button on the steering wheel. Apple describes the system as a “smarter, safer and more fun way” of using an iPhone in the car.

As previously reported, CarPlay will be demoed in cars by Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo this week with the cars going on sale later in the year. Apple says many manufacturers are onboard, including BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota. Apple has also a launched a new section of its website to describe the various features of CarPlay.

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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

Mercedes-Benz shows off “iPhone Interface Plus” concept, coming 2012

The concept video above shows off the Mercedes-Benz’ vision for the “future of multimedia online systems” using smartphones as a media hub, most of which seems to resemble the description of their newly announced “iPhone Interface Plus” concept. 

Mercedes is showing off some pretty impressive iPhone integration at this year’s IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt. In what we assume is a major evolution of their Media Interface Plus accessory unveiled last year, the company is set to introduce an “iPhone Interface Plus” concept, available as a retrofit on every Mercedes Benz starting summer 2012.

Working together with a free app from the App Store, an iPhone will be concealed in the “glove compartment and fully integrated into the vehicle electronics”. You can then use hardware controls and the a larger display on the vehicle’s dashboard to control and view content with as little distraction as possible while driving.

The press release explains:
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