When Apple first announced that they would be slowly seeping into the automobile game with iOS in the Car, there was a lot desired in terms of details. All we knew then was iOS and select few cars would combine to create a more streamlined system when using your iPhone in the car.
And that is pretty all we have now, with the exception of some small excerpts about the service on an Apple website. First and foremost, Apple has rebranded the idea from ‘iOS in the Car’ to CarPlay, which is easier to say and follows the format of other names such as AirPlay.
Sometime (no release date) in 2014, iPhone 5s, 5c, and 5 users will be able to plug in their device to their car via a USB/Lightning cable and receive text messages, make calls, see navigation, and listen to music right from their cars display. One thing that many users were upset with, was the need for a cable, and no wireless solution.
CarPlay also supports Siri, which in theory will make it a lot easier than holding down the home button on your phone while driving. All you have to do to activate Siri is press the voice control button in your car (usually located on steering wheel).
CarPlay is also touchscreen compatible. So if your car has a touchscreen, you can use it as an alternative to knobs to control CarPlay. If you do not have a touchscreen, the regular knobs and select tools most cars now-a-days have, will work just fine.
Maps: When activated, CarPlay will show a new UI on your cars screen with the directions to your destination. A very nice alternative to windshield mounts, or voice directions. So theoretically, you could ask Siri for directions to a restaurant, and CarPlay will switch to Maps with a route. There is no word on whether this will be opened up to developers, if the user prefers another app such as Google Maps.
Phone: This is pretty straightforward. You can use Siri or the screen to make calls, return a missed call, and even listen to voicemails in your car.
Messages: Sending messages is now much easier while driving with CarPlay. All you have to do is activate Siri and use the ‘Send message to,’ prompt and the Siri UI will show up on your cars display. Giving you a better look at what your message looks like.
Music: Music also will be accessible from your phone to your car, with labels, artists, artwork, and most importantly – iTunes Radio. In theory, you will be able to skip songs on iTunes Radio all from your cars controls. Where there is clarification on third-party apps is here, Apple says you will be able to use third-party music streaming apps like Spotify, Stitcher, Apple’s own Podcasts app, and Beats Radio, to listen to music the same way you would through the default app.
CarPlay will now only be available for Ferrari, Volvo, Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, and Jaguar cars. With next in line including BMW, Ford, Toyota, and Nissan.
CarPlay will only be compatible with the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, and the iPhone 5.