Apple CarPlay is putting the iPhone on four wheels, with the new ‘iOS in the car’ system being debuted by Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo this week.
The three brands will be followed by the majority of automotive manufacturers as the technology goliath sets out to dominate in-vehicle connectivity.
Apple says CarPlay can be controlled through the vehicle’s native interface – dials, buttons or touchscreen, for example – including the option to use ‘Voice’ buttons on steering wheels to activate the integrated Siri assistant.
Siri can send, read and reply on the driver’s behalf so they can focus on the road.
CarPlay will include Apple Maps with the ability to anticipate routes based on addresses in your text/email messages or calendar, provide guidance on traffic conditions, and estimated time of arrivals.
As the complement to AirPlay used in houses, listening to music from your iTunes library or iTunes is possible, of course, and CarPlay also supports other music apps such as Stitcher and Spotify.
Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing, Greg Joswiak, said CarPlay was about allowing drivers to enjoy their iPhone while staying safe.
“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Joswiak.
“iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimised distraction. We have an amazing line-up of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”
CarPlay will be available as an update to iOS 7 for Lightning-enable phones, which include iPhone 5, and Apple says it will be available in "select cars from 2014".
Apple says other car manufacturers coming on board include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar-Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota.