Don’t expect pure CarPlay in Ford vehicles anytime soon. Photo: Apple
Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are the two hottest options right now for car infotainment systems, but if you’re hoping that Ford will give you a pure CarPlay experience in one of their upcoming vehicles, you might as well keep on waiting for the mythical Apple Car.
Ford currently supports both CarPlay and Android in a limited capacity, but for now its CEO says the company will only allow the two systems to serve as secondary interfaces to its primary navigation system, SYNC.
CarPlay isn’t coming to Toyota after all. Photo: Apple
Toyota was one of the first car manufacturers to announce it would support CarPlay, but the company is pulling back on its plans to embrace Apple’s car infotainment system. Despite still being listed among Apple’s CarPlay partners, Toyota says it’s sticking with its own Entune systems.
The company says that while it has talked frequently to both Apple and Google about CarPlay and Android Auto, it has no plans to bring the technologies to its cars in the United States anytime soon. Toyota’s manager of advanced technology communications, John Hanson, told the New York Times, “We may all eventually wind up there, but right now we prefer to use our in-house proprietary platforms for those kinds of functions,” Mr. Hanson said.
While Toyota’s not so hot on CarPlay, other manufacturers like Ford, BMW, Volkswagon, and GM are more bullish on Apple’s car offerings. Here’s a full breakdown of which service auto makers currently support:
Is Apple designing a car? Maybe that’s the real reason it picked up designer Mark Newsom, who created this concept car for Ford in 1999. Credit: Mark Newsom/Ford
Apple has set up a top-secret automobile R&D lab and is recruiting experts to possibly build a car, the Financial Times reports.
The lab is in a secret location away from Apple’s HQ. Apple recently hired the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley R&D unit, and has staffed the new lab with “experienced managers from its iPhone unit,” the Times says.
“Three months ago I would have said it was CarPlay,” said one of FT‘s sources. “Today I think it’s a car.”
Get ready for Apple-approved third-party CarPlay accessories. Photo: Mercedes/Apple
There’s a line of thought which suggests that Apple’s CarPlay technology essentially turns your car into one giant iPhone add-on. A new trademark application, however, suggests that Apple is planning to lend its approval to some other, likely smaller third-party CarPlay accessories — coming soon to a vehicle near you.
Similar to the “Works With iPhone” developer program for accessories designed to connect specifically with the iPhone, Apple’s “Works with CarPlay” trademark will certify that a particular third-party product has been approved as meeting Apple’s performance standards for its in-car iOS interface.
CarPlay — coming to a (jailbroken) iPhone near you. Photo: Adam Bell
The first vehicles to support Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system are just starting to appear on the market, but a clever hack from developer Adam Bell means you may be able to get your hands on it sooner than most — and without the need for a compatible in-car infotainment system.
Despite not quite being ready for primetime just yet, Bell’s nifty jailbreak means that users will be able run Apple’s CarPlay software on iPhones and iPads, as seen in the above picture.
A new patent published Thursday describes a way of using the iPhone’s geo-location capabilities to intelligently monitor and control certain car functions, based on “geofences.”
Likely pairing with Apple’s vehicle-based OS, CarPlay, the patent notes how your car could be tracked in relation to your iPhone — with appropriate signals, sent using Bluetooth LE, to execute functions like locking your car and arming its alarm when you are a certain distance from the vehicle.
Siri’s so distractive, AAA had to make a fourth category for it. Photo: AAA
Three out of four drivers in America believe that using hands-free technology like Siri is a safer way to cruise the highway than fiddling with buttons and knobs, but a surprising study from AAA found that using Siri on the road is actually dangerously distracting.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety tested the distraction levels of a number of hands-free solutions from auto-manufacturers that allow drivers to compose messages, change the radio, and navigate complex menus with voice commands, and found that trying to chat with Siri while driving is more distracting that composing a text.
Pioneer Electronics has released a firmware update making Apple’s CarPlay technology live on five 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers. In doing so it becomes the first company to officially support CarPlay’s vehicle integration feature — and means you won’t need a new Ferrari or Benz to use iOS in your vehicle.
Users with an iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6 or 6 Plus can utilize Siri to both makes and receive calls, compose and read text messages, access Apple Maps, and listen to music libraries, podcasts, and iTunes Radio.