Apple CarPlay: Bringing iPhone Apps To The Car Dashboard

Apple CarPlay: Bringing iPhone Apps To The Car Dashboard

Forget fashionable cases, portable charging solutions and attachable camera lenses. The next ‘must-have’ iPhone accessory will be your car.

At the Geneva Motor Show last week, Apple unveiled a new framework that enhances connectivity between the iPhone and a car’s infotainment system.

A play on words with its existing ‘AirPlay’ service, CarPlay converts the existing car infotainment system into an iOS powered dashboard. Simply plug your phone into the lightning port and voila!  You can now access your messages, maps, music and more from the touch screen on your car’s dashboard.

The system is only compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c and works by pulling all the information from your phone, including apps, music, contacts and messages, onto the car’s infotainment interface for easy access.

Greg Joswiak, an Apple marketing executive explained that “CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car.”

Apple CarPlay demonstration iPhone connectivity


“iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction.”

To limit the time spent staring at the car touchscreen instead of the road, the apps and services are designed for hands free access via the iPhone’s voice recognition software, Siri. Drivers can enable Siri through a button on the car’s steering wheel and will then be able to search, send messages and listen to music completely hands free.

However, those of us without iPhones need not worry.  We will still be able to connect our devices to vehicles that feature CarPlay. CarPlay will not replace the existing infotainment systems used by car manufacturers. At the touch of a button, CarPlay can be turned off and the original entertainment system returns unaffected.

As of this week, the CarPlay system will be available in select Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Volvo models, with a host of other car manufacturers set to follow. Looking to the future, we can expect to see CarPlay rolled out in models from makes like Honda, Hyundai, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Jaguar, Mitsubishi, BMW, Chevrolet, Peugeot-Citroën, Ford, Kia, Land Rover, Nissan and Open.

Apple CarPlay demonstration iphone connectivity


However, it is unlikely that every new car will come with CarPlay.  It’s expected that CarPlay will be an optional add-on in top of the range models.

Mercedes-Benz also plans to offer an aftermarket solution for those who want CarPlay but aren’t in the market for a new car. According to 9to5Mac, Mercedes has said that it aims to provide an installation for older cars by the end of the year. It’s likely that the other major car manufacturers should follow suit in the future.

Watch the video below to see how CarPlay works in a Ferrari FF!