Apple’s New CarPlay – Really All it’s Cracked Up to Be?
Though integration of mobile devices into automobile control systems has been offered over the last few years, Apple’s announcement this month of CarPlay for certain select models of some high-end automakers is the first to offer a standardized approach. Called “iOS in the Car” at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June 2013, CarPlay was officially announced this spring as an option for the 2014 models of the Ferrari FF series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Volvo XC90 SUV.
CarPlay allows drivers to combine the iOS functionality of their iPhones (models 5, 5C and 5S only) with their car’s built-in systems. Hands-free eyes-free voice control becomes possible while driving for:
- Music choice and volume
- Satellite navigation
- Siri iPhone features
- Text messaging
- Voice messaging
Some command-and-control systems in luxury vehicles are already voice-oriented, so many people applaud linking an iPhone to these cars in this way.
Depending on the type of functions available in the vehicle, a driver will be able to access by voice those systems that would ordinarily require removing a hand from the steering wheel. Drivers will also be able to access the features of their iPhone via Siri, Apple’s AI-assist for the iPhone.
According to critics of CarPlay, any task that takes attention away from the task of driving should be considered unsafe. Even when both hands remain on the steering wheel, giving a voice command and waiting for a response could distract a driver. Another criticism is that, though CarPlay is being touted as a possible after-market upgrade for older cars via Bluetooth, the promises by General Motors, Ford, BMW, Kia, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Subaru and Peugeot Citroën are not definite.
Hype or Breakthrough?
Is CarPlay as much of a breakthrough as Apple and the car manufacturers would have us think? Apple’s standardization of integration over several automakers may very well be the breakthrough rather than the new features offered the driver by CarPlay.
Google is taking another tack with their recent announcement of the integration of Google’s Android operating system directly into the automobile control systems of the 2015 models of cars made by Hyundai, General Motors, Honda and Audi. In that light, Apple’s CarPlay might be seen as more of a hardware integration rather than as a complete melding of iOS with an automobile’s systems. Unless Apple shifts the focus from hardware to operating systems, Google’s move might be considered more of an innovation than Apple’s CarPlay.
About The Author:
This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests and technology. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Information for this article was provided by professionals who provide auto salvage parts in San Diego.