Apple is no stranger to technology. Some say the Cupertino firm sits back and watches what their competitors do before coming up with new products. In some ways, that’s quite true because Apple’s products aren’t best-known for being cutting-edge.
In fact, it’s safe to say that their product innovations are sleek and refined versions of what’s already out there. But what sets them apart from their competitors is their attention-to-detail. And also the high reliability and ease-of-use of their products.
The company’s target markets have always been the IT and cell phone industries. But a few months ago, Apple decided to branch out into the world of in-car technology with a new system called Apple CarPlay.
In today’s blog post, I will tell you a bit more about Apple CarPlay and what it can do for you. I will also tell you how you can integrate it with your own car! Here is what you need to know.
What is Apple CarPlay?
The short answer is this: Apple CarPlay is a way to integrate your iPhone with your car. Of course, you will want to find out more about what this system offers, so here is the long answer!
Before Apple CarPlay got unveiled back in March 2014, the system used to get referred to as “iOS In The Car.” CarPlay is an automotive communication standard developed by the mighty American tech company. It works with the following devices:
- iPhone 5;
- iPhone 5C;
- iPhone 5S;
- iPhone 6;
- iPhone 6 Plus.
Or to put it another way, it works with all iPhones that have the Lightning connector. That’s bad news for people with an older iPhone. But let’s face it; if you’re rolling with an obsolete three-year-old iPhone 4, it’s time for an upgrade.
Over the years, many firms produced solutions for smartphone owners. Those solutions enabled them to use their car’s stereo systems for the purposes of handsfree calling. That’s great for people that need to stay in touch with the office when they are driving interstate, for example.
The thing about technology is that it evolves at a fast pace. Car owners want to do more things with their smartphones on the road. And it goes without saying that any innovations cannot affect their safety on the road.
That means anything they do should not cause them to take their eyes off the road. Or their hands off the steering wheel when they are driving.
There is already some controversy surrounding the use of handsfree kits for smartphones in cars. Many opposed to the technology feel it should get banned, much in the same way that using a cell phone whilst driving is now banned.
Apple have seen the benefits and pitfalls of existing handsfree technology. They decided to come up with their own technology that supersedes what’s already out there. They wanted a solution where drivers can use their iPhones on the road with ease and without affecting road safety.
But they also wanted their solution to offer more than just a way of calling people and answering calls on the road. The need for such a solution is what has now developed into Apple CarPlay.
What can Apple CarPlay do for me?
First off, I need to emphasise the fact that Apple CarPlay will only work with iPhone smartphones. If you have an Android or BlackBerry smartphone, for instance, you cannot use Apple CarPlay with it!
Now that we have got that out of the way, it’s time to learn more about what Apple CarPlay can do for you and your iPhone. As you might have guessed, Apple CarPlay is a way to use your iPhone by giving it verbal commands.
Let’s face it; drivers talk to their passengers all the time when they are driving. So “talking” to your iPhone should be a cinch! Here are some of the things you can do with the Apple CarPlay system:
- Navigation. Your iPhone’s Maps app can give you turn-by-turn directions. And it can display a real-time map on your car’s dashboard display;
- Calls. As with other handsfree systems, you can make and receive calls. And with the Siri helper, you can even check your voicemail messages without taking your eyes off the road;
- Text messages. Using the power of Siri and voice dictation, you can now send and receive SMS and iMessage messages using Apple CarPlay. Texting in the conventional sense whilst driving is quite dangerous. That’s why Siri and the voice dictation systems enable you to do this without going anywhere near your iPhone;
- Music. One of the things people use their iPhones for is listening to their favorite songs whenever they want. Do you hate carrying a stack of CDs to your car when you go on a road trip? Thanks to Apple CarPlay, you can just listen to digital versions of your albums from your iPhone! And the good news is that you don’t have to stick with iTunes because you can even use the Spotify app with CarPlay too!
In fact, there’s a veritable plethora of CarPlay-friendly apps that you can use. Examples include Podcast, Beats Music, iHeartRadio, Stitcher and CBS Radio amongst others.
How can I use Apple CarPlay in my own car?
Apple have teamed up with head unit makers Alpine and Pioneer. You will soon be able to buy head units with TFT displays that come with the Apple CarPlay system. Any car enthusiast will tell you that you can install head units in pretty much any car.
That’s great news for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you drive around in an old car or one that’s a few months old from cardealwarehouse.co.uk. Soon everyone will be able to use the CarPlay solution with their vehicles!
Can I buy a new car with Apple CarPlay?
The short answer is yes! Apple are working with dozens of carmakers to introduce CarPlay into many new models for 2014 and 2015 onwards. Check out Apple’s CarPlay page for details on the latest participating automakers.
— Have you given the CarPlay system a test drive? Let us know what you think of it!