Apple is taking to the road with its CarPlay interface for iOS.
The new service, a rebranded version of iOS in the Car, extends the iOS 7 interface into your vehicle – enabling drivers to use Maps, make calls and access messages and music from the dashboard display.
Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will introduce CarPlay to their vehicles starting this week, while BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota are signed up to integrate CarPlay in future. Quite a roster: proof that it Apple says 'jump', just about anyone will ask 'how high'?
Here's a video of CarPlay in action in a new Volvo:
Depending on your vehicle's multimedia setup, you can control CarPlay using Siri voice recognition, your in-car touchscreen or physical buttons and knobs.
Naturally, Apple's virtual digital assistant, Siri, will be available on the service for dictating messages and returning calls. It also plays nice with Apple's own Podcasts app, as well as third-party apps including Beats Radio, iHeartRadio, Spotify and Stitcher.
One of the most interesting aspects of CarPlay is its potential impact upon Apple's Maps app. Widely derided at launch, Maps has been gradually improving, With CarPlay gathering location data from vehicles on the move, it could drastically improve Maps' accuracy – and, of course, it'll increase uptake of Maps among consumers, if their default navigation software becomes the Apple Maps app on the iPhone they've just plugged into their car. TomTom must be quaking in its boots.