Apple CarPlay puts your iPhone on your car dashboard

New iOS 7 in-car interface turns your jalopy into a massive iPhone dock
Apple CarPlay

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:

Volvo HMI Apple CarPlay - Master French subtitles from Life in the City on Vimeo.

Depending on your vehicle's multimedia setup, you can control CarPlay using Siri voice recognition, your in-car touchscreen or physical buttons and knobs.

Apple CarPlay

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.

If you're hoping to use CarPlay with your iPhone 4S, though, you're out of luck – the system will only work with Lightning-equipped iPhone 5, 5c and 5s devices. 

[Source: Apple via Autocar]

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Mapping the future

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.