Apple unveils CarPlay to integrate iOS into more cars

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced that its "iOS in the Car" program has been rebranded "CarPlay" and that it will bring iOS into cars from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo this week, with more automakers set to launch the service later this year.

apple ios in the car carplay

Apple's CarPlay will allow users to access a number of iOS services.

Apple unveiled CarPlay at an auto show in Geneva, Switzerland, and the service will be available as an update to iOS 7. It will work with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. CarPlay will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.

Though it did not say when the service would be coming to other cars, Apple named a large roster of future partners including BMW Group, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

The CarPlay service connects to iPhones, and via Siri lets users access contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. Siri can also respond to messages through voice commands, and integrates with Apple Maps to provide spoken turn-by-turn directions. It can also anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and estimated time of arrival. CarPlay also gives uses access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio, and also supports a handful of third-party audio apps, including Spotify and iHeartRadio.

Apple first discussed CarPlay at its developer conference last year when it was called iOS in the Car. The service is just one of many targeting the connected car market.

In January Google (NASDAQ:GOOG, launched a new partnership with a number of automakers to bring its Android mobile operating system into connected cars. The alliance, called the Open Automotive Alliance, mirrors the company's Open Handset Alliance for Android. The initial OAA members include Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai and chipmaker Nvidia. The have companies said they are committed to bringing the Android platform to cars starting in 2014, and that they will use an open development model and common platform to innovate faster. Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) is working with Google in the connected car market, though the chip giant is not yet ready to join the OAA.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), via its QNX subsidiary, are also aggressively pursuing connected car opportunities.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Apple webpage
- see this The Verge article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Re/code article

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