Just as rumored, Apple today officially detailed CarPlay, a feature that integrates iOS with a vehicle's in-car system.
Originally introduced in 2013 as iOS in the Car, the new CarPlay system gives users access to features like phone calls, messages, music and Maps through their car's built-in user interface. Once a compatible iPhone is connected, Siri will enable users to make calls and listen to voicemails and also respond to messages using only their voice. Siri can also provide turn-by-turn directions along with the Maps display that'll show up on the vehicle's built-in display. Finally, the iOS assistant can play back music and other audio content, and CarPlay also plays nicely with select third-party music apps like Spotify and iHeartRadio.
CarPlay will debut in vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo this week, with support from BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp expected to come in the future. The feature will be enabled as part of an update to iOS 7 and will work with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.
Many folks are reliant on their smartphones for nearly every aspect of their lives, including entertainment, navigation and keeping in contact with loves ones. As a result, people increasingly want to use their devices while in the car. Doing so can be dangerous, though, which is why it's good to see Apple making in-car phone use safer and easier. Google recently launched the Open Automotive Alliance to promote better in-car integration with Android devices, with the first vehicles backed by the group expected to debut before the end of 2014.