March 3, 2014 Last Updated 10:10 am

Apple introduces CarPlay, their iPhone solution for new autos

CarPlay to premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show

The tech media, and more than a few consumers, have been wondering when Apple would roll out their long promoted new products for new markets. Whether CarPlay will satisfy the critics is hard to say, but new car buyers will want to take note.

Today Apple introduced CarPlay at the Geneva International Motor Show. Initial automakers have have agreed to work with the Cupertino company on the car initiative are 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 – a good line-up. And Apple’s list of car company partners did not even include Volvo which released a video preview that shows CarPlay:

CarPlay is a way to allow your iPhone to interact with your car so that the drive can use Maps, listen to music and access messages using Siri (dictation) or a tap.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing, said in the company’s announcement. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

CarPlay will work with newer iPhone models that use the Lightning cord, rather that the old iPod connector. No mention of whether this will work with iPads, though I don’t see why not – though CarPlay will come as an update to iOS 7 and it is possible that it won’t be included in the iPad update.

Apple will roll out the product this year, though it will be dependent on their auto partners to introduce it into new model vehicles. That it also supports third party apps like Spotify only adds to the attraction of the product.

The new product makes total sense and is one of those ‘it’s about time’ kind of solutions. Anyone who has a new smartphone instantly realizes that their phone is a better solution than what is inside their car – plus their smartphone gets regular upgrades, unlike their car’s system.

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