Apple Maps may get major 'under-the-hood' upgrade

Apple plans to make major improvements to the Maps app in iOS 8, a new report claimed on Tuesday.

Apple's top executives, including CEO Tim Cook and Senior Vice Presidents Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi, are currently working on Maps for iOS 8, 9to5Mac reported, citing people who claim to have knowledge of Apple's plans. The executives are focusing less on interface improvements this year and more on enhancements to the application's accuracy and reliability, the report said.

In addition, Apple has added public transit functionality to the app, ensuring that users can find directions when using … Read more

MirrorLink-equipped Peugeot competes with Apple CarPlay

GENEVA -- Jumping on the small but growing MirrorLink bandwagon, Peugeot chose the 2014 Geneva auto show to unveil its new 108 model, which comes standard with the smartphone mirroring technology. Peugeot demonstrated its MirrorLink implementation at the same time that Apple's CarPlay technology was being shown by Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Ferrari.

Both MirrorLink and CarPlay let a driver plug a smartphone into the car and have a modified interface from the phone appear on the car's head unit. The driver can choose functions, such as navigation, controlling it through a touch screen or other car interface while … Read more

Ford AppLink system helps you find a space with Parkopedia

BARCELONA, Spain -- Ford's smartening up its new cars with an app that helps you find a parking space. Parkopedia lets you search among 15 million spaces across Europe, showing which car parks have free spaces and listing how much they cost.

It covers 3,000 towns and cities in 20 countries across the continent.

The carmaker's AppLink system, which is available in its new EcoSport SUV and the newly announced 2015 Focus, is voice-activated and already has apps from Spotify, Tom Tom, Radioplayer, and others.

Another new addition is Aupeo, a music discovery service with … Read more

CoPilot GPS navigation app wants to improve your commute

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week, app maker ALK Technologies is showing off its most recent additions to its CoPilot GPS app, a free app with downloadable maps, turn-by-turn navigation, and directions. The company has added two new features that aim to make your commute better.

The first new feature is CommuteMe, which learns your daily commute route as you drive, tracking the streets and freeways you prefer to use. Once it gets a good picture of your daily commute to and from work, it will start to alert you about traffic problems on that route. It … Read more

Pioneer AppRadio 3 still the best choice for app fanatics

Now in its third generation, the Pioneer AppRadio continues to grow. It's got even more smartphone connectivity options for its neat app-mirroring trick, now boasting simplified compatibility with MirrorLink phones. Listening to our pleas after the AppRadio 2's launch, Pioneer has finally unlocked Bluetooth audio streaming. (USB playback of MP3s is, sadly, still missing.) Its catalog of compatible apps has also been growing slowly, but steadily. This new generation also holds a new DVD/CD drive, an odd but welcome addition to a line of receivers so focused on being a hub for smartphone connectivity.

The box Looking … Read more

iOS in the car could look like this

We might finally have a clearer idea of how Apple believes iOS should look in your car.

A video put together by noted developer Steven Troughton-Smith places an iPhone and in-car display side by side using what appears to be an iOS simulator that Troughton-Smith says is available in the "public, shipping version of iOS 7."… Read more

Woman cleared of driving while Glassing

She vowed to fight. Now she has glassed the opposition.

Cecila Abadie, the software developer who was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer and cited for wearing Google's society-threatening goggles, has been cleared of being a menace to society.

The Associated Press reports that a San Diego traffic court took a clear-eyed view of what happened and decided that no one could possibly know whether her Google Glass was on or off.… Read more

Panasonic says 'The phone is the brain'

DETROIT -- With shorter life cycles, navigation and other features on phones tend to be more advanced than those found in cars. During the Detroit auto show, Panasonic showed off head unit concepts with navigation and entertainment powered by a connected phone.

Panasonic had on hand a head unit running its own, embedded infotainment system, one showing Android phone integration through MirrorLink, and a third also running navigation from an Android phone, but this one connected through CloudCar.

With both the MirrorLink and CloudCar implementations, navigation and entertainment functions running on the phone were translated to an appropriate interface for … Read more

Test driving the Audi ERL tech of tomorrow, today

This week, we paid a visit to Audi's Electronics Research Laboratory (ERL) in northern California. Rather, it paid a visit to us, bringing along its Audi Urban Intelligence Assist demo vehicle to San Francisco and taking me for a spin.

The Audi Urban Intelligence Assist (AUIA) vehicle is, essentially, an Audi A6 3.0T that has been outfitted as a test bed for a variety of technologies being developed by Audi ERL and its partners at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at San Diego, and the Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies at USC. During … Read more

Alpine unveils X009: The largest aftermarket receiver yet

Got a big ol' truck with a big ol' dashboard? Alpine Electronics of America has just announced a big ol' audio/video/navigation receiver to fill it. At a whopping 9 inches measured diagonally, the Alpine X009 that was unveiled today at CES 2014 is the largest of its kind in the North American aftermarket.

The X009 is so big that it's outside of the established DIN and double-DIN standards that have been used by the industry for decades, so it's not exactly universal. At launch, it will only be compatible with 2007-2013 GM trucks and 2007-2014 GM … Read more