In-car entertainment

Apple aims at reimagining vehicle owner's manuals

Apple might be taking a stab at a new way to access vehicle owners manuals.

The US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday published a patent application from Apple called "Identifying and Presenting Information Based on Unique Vehicle Identifier." According to the patent application, the technology would would identify all parts and part numbers in a car and beam that to a person's iPhone or iPad. With GPS technology included, it would also inform the car owner of the nearest dealership or car parts retailer to get the needed part.

To add a bit more flavor to … Read more

Toyota: Apple CarPlay, yes. When? Not saying, actually

For a little while on Wednesday, it looked like we had a date for when Toyota would start offering Apple's new CarPlay smartphone integration for iOS devices.

Then early Thursday, the automaker shifted from drive to neutral, with this brief note on its official Toyota UK blog :

UPDATE 13/3/14: A previous version of this article said Apple CarPlay would be in Toyota cars from 2015. This is incorrect and we are happy to put the matter straight. No announcements have been made about if and when Apple CarPlay will arrive in Toyota cars.

The headline on the … Read more

Apple won't own the dashboard with CarPlay

At the 2014 Geneva auto show, we got the first hands-on demonstrations of CarPlay, the feature of iOS7 that Apple announced last year as iOS in the Car. From comments on the Internet, you might think Apple software has now taken over car dashboards, leaving Android users with the choice to convert or walk.

It may seem unlikely, but many Internet commenters are wrong, at least about CarPlay. I was one of the first journalists to get a demonstration of the system at the show, and I was impressed.

Click here to read my take on the CarPlay demonstration.

Rather … 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

Apple CarPlay lets iOS take over a Mercedes-Benz

GENEVA -- Apple's much anticipated CarPlay feature, formerly known as iOS in the Car, got its first public airing at the 2014 Geneva auto show this week. Volvo and Ferrari were offering demonstrations, but I took advantage of Mercedes-Benz, which had CarPlay implemented in a C-class.

CarPlay is a means of mirroring an iPhone's apps and functions through a car's dashboard. Although the CarPlay screens look the same from car to car, the control paradigms can vary. For example, the Volvo concept car at the show with CarPlay used a touch screen, but the C-class had Mercedes-Benz'… Read more

2014's battle for dashboard supremacy: Apple's CarPlay vs. Google's OAA vs. MirrorLink

There's a battle ahead, one that many may not have seen coming. Perhaps because it's starting for an odd reason. You see, the auto industry has, more or less, ceased making bad cars. These days they're all pretty good. They'll start on a cold morning, idle happily in traffic on a hot afternoon, protect you in a crash, and look pretty good while doing it. Sure, that last point is always debatable, and certainly some cars are better suited for different tasks than others, but the key is that it's genuinely hard to buy a &… Read more

Volvo taps Apple CarPlay for XC90

Volvo wasted no time getting to the starting line with Apple's CarPlay.

Apple early on Monday unveiled CarPlay, its new system for integrating the iPhone into people's dashboards and driving habits. With a CarPlay-enabled iPhone plugged into their rides, drivers will be able to use Siri or the car's touch screen to search maps, play music, and answer phone calls "with minimized distraction," said Apple.

Six automakers will be rolling out models with CarPlay during 2014, according to Apple's CarPlay site: Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. And while Volvo may be last … Read more

Apple CarPlay to bring iPhone experience to your next car's dashboard

We've been covering Apple's plans for iOS in the Car quite closely, and now the final product is being shown to the world -- and given a new name.

Gone is that mouthful, in is the new moniker: CarPlay. (Not to be confused with a Monster product by the same name.) The concept stays the same: replication of a simplified iOS interface into a touch-screen display in the car, plus extensive voice command. As we saw in earlier videos, the focus here is simplicity and safety, with no complex interface elements and, seemingly, no virtual keyboards.

Instead, many … Read more

Apple's 'iOS in the Car' technology to roll out next week, says report

Apple's "iOS in the Car" operating system, which would let drivers access various iPhone functions through a car's built-in screen, is set to head out of the garage next week, says a report.

Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo are the automakers on board for the launch, said the Financial Times, which cited unnamed sources in reporting that the official announcement will take place at the Geneva Motor Show. The FT said neither Apple nor the carmakers would comment.

Apple talked up iOS in the Car at its Worldwide Developers Conference last year, with VP Eddy Cue -- … Read more

Ford 'not married' to Microsoft for next-gen Sync, but BlackBerry isn't necessarily in

BARCELONA, Spain -- There's been no shortage of talk and speculation of late surrounding Ford's relationship with Microsoft.

Microsoft has, since the beginning of Sync, provided the software underpinnings that make the infotainment system work. With millions of Sync-equipped vehicles on the road, it's big business, and with rumors of a switch to QNX making the rounds, that's potentially bad news for Microsoft.

However, Ford is saying not so fast. Here in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress we spoke with Ford managing director Pin van der Jagt about the situation. He said that Ford is always … Read more