Tech Terms: Apple Car Play

A system developed by Apple to integrate Apple iPhones with the in-car infotainment entertainment systems provided in the dash of newer automobiles. Apple CarPlay is designed to make it easier and safer for drivers to access information and multimedia content on their smartphones from the car’s in-dash system without actually having to touch the phone itself.

Apple’s Siri Eyes Free voice technology is heavily integrated with Apple CarPlay to enable drivers to perform tasks such as making phone calls and listening to voicemail, reading incoming messages and notifications, responding to text messages, playing music stored on the iPhone, accessing Satellite navigation and driving directions, and more. In addition to Siri voice commands, CarPlay drivers can also use touchscreen or manual buttons, depending on the car’s in-dash interface.

Apple CarPlay and iOS in the Car

Apple CarPlay evolved from the “iOS in the Car” project initiated by Apple in 2013, and the system was officially unveiled in March 2014. Apple CarPlay requires iPhones with the iOS 7.1 or later mobile operating system, and because the system utilizes the Lightning connector for connecting with iPhones, only the iPhone 5, 5S, 5C and later phones are supported by CarPlay.

Automobile manufacturers that have announced support for Apple CarPlay starting in 2014 include Ferari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Others like BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Kia, Nissa, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota have pledged support for CarPlay as well.

Apple CarPlay will also be available for existing cars from aftermarket manufacturers like Pioneer and Alpine, starting in late 2014.

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