We’ve seen a ton of leaks of what iOS in the car is going to be like on iOS 7.1, but none of us were quite sure of how Apple was planning to implement it. Some assumed that the company would build a specific version of iOS that would work on your dashboard, and others expected this to be a special “Car mode” that you could activate on your iPhone. As it turns out, iOS in the Car was named “CarPlay” today, and it’ll be something a little different than expected.
So CarPlay is actually a service that will launch on new Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes Benz and Volvo automobiles this year, and with other car makers like Ford and Chevrolet in 2015. The idea is that your dashboard doesn’t need the CarPlay to operate, but will turn into CarPlay when you plug-in your iPhone. This will then provide you with a special module on your dashboard that will control your iPhone for phone calls, messages, maps and music, and you’ll have the advantage of being able to use third-party apps like Spotify as your music providers. The service focuses on letting you use Siri for most of your tasks, though you can control everything through the usual nobs, or a touch screen when available.
Sadly we still don’t have specifics on when these services are launching, and if they’ll be restricted to only a certain amount of vehicle models and in certain regions. What we do know is that this service will be restricted to the iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 for now. It is a different approach to what we saw Android provide to vehicles at CES, so time will tell which service gains the most praise from end customers.