Rumors of Apple working on some kind of “iCar” or in-car infotainment system have long circulated whenever the tech giant has made a product announcement. Yesterday, at its annual World Wide Developers Conference, Apple has taken a big step in that direction by announcing iOS in the Car.
Unsurprisingly, Apple is staying relatively mum on the exact details of iOS in the Car, but it did detail the basic functions of the new iOS 7/ Siri-based capabilities. As to be expected for an in-car system, a big part of Apple’s new technology integrates its Maps app into your vehicle. iOS in the Car will not only offer navigation capabilities with turn-by-turn directions and 3-D maps, but it will also include a commuting survey that allegedly “knows when you’re leaving home for work – or vice versa – and displays traffic conditions and your ETA.” We assume that the latter function will be similar in concept to the iPhone’s current To Do app, which can remind you of something at a certain time or location. iOS in the Car will also include full integration for phone calls, the music player, and for reading and responding to text messages with voice inputs. From what it sounds like, all of this new Siri-based functionality will require drivers to plug their iPhones into the vehicle; it probably won’t work using a Bluetooth connection.
Apple has promised that the iOS in the Car functionality of its iOS 7 mobile operating system will begin appearing next year. It also has 12 automakers who have signed on to include full iOS connectivity in 2014: Acura, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, and Volvo. It’s no surprise that Chevy is on that list, given that all of the iOS in the Car mock ups look like they’re from the MyLink system equipped in the Sonic and Spark. The current MyLink system supports some iPhone functionality already, including some Siri commands.