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Apple Announces CarPlay, Putting Siri and Its Maps in Cars for the First Time

Jason O. Gilbert
Technology Editor
March 3, 2014

(A look at CarPlay. Via Apple.)

Siri, won’t you drive my car? 

On Monday, Apple officially announced CarPlay, integrating many of the applications you can find on its iPhone directly into the inboard display in automobiles for easier use. Cars that are preloaded with CarPlay will let drivers access turn-by-turn directions on Apple Maps, as well as their iPhones’ messages, music (including streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora) and telephone, without having to take out the phone itself. 

The system will work with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s. 

Drivers will apparently connect their iPhones via a cable into the car’s infotainment system. That cable will both charge your iPhone and hook up your phone to be used with CarPlay. You can use CarPlay either with the car’s touchscreen or via Siri voice control; CarPlay cars will also ship with a button on the steering wheel that will activate Siri. A CarPlay app for iPhone will soon be available via an update to iOS 7, though the app will be useless if you don’t own a car with CarPlay. (And you thought your Candy Crush habit was an expensive in-app purchase.)

(Image: Apple)

CarPlay is debuting at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, in models from Ferrari, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. Apple said in a press release that CarPlay will later be available in cars from (deep breath) BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota.

Volvo teased the new technology in a YouTube video released Monday morning. 

Apple had shown off an early version of CarPlay — then dubbed “iOS in the Car” — at its Worldwide Developers Conference last year. Though other cars have been able to hook up to smartphones and play multimedia through the car’s infotainment system, CarPlay represents the first solution made by Apple. 

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