Having already revolutionized the way people around the world buy and listen to music, communicate with one another and generally manage their daily lives, Apple is taking its innovation on the road. The tech giant today at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show announced the rollout of its latest bid to dominate the in-car operating-system market: Apple CarPlay — touted as "the best iPhone experience on four wheels." Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will lead the way in offering CarPlay to their customers starting this week, to be followed later by BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota, according to Apple.
The system allows iPhone users to access all of their content while in the car, with minimal distraction, Apple stated in a news release. CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including the 5s, 5c and 5 models.
"Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps you easily access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails," Apple said in a statement. "When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers' messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call."
CarPlay works with Apple Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and estimated times of arrival, Apple stated. By asking Siri, drivers can get spoken turn-by-turn directions or maps on the car's display. Likewise, the system also provides access to all music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio, as well as third-party apps such as Spotify and iHeartRadio.
According to CNN.com, CarPlay is a rebranded version of the "iOS in the Car" system, which was announced last year, and it will compete with Google's Open Automotive Alliance, Microsoft's Windows Embedded Automotive and GENIVI Alliance, a nonprofit compliance program based on Linux. Apple's prestigious lineup of automakers, CNN.com says, will put it in the lead position in the market.