Apple announces iOS in the Car

Apple iPhone iOS 7
11 Jun, 2013 11:00am Tom Phillips

Apple iOS in the Car promises easy integration of your iPhone’s functions into your car

Apple has announced its new iOS 7 operating system for its iPhone at the firm’s 2013 Worldwide Developer's Conference. But as well as showing off the new iOS7 system, due in the autumn, Apple also previewed a new feature called iOS in the Car.

Apple’s senior vice president of software and services, Eddy Cue, said, “95 per cent of cars sold today have integrated playback and control from an iOS device.”

However, Apple is looking to “take that integration to the next level”, effectively allowing a version of the  new iOS7 operating system display on your car’s central screen.

Cue outlined some of the functions that iPhone owners will be able to utilise.

This included the ability to use the iPhone’s Siri voice recognition to call a number from your contacts and play songs from your iPhone’s music library. The in the Car function can also show directions from the maps app, just like a sat-nav.

It also reads out your text messages and allows you to dictate and send a response as part of Apple’s Siri Eyes Free system, which is available in some Vauxhall models and in BMWs from next year.

Other features include ‘Commute summary,’ which gives you the latest traffic conditions and your ETA for your journey to and from work, and access to the new streaming iTunes Radio service.

Cue included a slide in his presentation of the carmakers that will offer iOS in the Car integration from next year 2014. The list includes Honda, Mercedes, Nissan, Ferrari, Chevrolet, Infiniti, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo, Vauxhall and Jaguar-Land Rover.

The move has interesting repercussions for carmakers. On the one hand, they don’t need to supply complex infotainment systems that soon go out of date in their cars, as an easily upgradeable smartphone now performs this task.

However, they lose out on offering functions like sat-nav, which can carry a hefty premium when sold as an optional extra.

BMW has just announced its new ConnectedDrive system that uses an in-built SIM card to offer apps and online services similar to those found on your smartphone.

However, this still requires you to opt for one three media packages – the cheapest of which costs £990 – although it remains to be confirmed what carmakers may charge for iOS in the Car-compatible in-car tech.