There’s no denying the influence Apple has had in the technological space; the iPod changed the way we listen to music, the iPad & MacBook Air changed the landscape for portable computing, and of course the iPhone completely revolutionised the smartphone market as we know it.
As if that wasn’t enough, Apple has now announced CarPlay, a system that takes the core iOS functions from your iPhone — like Siri, messages, maps, music and calling — and puts them on your car’s in built display.
Controllable through Siri’s voice commands, CarPlay can also make use of a car’s inboard controls like dials, buttons and touch screens. Check out this short preview clip below from Volvo, one of the first partners to get CarPlay integrated in to it’s 2014 models:
To start with, CarPlay is going to be available on all 2014 car models from the likes of Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes and Volvo. In the longer term, BMW, Ford and Nissan (amongst others) are also lined up to include CarPlay functionality in their future models.
In terms of connectivity, CarPlay will work over a physical connection and only with Lightning enabled devices; meaning the iPhone 5, 5C and 5S. It’ll also be compatible with some other third party applications like Beats Radio, iHeartRadio and Spotify — although they do state that there are more compatible apps on the way.
My Concerns About User Experience
For a long time, Apple has prided themselves on being able to manage & control the end-to-end delivery of their products, both in terms of software & hardware.
It’s for that reason that I’m so interested in this move by Apple, because while they’ll have control over CarPlay, they’re unlikely to have much influence on the hardware that controls it.
The build quality of the car’s components (like microphones, knobs, dials, buttons and displays) that control the CarPlay system are bound to vary across different manufacturers, and because of that I can’t help but wonder how that’s going to affect the user experience.
Everything from the touch responsiveness & quality of the display to the microphone quality is going to play a role in how it works, and since it’s unlike Apple to not have end-to-end control, it’ll be very interesting to see the final outcome.
What do you think about Apple CarPlay?
Do you think Apple’s lack of control over the car hardware will matter? Leave your comments below![/box]