Apple’s plans to bring greater iOS integration to cars moves forward today as the company has (re)announced their CarPlay initiative. Along With more details on what we can expect, a long list of partners was also revealed, including Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. The manufacturers will show off CarPlay capabilities in new vehicles on display this week at Geneva Motor Week.
Other partners include Jaguar, BMW, and Land Rover, but don’t worry; it won’t only be high-end and luxury car makers getting in on CarPlay. Apple’s roster also includes General Motors, Nissan, Honda, Hyundai, and Ford. The latter will use the system to ween their vehicles off of current Microsoft Sync in-car technology.
CarPlay was initially announced as iOS in the Car back at WWDC 2013. It will arrive as part of an update to iOS 7 devices in the coming months. The system will provide “eyes-free” capabilities via voice controls, and buttons used to control dash-mounted equipment will also be able to navigate a modified iOS interface for car displays.
Integrated apps and services include Apple’s Maps, iTunes Radio, receiving and responding to texts and calls, as well as other alerts. CarPlay will also support third-party music and streaming apps including Spotify, Beats, and Stitcher.
CarPlay hardware brings a deep layer of integration between vehicle and iOS, something Apple would like to see more of as it pushes into new product categories. If there is any drawback, the system will only be compatible with devices featuring Lightning connectivity, meaning CarPlay won’t feature wireless connectivity over Bluetooth.
Look for the first vehicles to feature CarPlay to begin rolling off the assembly line later this year.