Apple rebranded its iOS in the Car program as CarPlay on Monday and announced that several car makers will include the feature in their new models later this year. Volvo, Ferrari, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Hyundai have all committed to ship CarPlay-compatible cars before the end of 2014.
CarPlay turns your iPhone into your in-car personal assistant
Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing, said,
CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car. iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction.
CarPlay adds an in-dash interface for the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C running iOS 7, but it does more than simply add a screen in the car. It also supports hands-free controls over iOS features like sending and receiving calls, playing music and navigation, using Siri for voice commands, reading text messages and letting you dictate responses.
Navigation gets more Google Now-like because Siri can anticipate where you're going based on your schedule or driving history and then suggest routes. For example, Siri can see you have an upcoming lunch appointment, remind you and plot the best route to get you there on time all without any prompts from you.
In-car iPhone support isn't new. Siri Eyes Free is already available in several GM, Honda, and Acura cars as a way to use voice commands to control your iPhone or iPad, although Apple is aiming to make that integration even tighter with CarPlay.