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Apple's CarPlay system is essentially iOS for your cars' touchscreen

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If you use an Apple iPhone, iPad or Mac computer, your next car purchase may be Apple equipped.
In case you haven’t heard, Apple announced that leading automakers are introducing CarPlay software in their vehicle line-ups.

Apple’s CarPlay is essentially iOS for your car’s touchscreen, an LCD screen that comes with virtually all new cars.

CarPlay software is an intuitive way, says Apple, to make calls, use MAPS, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch.

Apple says users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri without taking your eyes off the road.

Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes, Volvo will premiere CarPlay on 2014 debuting cars. Down the road, BMW Group, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota will also include it in their new vehicle offerings.

According to Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS product marketing, “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets them use their phone in the car with minimal distraction. CarPlay brings your car and iPhone together for a thoughtful experience by letting drivers focus on driving while also tapping into everything they want to do with their iPhone.”

CarPlay will work like this: Once your iPhone is connected to a vehicle, Siri helps access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls, or listen to voicemail messages. 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.

The system will make driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts. It will also provide routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You’ll be able to ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on the car’s built-in display.

In addition, CarPlay gives driver’s access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls, or by simply asking Siri to pull up what you want to hear.

The system will support select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.

Apple’s CarPlay is available as an update to iOS7 and works with Lightning enabled iPhones including the iPhone 5s, 5c and S models. CarPlay will be available in select cars this year.

Some of CarPlay’s capabilities are already available in certain vehicles but they’re not as extensive. While this technology is nice, you have to have an Apple phone for it to be compatible. It seems like this is a slick way for Apple to sell more iPhones if the new car owners have Android devices - and particularly since Samsung is breathing down Apples’ neck in sales.

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