iOS in the Car has made its official debut. Called CarPlay, the product will be added first to Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo vehicles, and also available as an iOS 7 update for iPhone 5 and later models. As expected, Apple made the announcement today at the Geneva International Motor Show.
BMW, a former premium launch partner, will have to wait a little while longer, along with other car companies like Ford, General Motors, and Honda. Vehicles with built-in CarPlay are expected to start shipping this year.
CarPlay connects iPhones with vehicles, enabling drivers to make voice calls and listen to or dictate text messages with Siri. Of course, CarPlay is also integrated with Maps and other Apple apps like iTunes Radio, as well as third-party services like Spotify and iHeartRadio.
It can be operated via in-car entertainment and communication systems or by pushing a button on the steering wheel to activate Siri, a significant improvement in functionality over gadgets that connected iOS devices to a car’s USB port.
The introduction of iOS in the Car was reportedly delayed by dissension among Apple executives. CarPlay will compete against Google’s “Projected Mode,” its initiative to position Android as an in-car entertainment and navigation system.