Apple is rolling out new software designed for in-car dashboards set to launch with select car manufacturers this year.
Branded as CarPlay, the software is designed to integrate Apple’s iPhone with an in-car LCD screen to provide users with “an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch.”
The idea is to keep motorist’s eyes on the road by encouraging them to navigate the dashboard using voice control. The messages app, for example, will not display text but rather use Siri (Apple’s dictation service) to read messages aloud.
The new software takes design cues from Apple’s iOS7 operating system found on its phones and tablets, except icons have been blown up to be read more easily. CNET’s car tech guru, Brian Cooley, gives a sneak peak of the software in action here.
Apple is designing only the software – hardware will vary among car manufacturers and there have already been reports of the operating system running slowly in some cars, according to The Verge.
CarPlay currently works with the following iPhone models: iPhone 5, 5C and 5S. It will launch later this year with 2014 Volvo, Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz models, and with BMW, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, General Motors and Toyota “down the road,” according to Apple.
This is the first time Apple will step directly into the car space as it continues to dominate the phone and computer market.