Apple’s CarPlay: Coming Soon (?) to a Toyota Near You

Check it out… Apple has just announced a new, in-car system for iPhone integration. It’s called CarPlay, and it’s designed to let you safely access your phone’s features while at the wheel. Sounds good to me.

From their press release:

“CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. 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 distraction.”

They go on to say that:

“Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps you easily access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. 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.

CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display.

CarPlay gives drivers 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 simply by asking Siri to pull up what you’d like to hear. CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio, so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.”

Apparently Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo will be rolling this out starting this week. Other carmakers, including Toyota, are expected to follow suit, though there’s currently no timeline for availability in other brands.

My best guess is that this will be made available on new vehicles, perhaps at a mid-generation refresh, but only at the highest trim levels. And even then, it may be part of an optional tech package with CarPlay replacing Entune.

I hope I’m wrong about that, but I doubt it. iPhone integration would be a strong selling point. But wouldn’t it be great if they somehow updated Entune on existing vehicles to play well with CarPlay?

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