The convenience and connectivity of a mobile phone has become a necessity for many people in today’s day and age, but when we are driving, we cannot safely access some of the useful features of our phones. Google and Apple have both been working on a solution to this problem.
Apple recently introduced their new iOS system CarPlay at the Geneva Motor Show. You connect CarPlay with your iPhone using a simple lightning to USB cable so that you can access maps, music and make calls with the help of Siri voice control. The crucial point is that you can access all of these apps “eyes free”. However, as Craig Langford, Sales Consultant at www.carshop.co.uk explains, although this technology is now on the market, this new system will not be readily available in the majority of a cars on the road. T3.com’s editor in chief Kieran Alger had the chance to test CarPlay in Geneva.
The navigation and layout of CarPlay depends on the car’s own inbuilt interface. In Geneva, Alger could test CarPlay in a Volvo, a Mercedes and a Ferrari. Mercedes integrated the system with knob-control, which is not very nice to use. Although there are only a few apps available on the systems, this kind of navigation seems to be in contrast with Apple’s usual sleek touchscreen designs. Ferrari chose a safe middle ground by using dial control and touchscreen, which is nicer to use than the Mercedes system but the winner of integrating the system well is Volvo. Volvo’s integration of CarPlay works well with Apple touchscreen philosophy, which according to Alger, makes for the most intuitive and smooth navigation. Using this system doesn’t differ much from using your iPhone or iPad.
However, these are only the first attempts at trying to integrate the system and over time the system should be able to be used even more intuitively. At the moment, CarPlay mostly offers services that the inbuilt system of most cars already have and in some cases, the integration of the system into the car lacks finesse. Ideally, the system should let you select music tracks, revise your destination and support third party apps such as Spotify all through voice control. There is still plenty of room for improvement and it is probably only a matter of time until Android will present their own solution.