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Why Apple is revving iOS in the Car for an aggressive 2014 launch

post #1 of 57
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Apple's chief executive Tim Cook described the company's 2014 launch of iOS in the Car as "very, very important" and a "key focus for us." Here's a look at what the industry thinks, the competition Apple faces in automotive, and why it's pushing so hard for an immediate launch next year.

iOS in the Car


This segment focusing on the incumbent players in the automotive industry follows up on yesterday's feature Why Tim Cook described Apple's iOS in the Car strategy as 'very important,' which detailed the origins of iOS in the Car and how Apple details it will work. An editorial further examines the strategic importance of Apple's iOS in the Car

Who's going to use iOS in the Car?



When iOS in the Car was introduced at this summer's Worldwide Developer Conference, Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, the group that manages iTunes, iCloud, the App Store, iMessages, Siri and Maps, showcased (below) a dozen auto marques, representing nine different makers: Honda/Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan/Infiniti, Ferrari, Chevrolet/Opel, Kia, Hyundai, Volvo and Jaguar, noting that they "are all introducing iOS integration in 2014."

iOS in the Car makers


He didn't specifically clarify whether that meant they would all adopt iOS in the Car, as opposed to simpler efforts related to Siri Eyes Free. However, the list of companies that already committed to support basic Eyes Free includes manufacturers that Cue didn't list in the above slide: BMW, Land Rover, Audi, Toyota and Chrysler.

That indicates that Cue's list of automotive iOS adopters isn't just integrating hands free access to Siri; they've committed to launch the full enchilada on at least some of their cars next year. That list also isn't exhaustive; there are additional significant automakers who have expressed interest in Apple's plans but have not yet committed to its boldly aggressive insistence on deploying iOS in the Car by 2014.

The reports of my opposition have been greatly exaggerated



For example, BMW/Mini was initially reported to be uninterested in adopting iOS in the Car simply due to its omission from the announcement, a story that gained traction because BMW has a history of working with Apple in the past on iPod and iPhone integration.

The company was quick to clarify matters in statement to AutoBlog explaining that it was "in close contact with Apple and currently investigating the technical challenges required to integrate iOS in the Car" and explaining that, "since a final decision had not been made, it was not a part of Apple's announcement."

Thus, the site wrote, "according to BMW, integration of iOS in the Car in its cars has not been ruled out at all."


iOS in the Car iMessages


Source: Apple


Similarly, a report by GottaBeMobile last month noted that Ford was also looking at iOS in the Car and how it could build a "seamless experience" that integrated iOS 7 with other automotive features, including AM/FM radio, Sirius satellite radio and climate controls.

The report cited Jim Buczkowski, the director of Electrical and Electronics Systems at Ford Research and Innovation, as saying that Apple met with the company "around the time of the Apple WWDC 2013 event," but stated that "they were very specific around launching in 2014, shipping product in 2014, and we weren't ready to commit to shipping in 2014."

Ford is the second largest car maker by unit market share according to Edmunds.com. It's also a pioneer in driving broad adoption of auto infotainment systems in partnership with Microsoft.

auto market share
Source: Edmunds


Is Microsoft Sync about to get Zuned?



Ford's readiness to express public interest in Apple's iOS in the Car is noteworthy because Ford has maintained a long relationship with Microsoft in developing "carputer" integration features based on Windows Embedded Automotive, a product built on Windows CE. Ford announced its first Microsoft-based integration product in 2007 under the Sync and MyFord brands.

Ford's Sync features run on what is essentially a low end ARM PC built by German auto parts maker Continental AG, with custom integration that ties into Garmin navigation, vehicle system information, climate control systems, terrestrial and satellite radio, smartphone integration features and custom apps that work with certain Android, BlackBerry, iPhone and Windows Mobile (but not, ironically, Windows Phone) models.

Ford Sync


The difference between Ford Sync (depicted above, in an image from Wikipedia) and Apple's iOS in the Car is, if anything, more significant than the difference between the iPhone and Microsoft's Windows Mobile in 2007.

It also demonstrates that Microsoft's Windows Embedded Automotive seeks to do more than Apple demonstrated at WWDC: it includes prominent integration with other car features such as the radio and climate systems, as referred to by Buczkowski.

Solving these integration issues shouldn't be very difficult given the maturity of Apple's iOS app development tools and their widespread use by developers of the App Store's more than 900,000 titles. Apple also already notes "third-party audio apps, and more" in describing the features of iOS in the Car, indicating that, much like Apple TV, it plans to work with third parties to add app-like new functionality to its new automotive offering.

The charitable reviews of Ford Sync



While PC Mag gave the system a "good" rating in its recent review, it sounds like they were grading on a curve. It highlighted that Sync's "robust GPS navigation is a step ahead of most other automakers" and delivered "comprehensive music options," but also pointed out the "sometime-stubborn touch screen, plenty of irritants scattered throughout the user interface, voice command accuracy is still hit or miss, and a few bugs."

In particular, the description of its "robust GPS navigation" seemed to be negated by the author's actual experience, which noted, "map view remains 2D-only. In addition, the map database already needs updating, if our test routes were any indication. One intersection I put in--J Street and East Cayuga Street in Philadelphia--left me off by several blocks in both directions. Sync brought me to an entirely different intersection than the one I entered, and even said that it did (was it messing with me?). "Some of the quirks were infuriating, simply because a regular QA process should have revealed so many of these flaws to Ford and Microsoft engineers." PC Mag

"Several street addresses I entered were off by several blocks as well. A Dunkin Donuts supposedly next to my hotel in Braintree, MA was completely MIA. I couldn't even see where it may have been at one time, because it was in the middle of a huge lot full of industrial warehouses. I used my iPhone's GPS many times as a backup; Google Maps was correct in every single instance Ford Sync wasn't."

The review concluded as if it were fawning over an Android product: "Ford Sync with MyFord Touch was a tough product to review. Some of the quirks were infuriating, simply because a regular QA process should have revealed so many of these flaws to Ford and Microsoft engineers. But despite all of that, I can still recommend Ford Sync, simply because it enhances your entertainment and navigation experiences so much when you're behind the wheel."

End users are not quite so kind. The third highest Google search result for "Ford Sync reviews" is a site named syncsucks.com.

The site details a series of common complaints including, "Screen goes black and won't come back on; Back-up camera goes black without warning while backing up; Sync system restarts without warning while driving; Sync system freezes up completely even after the vehicle is turned off; Says phone connected, yet voice says no phone connected when asking to dial number; Displays phone is connected, yet after repeated efforts it will not respond to ANY voice command; Music randomly starts playing while using the phone; Randomly jumps from audio source to audio source; Keeps disconnecting USB iPod; Will not recognize multiple brand-new USB jump drives; Never really got to enjoy my six months of satellite radio as Sync said I had no subscription, forcing me to call Sirius multiple times to try and sort that out."

Microsoft's other auto partners



While Ford's Sync implementation is proprietary to the company, Ford isn't the only customer of Microsoft's Windows Embedded Automotive. Fiat's Blue&Me infotainment system, launched in 2004, is also based on the OS (originally called "Windows Mobile for Automotive"), and similarly uses hardware from Continental.

Kia UVO


Another auto partner Microsoft details in a case study is Kia, which has worked with the company since 2006 on its UVO branded system with voice-controlled entertainment features (above). "We've been in the automotive arena for a while already, but we think we can take it a lot further." - Microsoft

However, Kia is also one of the launch partners for iOS in the Car, indicating that Microsoft's once leading position in automotive integration seems to immediately be at risk in the first launch of Apple's program.

A report by AutoNews Europe in May detailed ambitious plans by Microsoft to hold onto its car customers.

It cited Pranish Kumar, group program manager for Windows Embedded Automotive, as saying, "we've been in the automotive arena for a while already, but we think we can take it a lot further."

Apple's other iOS in the Car competition



Also competing in the car market is BlackBerry subsidiary QNX, which the report noted "has global contracts with the likes of General Motors, BMW, Audi and Volkswagen." All three makers are in line to support Siri's Eyes Free, which wouldn't require much effort, but only GM and BMW have expressed public interest in adopting iOS in the Car.

A third source of competition is the GENIVI Alliance ("Geneva In-Vehicle Infotainment"), a consortium of companies that have been working since 2009 to develop an Android-like platform of open source components built on Linux.

This group counts GM, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Renault-Nissan, Hyundai and BMW among its members, and has the support of component makers including Bosch and Continental. But again, several members here are also onboard with Apple for iOS in the Car in 2014.

Note that the systems used in automotive infotainment packages are not necessarily exclusive; many systems use multiple components to deliver various vehicular information, control and entertainment systems. Makers also seek to differentiate their offerings with custom, in-house systems that make use of proprietary selling points, such as BMW's iDrive controller or Audi's similar MMI.

These systems already integrate with iPods and iOS devices, as Apple profiles in its iPod car integration gallery, which specifically highlights the existing propriety infotainment systems of Audi/Porsche/Volkswagen, BMW, Ford, Infinity and Mercedes among a roster of more than three dozen car brands.

iPod car integration
Source: Apple


Apple's aggressive deployment of iOS in the Car



Apple is clearly gunning to take over the automotive user interface with iOS in the Car, with both its simple touchscreen controls and its Siri Eyes Free functionality it outlined last summer.

Below the user interface, Apple can also offer car makers access to its iOS custom development tools, which are already in wide use across a variety of industries and have a clear lead in the enterprise and in business in general

According to IDC, Apple has taken 62.5 percent of the business smartphone market with iPhone. It virtually owns the entire business tablet market with iPad. Given how pathetically Microsoft, Blackberry, Google and its Android licensees have floundered while struggled to produce simple consumer tablets, it would appear the automotive market is Apple's for the taking.

Apple's platform competence



One last aspect Apple is sure to leverage as it enters the automotive market is the company's unique reputation for delivering regular, progressive updates of iOS, and its uncharacteristically long-term support for devices it has sold.



While neither Google nor Microsoft have managed to support their hardware partners' Android or Windows Phone devices with platform updates beyond even a year and a half, Apple has consistently rolled out a steady stream of significant updates for iOS products for multiple years.

iPhone 4, for example, will have had an incredible four years of free updates across the lifespan of iOS 7. That's a factor that becomes important when dealing with vehicles, which unlike consumer gadgets aren't routinely replaced every year or two.

The above report by AutoNews cited Anna Buettner, a vehicle infotainment sector analyst for IHS Automotive, as noting that Apple is respected for dependability.

"The most important issue for having advanced software platforms in cars is that they have to be reliable," Buettner added. "It's one thing for a software glitch to occur in your navigation system. It will be a more serious issue in the future if one occurs in your brakes. This is what some automakers are still afraid of: Can these software operating systems be completely reliable?"

While the tech media has enthusiastically cheered on every new iOS competitor to enter the market, there hasn't been much competence and followthrough backing up the initial screen shots and promises of the Sun jPhone, Android, Palm's webOS, Samsung's Bada, BlackBerry 10, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone and Windows RT.

The smartphone-style potential in automotive



The global market for auto-integration systems is now around 12 million, according to IHS, cited in the same report. That's a figure that is expected to more than double to 25 million by 2018. And that explains why Apple is itching to get started in a big way next year, as automotive systems take off in the way smartphones began to explode around the launch of iPhone a half decade ago.

Profits in automotive are also alluring; IHS iSuppli estimated Ford Sync's core hardware to cost around $130, but Ford markets the voice activated Sync, along with a Sirius radio and a convenience package, in a option priced at $1,250.

Selling Sync was a significant priority at Microsoft. The report described a "$70 million co-branded and integrated marketing campaign" which "leveraged the global recognition of Microsoft brand name with the tagline 'SYNC, powered by Microsoft.'"

It added that "by the end of 2009, SYNC was available on over 20 of Ford's passenger vehicle models, with the feature 'take-rate' averaging approximately 70% across the line-up."

BMW updates


BMW's X series "technology package," which includes voice and data services, navigation, smartphone integration and support for apps, costs around $2,250 just by itself. And unlike Apple's free annual iOS updates, the company sends out invitations to their customers to pay for map software updates. This one (above) cost "just $245," or more than an iPod touch.

This appears to paint a clear picture of the automotive potential for Apple being very similar to the state of hard drive music players in 2001, smartphones in 2007 and tablets in 2010. Apple has made it pretty clear that it wants to make a big splash in automotive in 2014 as it rolls out iOS in the Car.

One more thing: tomorrow's editorial examines the strategic importance of Apple's iOS in the Car, highlighting why the new initiative is a bigger deal for Apple than it might initially appear.
post #2 of 57
I'll be in the market for a new vehicle in Dec 2014. That means that I'll own it at least through 2017 or 2018. I won't be looking at manufacturers who do not offer iOS integration.
post #3 of 57
Opel Adam is the first car, as far as I know, that has Siri integration.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKhhuP0QlOY
post #4 of 57

But what about Tesla Motors?

post #5 of 57

YOU COULD HAVE POSTED THIS AS WEEKEND ARTICLE. :)

post #6 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluben View Post

But what about Tesla Motors?

Tesla uses Android.
post #7 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluben View Post

But what about Tesla Motors?

Oh boy! They have Glass! //And a solar panels on the top.

post #8 of 57

Will be a success. One thing I have been wanting for a while, but I don't wish to buy a new car. So if they make it an aftermarket intergration as well, it would be much appreciated. As I want to own an Alfa Romeo 159, and would love it if I could have this installed, at a price of course.

post #9 of 57
Apple rules! Can't wait!
post #10 of 57
VW has a dedicated slot in the glove compartment for iPhone 4 to plug directly into the car and the salesman said he was hoping they'd get the updated connector in sometime (He was kinda irritated that they didn't yet).

I'm surprised that VW wasn't on the list mentioned early in the article. I hope with this connector in my car (2013 model) that it will be able to integrate iOS into it. I may never sell it 1wink.gif
post #11 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrboba1 View Post

VW has a dedicated slot in the glove compartment for iPhone 4 to plug directly into the car and the salesman said he was hoping they'd get the updated connector in sometime (He was kinda irritated that they didn't yet).

I'm surprised that VW wasn't on the list mentioned early in the article. I hope with this connector in my car (2013 model) that it will be able to integrate iOS into it. I may never sell it 1wink.gif

I dont want to have to plug in anything. When I get into my car, I want an automatic wireless connection with the iPhone in my pocket. Maybe the car companies should just agree on a standard. Let whatever phone that people want to use drive the display and onscreen controls. The fewer cables, connectors and adapters that I have to buy or use the better in my opinion.

post #12 of 57

This could be a great option for the Tesla Model X we plan to buy next year or the following year, assuming it takes off well and Tesla offers it as an option.

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post #13 of 57

The level of integration is not especially tight with the automotive platform.

I would be more interested in seeing what the aftermarket manufacturers are going to do ... Pioneer, Alpine, Bose, etc., all supply the sound systems for the automakers, so I wouldnt be surprised if we don't see them offering aftermarket versions for other vehicles.

 

I am currently in the market of a double-din sized GPS enabled head unit, but am holding off until the dust settles around iOS in the Car. There are systems out already that are loosely coupled with iOS devices, but this tighter integration will just take it to another level.

post #14 of 57

What's the point of this article again? I don't see any definitive conclusions beyond a long rambling paragraph about how a competitor's product sucks. 

post #15 of 57
Bilbo - That standard is bluetooth. I have Sync and Pandora starts and stops on its own streaming from my iPhone. Phone connects and makes/receives calls without leaving my pocket. All in all, I've been impressed with the Sync system (had it 2 months now). That said, I have no doubt in my mind Apple will put something out that completely demolish it, that is what they do best. They move the bar so far forward that what you thought was great just looks old and tired.
post #16 of 57
Not in the market for a new car so this "feature" is meaningless & useless to me.
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I dont want to have to plug in anything. When I get into my car, I want an automatic wireless connection with the iPhone in my pocket. Maybe the car companies should just agree on a standard. Let whatever phone that people want to use drive the display and onscreen controls. The fewer cables, connectors and adapters that I have to buy or use the better in my opinion.

I agree with you in theory, but good luck using your iPhone wirelessly for a multi hour navigation or music streaming session. The fact of the matter is, for the foreseeable future, you will need to connect to power for realistic in-car use cases.
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gluben View Post

But what about Tesla Motors?

 

That would be a very small market and so, mostly irrelevant.  

 

But they seem more likely to go with the best technology (iOS) than to buy into Microsoft's BS. 

 

Edit: It appears they are using Android at the moment, but that will probably change (if the company survives at all)

post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I dont want to have to plug in anything. When I get into my car, I want an automatic wireless connection with the iPhone in my pocket. Maybe the car companies should just agree on a standard. Let whatever phone that people want to use drive the display and onscreen controls. The fewer cables, connectors and adapters that I have to buy or use the better in my opinion.

Agreed....so many times I've put my iPhone on the dash for GPS or just not to have it in my pocket and I forget it and leave it in the car. I couldn't imagine having to plug it in inside my glove box. 

 

I hate the cables. I do keep a charger cable in my car but only plug it in if I need it. Most of the time the cable is in a box on the floor out of the way. 

 

Ideally, I'd like an Apple "brain" in the car with an Apple screen for the center console....wait an iPad Mini! Perfect.

post #20 of 57

Metalcase - My iPhone automatically connects to my Sorento via Bluetooth when I get in. I can stream music, make calls, use Siri etc. When using Bluetooth, I can stream music, but I do not get the song title and such on my display nor can I use the steering wheel controls to skip tracks unlike when I connect via a cable. My Sorento is a 2012 and I am very happy with it, but would love it to have this full iOS in the car functionality.

post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by utsava View Post


I agree with you in theory, but good luck using your iPhone wirelessly for a multi hour navigation or music streaming session. The fact of the matter is, for the foreseeable future, you will need to connect to power for realistic in-car use cases.

I stream music via Bluetooth for 2 - 3 hours quite often. It doesn't drain the battery that much. Anything GPS related like Glympse sucks my battery pretty quickly, so with anything navigational, I like to be plugged in.

post #22 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

YOU COULD HAVE POSTED THIS AS WEEKEND ARTICLE. 1smile.gif

LOL. Weekend started in Australia 1smile.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I dont want to have to plug in anything. When I get into my car, I want an automatic wireless connection with the iPhone in my pocket. Maybe the car companies should just agree on a standard. Let whatever phone that people want to use drive the display and onscreen controls. The fewer cables, connectors and adapters that I have to buy or use the better in my opinion.

I absolutely agree. A wireless connection is without a doubt the way to go.
post #24 of 57
I am so fed up with my factory head unit (Volkswagen RCD-810) that I am putting in an iPad Mini. I wonder if in the future, any new features will bleed over to such a setup.
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

I dont want to have to plug in anything. When I get into my car, I want an automatic wireless connection with the iPhone in my pocket. Maybe the car companies should just agree on a standard. Let whatever phone that people want to use drive the display and onscreen controls. The fewer cables, connectors and adapters that I have to buy or use the better in my opinion.

 

Bluetooth has bandwidth issues, so unless your car has a newer WiFi chip set, it won't be able to connect at any decent speed - not fast enough for AirPlay anyway.

Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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Disclaimer: The things I say are merely my own personal opinion and may or may not be based on facts. At certain points in any discussion, sarcasm may ensue.
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post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I'll be in the market for a new vehicle in Dec 2014. That means that I'll own it at least through 2017 or 2018. I won't be looking at manufacturers who do not offer iOS integration.

Most of the manufacturers will start handing over access to all the car data to developers. Greater integration is on the way. Car manufacturers are realizing that they suck at software
post #27 of 57
The SYNC system was supposedly singlehandedly responsible for a big hit to Ford's customer satisfaction ratings.
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

I'll be in the market for a new vehicle in Dec 2014. That means that I'll own it at least through 2017 or 2018. I won't be looking at manufacturers who do not offer iOS integration.

That still means the software will be 3-4 years outdated. That's like using a iPhone 3G today.... I don't know why they can't just make an upgradeable idevice for vehicles.

Side note- Dec of 2014? Why that exact date- that seems odd.

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post #29 of 57
Volvo's response to my inquiry about when we will get cars with this in it:

"Unfortunately at this time we do not have any information regarding iOS and its function or availability.  We will be sure to keep you updated as soon as we have anything to share."
 
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post #30 of 57
I sincerely hope they use a bigger display than that. Anything smaller than the iPad Mini display will be a huge disappointment.
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post


That still means the software will be 3-4 years outdated. That's like using a iPhone 3G today.... I don't know why they can't just make an upgradeable idevice for vehicles.

Side note- Dec of 2014? Why that exact date- that seems odd.

 

I was thinking about this while reading the article.  I hope that the display is self-contained and removable.  Give it a Lightning Cable-type connector interface and an eject button; users can pop it out for security or an upgrade.  From here, the auto industry (or, more likely, a proper third party) just needs to design a universal Automobile-API and a few standardized sizes.  Present that to the market and then you can have proper competition for this kind of service/feature on both hardware and software levels.

post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

I was thinking about this while reading the article.  I hope that the display is self-contained and removable.  Give it a Lightning Cable-type connector interface and an eject button; users can pop it out for security or an upgrade.  From here, the auto industry (or, more likely, a proper third party) just needs to design a universal Automobile-API and a few standardized sizes.  Present that to the market and then you can have proper competition for this kind of service/feature on both hardware and software levels.

This is all the automobile industry needs to do. Trying to mesh with iOS now is pointless. They will too far behind with their hardware/software.

They need only to build in a housing and a connector. A PCI interface, or something modular, that the "screen" aka on board computer can connect to. If that part is removable/replaceable/upgradable, then there is a chance.

What's the point of buying a 2014 vehicle from X manufacturer that has their version of "support" for iOS in the car...only to have it pathetically outdated and probably useless by 2015.
post #33 of 57
I don't like the Microsoft Sync deployed in Fords. I had a chance to use one for a month and I recall it was buggy. About 1-in-4 times I plugged in a USB device such as an iPod or iPhone, it would fail to recognize it. I joked that "Windows is searching for drivers for your device...this may take a few minutes." You think I'm making that up? My Windows 7 workstation at work actually takes minutes to install Its own HID drivers for things such as PowerPoint clickers, and it forgets previously installed devices (yes, I know not everyone using Windows 7 has this issue, but it affects the workstations where I work). So yes, I blame Sync's woes on Microsoft. Especially when I've never had issues with other factory iPod integration.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by e1618978 View Post

Volvo's response to my inquiry about when we will get cars with this in it:

"Unfortunately at this time we do not have any information regarding iOS and its function or availability.  We will be sure to keep you updated as soon as we have anything to share."

 

Wordy way for them to say: "no." (politicians would say "we will continue to monitor the situation closely with our allies.")

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Side note- Dec of 2014? Why that exact date- that seems odd.

Some of us prefer to lease (there's always the option to buy). 1wink.gif

post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

What's the point of buying a 2014 vehicle from X manufacturer that has their version of "support" for iOS in the car...only to have it pathetically outdated and probably useless by 2015.

 

This should be especially exciting to auto manufacturers because electric cars are picking up rather slowly in an otherwise very mature market where innovation is expectedly low.  Adding sophisticated technology to the car industry may create a higher turn-over rate.  If consumers are given a reason to upgrade their cars more often, you can fully expect auto manufacturers to jump on it.  In that respect, they have very little motivation to create cars that quickly become outdated.

post #37 of 57

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Thus, the site wrote, "according to BMW, integration of iOS in the Car in its cars has not been ruled out at all."

BMW has their own car computer interface called iDrive, and boy is it weird.  It uses a few traditional buttons and switches to control frequently-used features (ventilation fan speed, radio volume, etc., I think) but most of the UI is on a small screen and you use a puck-like knob on the console to navigate through menus.  BMW may be clinging to iDrive, but trust me, drilling down through menus with the iDrive knob controller (while you're driving) isn't fun at all.

 

I've test driven many new BMWs over the years, but iDrive hasn't gotten much better.  (And I lament the Susan G. Komen "Drive for the Cure" breast cancer charity test drives.)  It's possible that BMW and Apple simply haven't yet negotiated a roadmap for weaning the cars (and existing BMW customers) from iDrive to "iOS in the car."  

 

Mercedes, apparently, has a vaguely similar system ("COMAND APS"), but it seems to depend more on the traditional array-of-small-buttons interface on the dash, plus the console-mounted knob for navigating menus.  So maybe that's why Mercedes has joined the "iOS in the car" program.  They have more to gain and less engineering cost to lose by abandoning some or all of COMAND.

 

 

 

Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

One more thing: tomorrow's final segment on iOS in the Car will highlight why the new initiative is a bigger deal for Apple than it might initially appear.
 

Because the need for a reliable and accurate voice command interface in the car is more pressing than in nearly any other aspect of daily living.  Because it's the car computer interface, it directly affects driving safety.  Any computer interface will always distract the user from the act of driving.  The less interface, the better.  And yes, even a pure voice interface that allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road can and will affect their concentration.  It's not the only the hands and eyes, it's the brain that also needs to be focused on driving.  So yes, a voice interface will free up the hands and eyes (mostly) but it still takes brain cycles to generate and to understand speech.

 

Sometimes, though, it might be appropriate to display some kind of map.  Probably not on an LCD in the dashboard.  Probably projected at eye level somehow, over the view through the windshield, and possibly even with augmented reality signs, captions, and whatnot.  And maybe this is the major reason why Scott Forstall was canned.  Because, although iOS Maps is still a long way from becoming a head-up augmented reality driving aid, the negative publicity on the launch of iOS 6 certainly didn't help Maps' public perception.  And you only get one shot at a first impression.  Buh bye, Scott.

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post #38 of 57
Only about 40 million new cars are sold in the world every year. The cellphone market is billions. Moreover, free maps/directions and music on my smartphone have already destroyed the value of my car audio system. I just want it to run AirTunes. So this is a small market for Apple, and not a valuable one.
Edited by NormM - 7/26/13 at 6:37pm
post #39 of 57
I think it goes way beyond integrating an iOS device into a car. I am thinking some manufacturers will completely replace their in car navigation/entertainment systems and even climate control with an iOS device. The amount they will save will be tremendous.

No more proprietary software, interfaces, connectors, screens, buttons and knobs and steering wheel controls. Just an iOS device with an app. One standard physical interface (lightning) for every vehicle.

As it is, my iPad does alot more than my Kenwood head unit with Garmin GPS and the Kenwood costs ALOT more, not to mention the proprietary interface kit I had to buy from Saab to fit it in my Car.
post #40 of 57
So what OS does the Chevrolet MYLINK use?

Will the 2014 Camaro & Corvette get iOS in the Car?
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