CarPlay is what Apple likes to call “an iOS solution for the car”. Unveiled during the keynote of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference as iOS in the Car, it was later formally renamed CarPlay at its launching on March 3, 2014, at the Geneva Motor Show.It is basically an interface designed for a car’s in-dash system, which works when you connect it with an iPhone via the Lightning port.
You can then access several of your iPhone’s features and apps which include Maps, Messaging, Phone, Audiobooks and Music. It is designed to be hands-free, which is why it is voice-based and heavily relying on Siri. You can place phone calls, send messages, get directions and do much more just by passing voice commands to Siri, which immediately recognizes these commands and performs the desired action. For example, if you say ‘Call John’, Siri would recognize the command and immediately place a call to the contact named John.
ApplePlay follows Apple’s traditional policy of creating mind-blowing products that are relatively simple to use. Steve Jobs once said, “We make progress by eliminating things, by removing the superfluous.” ApplePlay is a perfect embodiment of this culture. There is not a single feature on ApplePlay which may prove disturbing for the driver, or which may destroy the renowned simplicity which is a key feature of every Apple product.
It is mostly audio-focused and non-visual with the content being played through the car’s speakers. That is why it is considered to be the safest in-dash interface for a car. Apple is also well-known around the world for its commitment of guarding user-privacy. That is why it collects very little data from users and car-manufacturers. The only piece of data which reaches Apple servers is whether the car is accelerating or not when ApplePlay is in use.
Apple has already partnered with many car companies which include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Renault, Subaru, Suzuki, Volkswagen, and Volvo. BMW, Ferrari and Porsche have already announced that they’ll be CarPlay exclusive, majorly because they weren’t satisfied with Android Auto’s user-privacy. However, it is still criticized for not being as perfect as it promises to be. Its major drawback is its poor Maps function.
Not only is it as good as Google Maps, it also contains many bugs which require fixes. Apart from this, it is hugely reliant on the Internet, and fails to work every time there is a loss of connection. Apart from this, less than 26% of the world population uses an iPhone, making it an unnecessary interface for all the Android and Windows users. That is why many car companies including Toyota are hesitant on adopting ApplePlay for their car’s in-dash system. Despite such criticisms, ApplePlay has already proved to be a success. Apple has also announced plans of releasing an Apple Car. Therefore, users may expect more better and much improved versions of ApplePlay in the coming years.