iPhone Life magazine

iOS 7, Coming to a Car Near You

Apple is focusing its attention on integrating the iPhone with automobiles, according to a recent blog post on 9To5MacThe article said we might see something yet this year. 

It makes sense. iPhones are incredibly powerful and intelligent devices, so why not develop a system where iPhone content is displayed on say, a car mirror, or perhaps receives a video-out signal? 9To5Mac says Apple is working on a system whereby Apple Maps would appear on the car's display (instead of the sort of proprietary GPS systems currently found in cars). 

And you'd interact with the Maps app just as you ordinarily would — via Siri.

9To5Mac's evidence comes from inside sources familiar with the project, as well as job listings from Apple seeking to hire engineers who are experts in working with car stereo systems, developing software for cars, and Bluetooth product testing. The latter suggests the iPhone would use Bluetooth to stream the information to your car's display.

Likely, Maps and Siri would just be the beginning, the article suggests. But Apple would have to be careful, I would think, to make sure people didn't use their in-car display to do things such as watch movies while driving.

Apple already has been working with auto manufacturers since last year to bring Siri Eyes Free to its cars. This feature puts a button on the steering wheel that lets you operate your iPhone. You can make and receive calls using Siri while the screen stays off. Apple has already made deals with BMW, Toyota, Audio, Honda, and Land Rover to bring this feature to their cars.

I think this is an obvious and inevitable step. If a smartphone already is brimming with state-of-the-art technology, it's redundant to put some of that same technology into the car's computer system. Why not just use the iPhone's sophisticated and familiar interface and capabilities?

Plus, this would open up yet another large new market for Apple. The company has changed the way we interact with computers, MP3 players, and smartphones. It's rumored to be working on a TV that would transform the way we interact with that tech category. And now Apple is apparently intending to be a key player in creating a new way of interacting with our cars. 

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Jim Karpen's picture

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.