6 Things You Need to Know about Apple’s Carplay

By Ranjithsiji (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ranjithsiji (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

The maker of the highly popular iPhone and iPad is once again trying to lead in the consumer electronics market with the announcement of CarPlay. This is a new standard Apple is introducing to enable connection between iOS devices and the built-in in-car systems of various car manufacturers.

There are 6 interesting things you have to know if you are planning to get Apple’s latest product.

1. CarPlay aims to provide direct access to iOS device functions, controls, and usage.

CarPlay mainly aims to enable connection between iOS and the in-car control systems of different brands and models of vehicles. Functions include eyes-free and hands-free operation via Siri, satellite navigation, music controls, message reading and response, and telephony instruction and control.

Obviously, this only applies to high end cars that come with their built-in infotainment systems. CarPlay is intended to facilitate seamless connection between devices within a vehicle. With it, Apple is bringing the widely perceived  “cool” factor of iOS devices to car operation.

Apple claims that CarPlay is designed “to provide an incredible user experience” for iOS device owners who also regularly drive cars. The company also says that it will make driving “smarter, safer and more fun.”

public domain / Dungodung /

public domain / Dungodung /

2. The list of car brands and manufacturers supporting CarPlay is extensive.

While the public demonstration of CarPlay was done with a Mercedes-Benz, it is not limited to one or a few vehicle models. According to Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, there are many vehicle manufacturers that plan to implement CarPay in their vehicles.

The list includes BMW, Ferrari, Ford, General Motors (Chevrolet, Opel, and Vauxhall in particular), the Acura line of Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Daimler AG, Mitsubishi, the Infiniti luxury vehicles of Nissan Motor Company, Peugeot Citroen, Suzuki, Subaru, Volvo. The world’s largest car maker, Toyota, also expressed interest in adopting CarPlay. BMW initially said that they are not supporting the standard but they eventually retracted their previous statement

3. The CarPlay name only came on March 3, 2014, after Apple’s press release and website announcement.

CarPlay was formerly known as iOS in the Car with the abbreviation iOSitC. It was officially announced almost a year ago, in June 10, 2013 at the opening keynote of Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The full-blown release of the CarPlay standard and software was reportedly delayed because of organizational issues at Apple.

4. CarPlay works hand in hand with BlackBerry’s software.

By Research In Motion ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Research In Motion ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

If CarPlay becomes a hit, it will benefit BlackBerry. How? It’s because underneath iOS-syncing CarPlay is BlackBerry’s software. Apple’s renowned operating system is not going to do the processing of features, functions, and controls alone.

CarPlay makes use of the QNX embedded operating system, which is a property of BlackBerry, the company with the operating system and devices renowned for their security. QNX was acquired by BlackBerry  in 2010. It is now integrated into the BlackBerry 10 OS.

With BlackBerry lending one of its assets to electronic systems other than their devices, they are ensuring that they will continue to exist in the foreseeable future. QNX may also be used in other infotainment and control platforms such as TV boxes, routers, and medical equipment. This could only be a good thing for the struggling Canadian company formerly known as Research in Motion.

BlackBerry’s QNX is an essential component of CarPlay as it enables hands-free and Siri-facilitated access to media content, apps, messaging, and other functions in a car’s infotainment platform via an iPhone.

5. How can you get and use CarPlay?

The use of CarPlay depends on two important components: a compatible iOS device and a compatible car. Apple says that all iOS devices that come with the Lightning connector are compatible. This means the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5C. At the moment, the models that will definitely be launching with CarPlay are Mercedez-Benz, Volvo, Jaguar, Ferrari, Honda, and Hyundai.

6. Is it necessary to buy a new car to get CarPlay?

Of course not. In-car entertainment manufacturers like Kenwood, Alpine, Pioneer, and even Sony are very likely to offer systems that include CarPlay. There is nothing official about this but it is highly unlikely for these in-car entertainment system makers to ditch the standard, let alone refuse to exploit the market created by the demand.

By Stefan-Xp (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Stefan-Xp (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Aside from the launch of the iWatch, CarPlay is one of the major announcements from Apple in 2014. It is bound to make the integration of iOS devices and in-car infotainment systems seamless and efficient. It will definitely be something every loyal iPhone user will be looking forward to.