App Blog

CarPlay and iOS 7.1
March 11, 2014

iOS 7.1 is here and while it's not a groundbreaking overhaul like 7.0, it has brought something exciting along with it and made a smattering of miscellaneous - and welcome - improvements


iOS 7.1 introduces very little change in the interface of the OS. The most obvious changes can be seen in the icons of applications like FaceTime, Messages and Phone, which are merely now a darker shade - perhaps in an effort to add a bit of gravity to the interface . Calendar doesn't look a whole lot different, but it now 
sports a convenient "month view" and automatically incorporates local holidays for most countries.

There are some notable improvements in accessibility, including the power to disable the 'Parallax ' effect of the wallpaper, and the bold text option now extends to the keyboard , calculator and many other icons. Then there's the option to choose a darker keyboard for improved contrast when required.

And then there are the Siri improvements.  The finicky problem of Siri not listening or listening too long has been solved by the simple option of holding down the home key when you want Siri to listen and letting go when you're done. Siri's speech has also been made more realistic in Australian English, British English, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

The fingerprint recognition system has been made more accurate, And in general the OS is much faster and smoother.

CarPlay!

Now what you've been waiting for - and by far the most interesting feature -the iOS' compatibility with Apple's new "CarPlay". This feature completely melds your phone and your car at last. There's no longer any need to touch your phone and risk a fine, since your car is now your phone. 

Siri can now be accessed directly through the car's computer. Buttons and text have been made larger and interactions simpler  - to ensure a safer trip. Indeed, Siri can be set to read out messages so you'll never have to take your eyes off the road. At this stage CarPlay is only available on Ferraris, Hyundais, Hondas, Mercedes- Benzes and Volvos, all of which are fully integrated into the system. Apple promises rapid expansion, however, of what is sure to be a drive-away success and most high tech cars should be integrated within a year.

There are an incredible range of automakers will incorporate CarPlay , and we are excited to premiere this week in Geneva. " Once the iPhone is connected to a car with CarPlay , Siri allow easy access to your contacts, make calls, respond to missed calls, or voice messages . When receiving incoming messages or notifications, Siri gives the driver the ability to respond to voice commands received from the application , reading the messages to the driver, and allowing it to dictate the answers to messages or perform easily phone calls. CarPlay works with the Apple Maps app to anticipate recent travel destinations , from contacts , e-mails or text messages , and provides driving directions , traffic conditions and estimated travel time.

The driver can ask Siri and receive directions, step by step, to reach the destination , along with the ride maps , displayed on the screen built into the car . The system allows the driver to access all your music, podcasts and audiobooks , and also supports other audio apps such as Spotify. Apple CarPlay is available as an upgrade to iOS 7 and works with iPhones with Lightning connector , including the iPhone 5s models iPhone iPhone 5 and 5c . It will be available in certain cars to be sold in 2014 at prices that Apple has not disclosed .