According to Apple, 97 percent of all new cars sold in the US are compatible with CarPlay, and outside of the home market coverage is said to be 80 percent. Since the technology is not completely new, many iOS users should be able to use the features of CarPlay – at least if they buy a new car or a young used one. A first look at the changes that come with iOS 14.
CarPlay has been Apple’s solution for smarter and safer use of the iPhone in the car since iOS 7.1 in 2014. The driver should concentrate on the road and still be able to control the most important functions via his vehicle’s infotainment system – preferably by voice control. For example, CarPlay offers real-time navigation, the ability to make and receive calls, send and receive messages, listen to music and more.
With iOS 14, Apple brings some new functions to the car, such as new wallpapers even in the dark mode of iOS. However, third-party wallpapers have not yet been provided with iOS 14. The new appearance of Siri also comes into the car – like on other Apple devices, the voice assistant takes up less screen space after being called up. The new CarPlay version also makes it even easier to share your Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) with contacts.
The new Voice messaging feature, where only the voice is recorded without background noise under iOS and sent as an audio file via the app, messages can also be controlled in the car with Siri on CarPlay.
Using the new EV routing For iOS 14, drivers of electric cars find the nearest charging station efficiently – Tesla has apparently been the inspiration for this. Environmental zones are also integrated in the Apple Maps, combustion engines can bypass them over a wide area.
App developers have new categories in Apple CarPlay. Each category also provides a set of templates that the developer must adhere to. The design options are very limited here.
The new categories are:
Quick food ordering
However, address book apps are also able to integrate into CarPlay. For this purpose, Apple has defined the “Communication” category somewhat more openly. It will be interesting to see when third-party manufacturers bring their extensions.
The topic of digital car keys is not only important for CarPlay, but also relevant in the entire automotive ecosystem: CarKey.
Apple presented CarKey at WWDC using the example of the new 5-series BMW, which is the first model to support the technology. Many other manufacturers and models are to follow by next year. BMW calls the function behind it “Digital Key”. Supposedly, this function should also use the model series 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, X5, X6, X7, X5M, X6M and Z4, which will roll off the assembly line after July 1, 2020. The 7 series and the models X1, X2, X3 and X4 are still on the outside.
The function allows a car key to be virtualized with the iPhone (iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone SE (2nd generation) – and that from iOS 13. CarKey also works via the Apple Watch (Apple Watch Series 5 from version 6.2.8).
Proof of ownership of the car is, of course, required to set up the function for the first time. There are no limits for the manufacturers to let their creativity run free. The iPhone or Apple Watch stores the car key in the Secure Enclave. The automaker does not know the individual device – and the mobile device does not know the connected car.
The CarKey can now be used to unlock and lock the car only at the driver’s door and to start the car. CarKey currently has no access to the other doors, trunk or bonnet.
If the respective device no longer has enough energy with the respective key, the CarKey function can still be accessed. With an iPhone, this virtual key should have sufficient residual current for up to five hours after the end of the battery life. However, if the user switches off his cell phone himself, the key is no longer available.
Such a virtual key can be shared with up to five other people (via message) and its scope of authorization (e.g. “only unlock”) restricted. The automobile manufacturer can define the restrictions himself. However, once shared, keys cannot be shared again under any circumstances.
The automotive ecosystem is opening up more and more for Apple – or is it the other way around? It will be exciting to see whether, how and to what extent the automobile manufacturers will (completely) hand over their end customer interfaces to Apple. (Macworld)