Apple’s iOS in the Car Is Arriving, and It’s Called CarPlay

Ferrari, Mercedes and Volvo are first in line for Apple's iPhone-friendly auto interface.

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Apple's CarPlay

At last June’s WWDC keynote, Apple unveiled a bunch of stuff — including a sleeper sort of product it called iOS in the Car. The idea was to let auto makers give their vehicles the ability to serve as a second screen for a driver’s iPhone, with bigger-screen versions of apps such as Music and Maps and voice control provided by Siri.

Now iOS in the Car is ready to hit the road. Confirming a story reported last week by the Financial Times, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are at the Geneva International Motor Show announcing that they’re rolling out the feature — which is now called CarPlay — in new vehicles this year. If you aren’t planning to buy a Ferrari, a Mercedes or a Volvo anytime soon, you might still be able to put CarPlay on your shopping list next time you get new wheels: BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota and others are also planning to support it in future models.

(MORE: Volvo Shows Off the Apple CarPlay iPhone Interface)

With all due respect to the automotive industry, which has made a lot of progress in the last few years modernizing its entertainment and information systems, its standards of interface polish still don’t come anywhere near Apple-like levels. So it’s good news that Apple itself is building a car-friendly interface. Unlike a smartwatch or a TV, it may not count as the all-new product category that people are sitting around waiting for Apple to enter, but it’s closer than anything else Apple has done in the Tim Cook era.

CarPlay: The best iPhone experience on four wheels []