Tag - Hyundai
The 2016-2017 car model year this year looks to be a banner one for Apple and its CarPlay technology being integrated into vehicles, generally with Android Auto compatibility along for the ride. Following announcements in January from Ford, Honda, Kia, and Lincoln adding CarPlay to various model year 2016 and 2017 vehicles, new manufacturers making announcements at the New York International Auto Show this week include Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, and Volkswagen.
Hyundai has revealed that it will launch its 2017 Elantra with both Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto support, along with adding a second USB port to the car in order to facilitate charging other devices while the iPhone or Android device is connected to the infotainment system. The company also said it will announce other models to gain CarPlay and Android Auto support, and hinted that some current model year owners may be able to add the technology to their existing vehicles.
Owners of the 2015 and 2016 model year Hyundai Sonatas will be able to retroactively add CarPlay support early next year, but will have to pay for the privilege. The car company had previously promised that the CarPlay upgrade would be free, but now says owners will have to buy a special SD card in order to obtain the upgrade, according to the Detroit Free Press. The company's broken promise and change of direction could spark legal action, as the same vehicles can use Google's Android Auto without paying extra.
Hyundai is among the first automakers to bring its connected-car features to wearable devices, introducing a Blue Link app for Android Wear. Electronista checked out the new service at CES, where Hyundai brought a connected Sonata and a few Android-powered watches to demonstrate the capabilities. Owners of select vehicles can already access the full range of Blue Link features via their smartphone, and the Android Wear implementation simply serves as the watch-based extension of the service.
Two of the core automakers supporting Apple's CarPlay -- Volvo and Mercedes-Benz -- have both confirmed that they won't have vehicles with the technology in 2014, despite earlier promises. "As of now, we do not support CarPlay in our series production cars," the latter party says. "We are working on a highly sophisticated head-unit based solution, which will enable CarPlay as well as other systems (e.g. MirrorLink) … we are not quite sure if we will feature an aftermarket solution. CarPlay won't be available by the end of this year, but in 2015."
A new, 11-minute video of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata offers viewers an in-depth look at CarPlay, Apple's car technology for iOS device integration. In addition to showing off the system itself, the video also makes clearer how CarPlay (and other technologies like Android Auto) can co-exist with built-in infotainment systems that are part of the vehicle itself. The video also distinguishes Apple's "Siri Eyes Free" feature from the rest of the CarPlay technology.
Hyundai will support Apple's CarPlay beginning with 2015-model Sonatas shipping later this year, according to an announcement. The Korean carmaker is the first since Volvo, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz to reveal specific plans for vehicles shipping in 2014. One more, Honda, has yet to say which car models it will fit with CarPlay. Other brands -- such as Ford, BMW, and Toyota -- may not have CarPlay-ready vehicles until 2015 arrives.
Google is pushing to bring Android to cars, confirming recent rumors, though not as a partnership with a single car manufacturer as first thought. The Open Automotive Alliance (OAA), made up of Google, Audi, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Nvidia, has been formed to create a single common platform for in-car systems, one which it hopes will improve the experience of the driver and passengers on the road.
Korea's Hyundai is joining the list of car makers supporting Apple's Siri Eyes-Free technology, according to a CES announcement. The company hasn't identified specific car models yet, but says that upcoming vehicles with dashboard consoles will get the technology. Using Eyes-Free requires a mobile device running iOS 6.
Smartphone users could one day find their handheld devices replacing yet another item that took up space in their pockets, as Hyundai has been showing off a concept car that lets smartphones double for the keys that open and start the car. The technology relies on Near Field Communication tags, which communicate with the smartphone, allowing the device to perform many of the activities now normally built into the security chip on a physical key. The concept was developed by Hyundai and Broadcom, and it could be showing up in vehicles as soon as 2015.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R