Tag - Infotainment
Apple's in-car technology that integrates the iPhone with a built-in infotainment system, CarPlay, has been named as "best individual technology feature in a vehicle" during the North American International Auto Show, held in Detroit. CarPlay won out ahead of Google's Android Auto, Ford's Sync 3, and a variety of competing systems. The technology has -- two years after its debut -- picked up a lot of support recently from slow-moving automakers, and is appearing in many model-year 2016 and 2017 vehicles.
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.
Following an announcement at CES in Las Vegas by aftermarket infotainment system maker Pioneer, rival Kenwood has announced a revamping of its double-DIN multimedia receiver line. The firm revealed 15 new models, 12 of which replace a previous model in its Kenwood or eXcelon model lines. The big change that prompted the whole-line revamp was a processor upgrade, said the company, which improved stability and faster startup, along with a new native user interface, new shortcuts, and new solid-state memory that helps to double data-transfer speeds.
First introduced in mid-2013, Apple's CarPlay interface -- which supplements vehicles' built-in infotainment and navigation systems with a car-safe version of iOS and Siri technology -- is finally to be widely available in most US new car models starting with the 2016 model year, which is rolling out to dealers now. In most cases, compatibility with CarPlay -- and, to a lesser extent, Android Auto -- will be a standard feature in cars with built-in navigation systems, but in some cases will be considered a standalone feature that is added to entertainment upgrade packages.
Porsche has opted to support only Apple's CarPlay infotainment technology in its latest 911 Carrera and Carrera S models, blocking Android Auto support chiefly because Google demands detailed information from the vehicle's onboard diagnostics unit that is then sent to Google, compared to Apple's need only for the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) to tell CarPlay if the car is in motion. The carmaker was reportedly unhappy with Google's need to collect intricate data on the car's performance for no apparent reason.
As promised roughly a year after CarPlay was unveiled, German car maker Volkswagen is now shipping automobiles that include a next-generation infotainment system called MIB-II that includes support for both CarPlay and Android Auto along with its own proprietary suite of Car-Net apps, the latter of which requires a subscription. The company says that all but its entry-level models will feature the new MIB-II system.
CarPlay has been a long time coming to cars consumers can actually buy, but the infotainment and mobile app technology has finally started arriving to consumer showrooms. Though it has been promoted in forthcoming vehicles for well over a year, currently the Ferrari FF is the only vehicle at dealers now with Apple's technology baked in. This month, however, that changes -- as General Motors is now producing the Corvette Z06 and the 2016 Cruz.
BlackBerry's QNX division has brought a modified Maserati Quattroporte to CES, demonstrating the company's vision for safety and infotainment technology. The sedan has been outfitted with a bevy of cameras, LiDAR equipment, ultrasonic sensors, a digital instrument cluster, a gigantic infotainment touchscreen, and additional displays that function as side- and rear-view mirrors.
Ford recently introduced Sync 3, an entirely new infotainment system that serves as a successor to the oft-derided MyFord Touch platform. Electronista stopped by the company's CES booth to try out the revamped interface in person, ahead of its official launch on new models later this year.
Apple has issued a statement criticizing a study conducted by the University of Utah for the American Automobile Association in October that rated Apple's Siri (and other naturalistic voice-command virtual assistants by proxy) as "the most" distracting in-car task compared to just driving, adjusting the car's radio or temperature, or using built-in car navigation or infotainment systems. In its response, Apple points out some serious flaws in the study, including the fact that it deliberately avoided using the driving-specific Siri Eyes Free or CarPlay options.
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Apple brings iTunes Movie Trailers app to Canada
After five years, Apple has expanded its iTunes Movie Trailers app for iOS to Canada. As of Saturday, the free app allows movie buffs to see HD movie trailers for new studio and independent features, and explore some other movie-related extras such as photos, behind-the-scenes footage, or clips from upcoming films. Users can save trailers for quick access, read reviews from RottenTomatoes.com within the app, use AirPlay to send them to an Apple TV, share trailers, and peruse the top movie charts. http://apple.co/1UUKtwr
Apple expands CloudKit API, provides web interface
On Friday, Apple notified developers that it was expanding a feature of CloudKit to allow for server-to-server web service requests. "In addition to providing a web interface for users to access the same data as your app, you can now easily read and write to the CloudKit public database from a server-side process or script with a server-to-server key," Apple said in its announcement. Previously, interaction with the CloudKit public database was limited to apps and web only. http://apple.co/20h1RwP
Remote S for Tesla Apple Watch app drives car out
Developer Allen Wong has created the Remote S for Tesla app, which can be used to remotely activate the Model S electric car via an Apple Watch, and drive it a short distance. Aside from providing data about the car and some basic function controls, the unofficial app uses the manufacturer's Summon command to allow the car to turn on, exit the garage, and park near to the user's location. The app is available to purchase from the App Store for $10. http://apple.co/1PprF4t
Seagate 3TB unreliability suit expands
The Seagate 3TB class-action hard drive lawsuit has been expanded to more devices. The expanded suit, filed today, now includes Seagate's Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, Desktop HDD 3TB, Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, GoFlex 3TB External Hard Disk Drive, or any other Seagate hard drive with model number ST3000DM001. The law firm, Hagens Berman, is seeking information from consumers such as time in service, purchase price, and the nature of any drive received in return from Seagate as a replacement for a failed unit. http://bit.ly/1Pc34Cq
BlackBerry Canada, Florida hit with layoffs
The BlackBerry campus has reportedly been wracked with layoffs. Sources familiar with the company's Waterloo office staffing claim that close to 35 percent of the local workforce has been laid off, with the deepest cuts being made in the BlackBerry 10 OS and hardware teams. Additionally, the state of Florida has been officially notified that the company's Sunrise facility will see 75 people fired. Enthusiast site Mobilesyrup puts the layoffs at around 1000 total. http://bit.ly/1Pc1Rep
Instagram tests multiple account support for iOS
Instagram is trialling support for multiple accounts in its iPhone app with a small number of users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service confirmed the reports of the tests to TechCrunch, which will allow a single user to manage more than a single account within the app, transferring between two or three accounts with a few taps. It is unclear when the feature will roll out to the public, but it has previously tested it with the Android version of the app since November. http://tcrn.ch/1SPKEKh
Foxconn CEO declares Sharp deal near done
The Foxconn bid for Sharp is allegedly only waiting on specific details of the deal. Foxconn CEO Terry Gou has declared that his company has privileged negotiation rights for the Apple iPhone screen supplier, saying that "we have a consensus, the rest is a process ... I don't see a problem completing this process." Gou hopes the deal, worth up to $5.6 billion, will be formalized by the end of February. http://reut.rs/1SPEQjN