How Apple CarPlay Works

Apple debuted CarPlay at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
Apple debuted CarPlay at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
(Courtesy of Apple Inc.)

The trendy types tell us that kids these days don't want to drive; they want cars to drive for them. They don't want to buy a car of their own; they'd rather car share. In fact, they don't want cars at all; they want phones. Well, automakers and cell phone makers are taking note -- probably using Apple's Siri or a stylus and their Evernote app for Android. The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, which is normally a nerd network of computer geekery and unflattering khaki pants, had a record number of automotive exhibitors on the floor. Even if they didn't have a full-blown booth, car manufacturers had representatives making the rounds. Plus, there were more than a hundred auto tech companies, the kind that make stereos and in-car connectivity systems, at the show.

Apple is ready to take a fat slice of that pie. It introduced the awkwardly but accurately named "iOS in the Car" system at its own Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC, to you fan boys and girls) in June 2013. By the time the International Motor Show in Geneva rolled around the next winter, Apple CarPlay had a sleek new name and deals with a handful of auto manufacturers to get it into their latest models by the end of 2014. Like so many in-car communications systems, the whole idea behind CarPlay is to allow you to do all the things in your car, yet not be distracted by doing all the things, which are not driving things. No word on if Siri can take dictation while your mouth is filled with the burrito that you're eating while you drive back to work on your lunch hour, but maybe we'll find out how well that works once the equipment is in the cars and those cars are driving on the streets where your kids play. It'll be fine.

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