We understand all too well that companies tend to change things up just for the sake of change in some cases. We see it every year in the automotive world. Fortunately, in our world, this typically doesn’t affect you all too much if you had a car just before a drastic and utterly meaningless upgrade occurred. You just keep on motoring.
Well, when it comes to some electronics, these changes can spell disaster if you are not well informed and prepared. Case in point is the new iPhone 5, which iFolk are iTrading their iPhone 4s like iHotcakes to get their iHands on, but there is a problem that they may run into when trying to dock up their flashy new iPhone 5 to their iPhone-ready car… The new “Lightning” interface connector will not connect, even if you just snagged up a 2013 model year.
The only way to rectify this issue is to go to the store and pick up $29 (Apple licensed) adapters for your car and the other numerous doo-dads that you hook it up to. Additionally, for those that have ever tried using cellphone adapters of any sort, please think of the last one you bought – licensed or not – that actually worked the way it was supposed to. Not too often, huh?
So this may, create a small tizzy in the automotive industry, as owners may take to the dealerships up in arms as to why the car companies had no idea that the iPhone 5 would not fit their massive 30-pin receptacle. This could result in automakers like Kia, Hyundai, Audi, and VW, all of which have the old-style iPhone connector, having to offer all of its new-car buyers these adapters – possibly free of charge to avoid legal issues.
This just shows how something as little as a change in the connector for seemingly no reason at all can lead to serious headaches for your customers. Apple really should have included the adapter with the iPhone 5 and very well may decide to retroactively do so in the future, if the issue becomes too big.
There’s no denying that the sound of any kind of forced induction is incredible. Fitting a turbocharger to any car is quite expensive and as a result, people generally only install aftermarket ones for the performance upgrades. However, if you’re still obsessed with the sound of a turbo, but aren’t prepared to pay to have one installed, then a recently launched iOS app dubbed ‘iBoost’ may be the perfect solution for you.
Developed by app development team Bonobo in conjunction with Japanese tuning firm HKS, the app helps recreate the sounds of the systems developed by HKS itself. In order to function, the iBoost app utilities the iPhon’s accelerometer to detect movement of the car, with a variety of different gauges and sounds being offered.
Nathan Hamey, lead designer of iBoost stated, "Working with HKS has been a blast. The partnership has given us pit-lane access to extract the best sounds possible from their SQV. We’ve also painstakingly crafted their boost gauges to look and respond just like the real thing. I think people are going to get a real buzz out of seeing and hearing authentic HKS gear in their car."
"We’re thrilled to have the chance to be featured in iBoost," says Masaya Funayama, spokesperson for HKS. "It’s is an incredibly well designed application and a lot of fun to play with. It’s a great match for the HKS SQV," he continued.
With the basic version costing just $0.99, while the upgraded pack costs $1.99, the iBoost app is definitely an attractive purchase.
The Apple vs. PC war has gone from computers to laptops, from laptops to MP3 players, from MP3 players to phones, and from phones to tablets, but Apple has never attempted to compete with Microsoft in its automotive form (see: Ford Sync)… That is, until now. Apple has just announced that it will start fitting its Siri system into vehicles.
For those that hate having only one mouse button to choose from (A.K.A. those that could give a rat’s backside about Macs) you may have no clue what Siri is. Well, Siri is, as Apple calls it, an “Eyes Free” system that allows you to control various items, like the iPad and iPhone, with only your voice. Before you start thinking “OMG, that’s like so 2007,” Siri actually learns your speech pattern and does not require you to use a series of ridiculous keywords to activate certain features, so it is basically a 2012 twist on 2007 technology.
So, this means that you can now drive “Eyes Free…” Okay, maybe not, but you never have to unglue your hands from the 10-and-2 position ever again when controlling whatever iDevice you happen to have, via Bluetooth, plus it also controls a turn-by-turn navigation system with crowd-sourced traffic updates. We are sure that there are tons more features to the automotive variant of Siri, but for now, this is all that Apple has released.
As for the cars that will include this new system; let’s just say that Apple definitely flexed its superpower connections, as according to Macworld, it has signed up Land Rover, Jaguar, BMW, GM, Mercedes, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda. According to reports, you can pick up your first “iCar” starting in about 12 months.
Given this system is as cool as it sounds on paper, I can add one more product to the short list of Apple items I can actually stomach, making that list the iPad, iPod, and Siri.
When considering motorcycles, Suzuki is likely a brand that comes to mind. Their cars, on the other hand, nearly go unnoticed unless you are looking for specifically cheap transportation. They typically only account for a fraction of a percent of U.S. auto sales, but that fraction is a tight and very loyal market. Well, it looks like they are trying to dig themselves out of obscurity by adding high-end features to their vehicles.
Starting in the 2013 model year, nearly every Suzuki car, truck, and SUV will include a Garmin stereo system that will also include Pandora radio. With the internet taking over everything nowadays, it’s only expected that internet radio would make its way into more cars – heck, some cars now have a hard drive bigger than my desktop PC, seriously…
Pandora works a lot like satellite radio, as it is not broadcasted from terrestrial towers, but rather streamed through the internet. You can personalize your own station too, so there is no need to swap the station every time something you can’t stand comes blasting through the speakers.
There is no receiver or anything like that for Pandora radio, so this is really not costing Suzuki much, meaning the cost to you would be minimal, if anything. The Garmin radio connects to an iPhone, per Pandora, and the iPhone in turn receives the Pandora signal, broadcasting it through the radio. It makes us curious because Pandora radio also has an Android app, which means nearly any phone on the market can receive its signal. However, Pandora specifically mentions just the iPhone in its press release.
We are starting to wonder if iPhone and Garmin are maybe up to something, or did the Pandora rep just misspeak. For the sake of all Suzuki buyers that choose to use this service, we hope the latter is the truth. From our research, it looks like Garmin and Suzuki have apps for both Android and iPhone, so it was likely a mistake to just say “iPhone.”
Regardless of its connectivity, this is a step in the right direction towards Suzuki reeling in its direct competitors, Hyundai and Kia.
Hit the jump to read Pandora’s official press release.
October 5, 2011 was a very sad day for the American computer industry: Steve Jobs - the creator of the first commercially successful lines of personal computers, the Apple II series - passed away after losing his battle with a rare pancreatic cancer. As one of the few, true innovators of our time, Jobs took his knowledge and creativity and built up a company that is now worth about $1 trillion.
Steve Jobs did many great things for the technological world, so as homage to a great man, we thought it would be interesting to talk a little about one of his first projects. You see, the first Macintosh computer Jobs designed was actually influenced by his Porsche 928.
Andy Hertzfeld, a member of the original Apple development team, recalls the discussion in March 1981 during a late night at the office. "It’s got to be different, different from everything else." said Jobs to James Ferris, Apple’s director of Creative Services. “For some reason, they were talking about cars,” Hertzfeld recalls.
"We need it to have a classic look, that won’t go out of style, like the Volkswagen Beetle", I heard Steve tell James.
"No, that’s not right.", James replied. "The lines should be voluptuous, like a Ferrari.”
"Not a Ferrari, that’s not right either", Steve responded, apparently excited by the car comparison. "It should be more like a Porsche!" referring to his Porsche 928.
“I thought it was kind of pompous to compare computers with sports cars, even metaphorically. But I was impressed with Steve’s passion for elegance in the industrial design and his powers of discrimination continually amazed me as the design took shape.” Hertzfeld said.
The design for the first Mac was released in February 1982. Jobs had worked tirelessly, attempting to produce the best Porsche-like design for the computer.
The world has lost a true inspiration. Steve Jobs will be missed.
On your marks...get set...and get ready to order! A source has revealed that Porsche dealers are almost ready to open the order books for the new and improved 911/991. Orders may be taken as soon as next month with vehicle deliveries scheduled in March - April 2012.
That’s not all, either. Want to order the Porsche 911/991? There’s an app for that! Our source has also revealed that Porsche is developing an iPad app that will allow clients to play around with the options and place their order on Apple’s latest technological wonder. Porsche and Apple; now there’s a match made in heaven.
As a reminder for those who have been living under a rock of dullness, the new Porsche 911/991 will be powered by a 3.4L direct-injected flat-six engine that delivers a total of 350 HP at 6400 rpm and a max torque of 280 lb-ft between 4400 and 6000 rpm. The Carrera S will get a 3.8-liter flat-six with direct injection engine that delivers a total of 400 HP at 7000 rpm, leaving it with a 4.5 seconds 0-60mph sprint time and a top speed of 188mph. Both models will be offered with either a seven-speed manual gearbox or the seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic, both made by ZF and both featuring launch control. These models also come with an improved fuel economy of 12-15%.
Oh, the benefits of technology. We can’t live with it and we can’t live without it. In the latest example of how our items like the iPad and the iPhone are shaping the way we find entertainment these days, we got news that John Galt Films Inc, the leading international producer of high octane vintage racing films, has released ten GT Racer applications for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. GT Racer is a documentary-style film that dives into the world of racing like no other film app we’ve seen in the past. The app is based on the GT Racer HDTV series that was aired worldwide on a number of channels and is now being transferred to the world of Apple apps.
Directed and produced by Alexander Davidis, the whole scene of GT Racer transforms your world and takes you back to the Golden Era of auto racing, one where you can take a look at the most exclusive series of international racing, featuring the 1950s and 60s Aston Martins, Ferraris, Maseratis, Porsches, Mustangs, Cobras, and so many other race cars as they compete in the some of the world’s most famous race tracks, including the Nurburgring, the Spa Francorchamps, Laguna Seca, and Carrera Panamericana.
More than the cars and the tracks themselves, GT Racer gives you the opportunity to feel the incredible atmosphere of the time, a time where high-octane racing wasn’t all about technological innovation as it was pure, unadulterated racing.
The GT Racer titles are developed by Smarphone specialists, Netframes, and include the following titles: Shaken & Stirred - Spa (Belgium); On Porto’s Street Circuit (Portugal); Big Speeds at Silverstone (England); The Nürburgring Factor (Germany); Legends of Lime Rock (Connecticut, USA); Ferraris at Laguna Seca (California, USA);
The Spa Six Hours (Belgium); Nordschleife: The 500 km Marathon (Germany); Fast Curves at Magny Cours (France); La Carrera Panamericana (Mexico).
Each of the episodes are now available at Apple’s iTunes store for $22.99 each.
Brabus is apparently not satisfied with preparing tuning packages with blow your socks off speed and have moved on to the world where briefcases and hand held devices are key to survival. No, we’re not talking about a Brabus-tuned iPad - although that would be fascinating -, but the iBusiness 2.0, a vehicle that is fully equipped with the new iPad 2.
We’ve seen Brabus do something very similar to this before when they introduced the "iBusiness" SV12 R with the first generation iPad, but their latest package has been upgraded to the new and improved tablet computer. The setup for this new model is exactly like the first version as the iPad is offered with a WiFi network and a Mini Mac. The ultra-small, yet powerful Mini Mac serves as the central computer and is hidden away in the S-Class trunk under the rear shelf in an electrically deployed drawer.
The iBusiness 2.0 package can be applied to any model in the S-Class line-up, but prices on the package have yet to be announced.
Hit the jump to read about the Brabus iBusiness 2.0.
Okay, just reading the name of this car should make everyone wonder just how much it is going to cost, and don’t worry, we’ll get to that. First let’s introduce the car. The Abarth 500C is typically no more than about $25,000 and features lots of little goodies, like that four cylinder inline engine that delivers a weak 140hp. Now add a tuning package from Fenice-Milano that consists of a little bling bling, and now this expensive ride starts to sparkle.
Just how expensive is this little car? Well, take the base Abarth 500C, add 24k gold inserts and an Apple iPad Supreme Edition made out of 24k gold and diamonds, and now you got yourself a $660,000 vehicle. That’s right, that is what a Chinese customer ordered and paid for this bedazzled 500. Ridiculous? Absolutely. Intriguing? Hell yeah!
Hit the jump to read more about the Fenice-Milano La Dolce Vita Gold and Diamonds 500C.
Brabus has gone to the extremes. First they tuned Mercedes’ most powerful sports car: the SLS AMG, and now they have turned to one of the most luxurious models in the line-up: the SL600. The new Brabus "iBusiness" SV12 R model is not only about high performance, but also about innovative multimedia technology.
We won’t talk too much about the engine, as it is one that you should be familiar with by now: an SV12 R Biturbo 750 12-cylinder engine with an output of 750 hp. This provides the luxury sedan with a top speed of 211 mph.
What we will focus on is the car’s technology. Apple seems to have given away the cow as this luxury sedan is completely outfitted with Apple components. The brains of the operation is a 15.2-inch TFT display with 16:9 aspect ratio and internet connection via UMTS and HSDPA. To that, an ultra-small Mac minicomputer is added under the rear shelf. This minicomputer is hidden by an electronic door that looks like the computer itself. Controlling these computers is made easy with the use of two iPads located in the front passenger seat as well as in the backseat. These iPads not only control the computers, put can also navigate through the entire multimedia center including the radio, navigation system, and telephone. And, of course, there is Alcantara and leather all over the interior.
Check out all of the exact specifications in the press release after the jump.