Apple

Apple

Audi just became more appealing to technophiles today after the company announced its integration of Google’s Android Auto, which was unveiled today at Google’s I/O annual technologies conference in San Francisco. Like Apple’s CarPlay, Android Auto will combine the user’s smartphone with their car’s in-dash infotainment system in a seamless manner that’s conducive for safe driving free of distractions.

Audi’s integration of Android Auto means a lot of new voice controls for Google Play Music, Google Maps, and other functions. Video and multimedia, along with text-rich items won’t be displayed while the car is in motion, but will become available when in Park.

The system comes alive when an Android smartphone is connected to a compatible Audi. A prompt appears asking if the user wants to display their apps through the MMI system. Once chosen to do so, the system basically uses the MMI screen as an interface for the smartphone. Audio streams and microphone inputs are all routed through the car.

What’s more, Audi says the Android Auto system will be available within a number of 2015 model year vehicles, meaning Android Auto-equipped Audis will be roaming the streets starting sometime this fall. Of course Audi ensures that Android Auto-equipped car will not prohibit users from connecting non-Android smartphones like iPhones or Blackberries, but the full functionality of the system won’t be accessible.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s Android Auto Connection.

The time is drawing nearer to when Apple’s CarPlay finally hits the streets in consumer vehicles. At the company’s recent 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, USA Today got an up-close look at the new in-dash iOS operating system inside a 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV. This in-car demonstration shows just how familiar the software is to the usual iOS-powered devices.

Interestingly, Chevrolet has not made an official announcement concerning when CarPlay would be introduced into its product lineup. Chevy is listed as a “committed partner” with Apple in bringing the software to market, but the automaker has yet to announce any word on what vehicles will receive the system or what the roll-out timeline looks like.

Though it is possible Chevy will incorporate CarPlay into the Spark and other models late into the 2014 model year, it’s more likely the new technology will debut for 2015. We’re expecting General Motors to make quite the hubbub about the news once things are all confirmed.

Chevy will be joined by Ferrari , Volvo , Hyundai , and Mercedes as the first crop of automakers to sell cars with hardware capable of running the iOS software. What’s more, from the video above, it appears the software will also allow owners to access tailored vehicle-specific menus. In the Spark’s case, it has a “My Chevrolet” application on its home screen.

For those with older vehicles, companies like Pioneer are developing CarPlay-compatible head units that work with nearly every vehicle. A 1965 Ford Mustang was on display at Apple’s WWDC to showcase the aftermarket potential.

Click past the jump for more about the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV

It certainly goes without saying that there are few automakers in this world that can compete with Bentley’s status as a premier luxury brand . But being identified with luxury isn’t the only thing that Bentley is proud of; the company also has this goal of combining all that class and elegance with technology. So the company developed a new four-minute short film, titled "Intelligent Details," to specifically showcase how it has achieved blending luxury and technology in one package.

The short film is told through the words of Bentley Director of Design Luc Donckerwolke and Head of Exterior Design Sang Yup Lee. While riding the Mulsanne in the streets of New York, the two describe the company’s goal of offering
"performance that’s compatible with luxury", something Donckerwolke proudly claims no other auto brand in the world can claim.

The two also talk about a new goal for the company to turn the interior of its vehicles into its own living space that’s largely attributed to a renewed sense of empowering it with interior infotainment technology. This is where the short film comes circle in a really cool way. We’re not going to spoil you the ending of the video, but what Bentley used to develop, create, and edit this four-minute short film certainly may shock you, given its professional quality.

Source: 9to5mac
Tesla Model S

Allow me to get this off of my chest ahead of time. You all know that I love Tesla , but what you likely do not know is how much I loathe Apple and everything it produces. From the Macbook all the way to the iPod Nano, I can’t stand it. I’ll spare you the gory details of my hatred for fear of igniting a nerd war...

With that in mind, imaging my panic when the rumors of Apple buying/merging with Tesla started flaring up. Well, those have fortunately died down and Telsla’s Elon Musk squashed the rumors, but that is not the end of the Apple/Tesla news. A report indicates that Apple’s head of mergers and acquisitions met with Musk last spring, but likely not on the topic of acquiring the electric car supergiant; rather, the most likely situation is that Apple is interested in being a part of Tesla’s "Gigafactory" project.

Apple is well known for dealing in green factories, and what greener of a factory than this one that will more than double the world’s output of lithium-ion batteries? It’s very obvious that Apple has serious interest in Tesla, but after Elon Musk made it clear that the company is not for sale. this is the most likely route for Apple to take in order to get a small slice of the Tesla pie.

Not only would this add a new revenue stream to Apple, but it would also alleviate some of the costs that Tesla will endure and give apple better access to more lithium-ion batteries at a significantly cheaper price. It’s a win-win, so I can’t see any reason for a deal like this to not take place.

What do you guys think; are these two tech giants about to make a deal for this factory or are we all sadly mistaken? Let me know in the comments below.

Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S .

Source: 9to5mac

We often see spy shots of upcoming vehicles still wrapped in camouflage months before their official debut, but we rarely get a preview of upcoming infotainment software destined for their dashboards. Then again, no other infotainment software makes quite the splash as Apple ’s iOS in the Car.

Several screen shots of Apple’s iOS in the Car were posted on developer Steven Troughton-Smith’s twitter page, giving us an idea of what the current beta model looks like. As reported by 9To5Mac, iOS in the Car allows users to plug their iOS device into their car’s built-in center console display, giving them access to Apple Maps, text messaging, phone service and iTunes – furthering Apple’s in-dash integration past the current Siri Eyes Free and iPod Out.

This is not the first we’ve seen of iOS in the Car. Apple showed a preview of the software at their World Wide Developers’ Conference last year, but previewed only a few screen images. These images leaked by the developer show a more detailed view of what the system is expected to look like.

Click past the jump for a closer look at Apple’s iOS in the Car

Source: 9to5Mac

When Apple released the first bits of information on the iOS in the Car system just yesterday, we saw a long list of premium automakers that have already signed up, like Mercedes and Jaguar . One that was not on the list that we figured was just hung up in the details was BMW . Well, a new report tells us that there was more to Bimmer not being on the list than meets the eye.

A BMW spokesperson said "The upshot is that as we have such an advanced multimedia offer that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade, it would not be that straight forward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]." So, basically, the changes that BMW would have to make to crowbar in the new Apple system would be way too great to warrant installing the iOS in the Car system.

BMW and Apple have worked together in the past, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Bavarian automaker will not support the system for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for Bimmer drivers, BMW’s interfaces are plenty advanced and have a decade-long track record, so there is no worrying about sticking with an outdated or non-functional system. Additionally, BMW will support Apples new Siri Eyes Free system.

We wouldn’t be too surprised to see Apple work its way into BMW sometime in the next five years, or so, but that may take some massaging of the iOS system to appease BMW. Another good reason for BMW breaking down is if iOS in the Car becomes a smash hit, then it would be doing its buyers a disservice by leaving it out.

Stay tuned for more details…

Source: Macnn

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.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 0

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.

Source: App Store

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.


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