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back to article Dashboard Siri! Take me to the airport! NO, NOT the RUNWAY! Argh!

Fanboi racers can soon embed an Apple tablet in their dashboard following the launch of iOS-powered CarPlay. Cupertino has signed up Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo to be the first manufacturers to fit Apple's touchscreen fondleslab into their cars. The CarPlay rollout is not a surprise: the in-car system tech was previously …

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Anonymous Coward

Whatever happened to standards?

Imagine if you wanted to fit a car radio to your car and it had to be from a specific brand or it wouldn't work. This is the crappy situation we're in.

You could understand the incompatibility thing back in the 1980s when the computing world was developing but not in 2014.

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Standards have always been a useful tool for companies to use in certain situations. Look at web standards: useful for Microsoft to ignore so it could gain a monopoly, then useful for Mozilla et al to push so that the competition would all be aiming for the same target, now useful for everyone because nobody has overall control. This is much better for the market but every step along the line has been motivated by individual interests.

In this case the combination of standards you'd need to implement would be significantly more onerous than just supporting (pretty much) a single device and I guess Mercedes et al are more interested in beating each other to market. They'd probably also argue that most of the other similar in-car systems can't connect to your mobile at all for things like GPS, music with the menus up on the dash, contacts, calendar, etc, so it's all a bonus, right?

I hope standards will be forthcoming.

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Stop

Standards? from car makers?

I see you waiting a long time for your hope to materialise.

There may be some convergence as you get more and more low end stuff simply being rebadges but this is the industry that respecs a spark plug at the drop of a hat.

Still - at least red always means stop. Well apart from when it means don't stop.

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There already is a standard...

It's called MirrorLink, and has been available for three years. Android already supports it, and so did Symbian. Windows Phone and iOS don't, but it can be implemented in user-space (which some sat-nave apps on iOS and WP did).

I suspect Apple, being Apple, have taken this, added a proprietary discovery and control layer above it and rebadged it as their own technology.

Personally, I wouldn't specify an iPhone interface in my car. Even if I did own an iPhone, predicting what kind of phone I (or my wife who would also drive it, or anyone who might want to buy the car when I'm done with it) would be using in three years is asking a bit much.

Nice try, Apple, but there are too many non-iPhone users out there. Adopt an open, published, standard, or fuck off.

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Anonymous Coward

Whatever happened to standards?

Apple clearly hope that everyone will see what they do is the "de facto" standard and car manufacturers will be falling over themselves to put in the interface defined (and no doubt patented/trademarked/copyrighted) by Apple in their vehicles much in the same way as 3-4 years ago everyone added iPod docks .... of course this sort of falls over when Apple redefine the "de facto" standard to something diffent and everyone finds that their new iPhone5 won't plug into their car as it has an old styke iPod dock and not the new Apple interface.

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standards?

"Apple clearly hope that everyone will see what they do is the "de facto" standard..."

Not much of a "standard" when It starts by requiring a connector only available on the iPhone. And only newer iPhones at that.

Apple is not alone in this. Google is apparently doing something similar with the "Open Automotive Alliance" for Android devices.

I just don't get the thinking from auto manufacturers. "Hey, let's limit our market by putting an infomatics system in our cars that only works with certain devices!" What a great idea...

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Re: standards?

It's a brand values thing. Mercedes, BMW, Landrover, Ferrari etc will go with Apple. Ford, Vauxhall, Skoda, Trabant will go with Android.

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Re: standards?

"It's a brand values thing."

Sorry, but that's not brand value. That's simply market reduction and customer inconvenience all for an attempt at lock-in by the phone vendors.

The sad thing is, it rather assumes that you'll change your $30,000 car almost as often as you change your $600 phone (which is more like $200 at point of sale these days), something which I'm sure would delight the auto manufacturers.

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FAIL

Re: standards?

I really dislike Apple's bullying dominance of the market. Their use of fatuous legal arguments is a good example of what's wrong with buying Apple. As a result, I won't ever buy an Apple product. If somebody gives me one, I will demonstrate the correct way to use a hammer to disable it.

On the other hand, I now have a problem. How do you disable a luxury car? Rocket launchers aren't allowed in Australia.

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Anonymous Coward

Car makers have been installing iPod compatible controls on stereos for years.

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Anonymous Coward

Standards for car makers - if Ford could get away with selling you a car that only ran on Ford Fuel I'm pretty sure they would be happy to.

The problem (sometimes) with standards is you end up with an average / second best - look at micro USB connectors for example - they do the same job as the Apple lightning connector but I sure wish the lightning connector was the standard as it's far superior. It's ability to be plugged in either way for a start...

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Re: standards?

> As a result, I won't ever buy an Apple product.

I don't allow Apple products in the house.

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"Car makers have been installing iPod compatible controls on stereos for years."

It's one thing to assist with the control of your iPod or iPhone. It's quite another to require an iPhone to control your car's infomatics.

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Strange choice of name: I would have assumed this was an Android product given Google's Play Store, etc...

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Well, you see, Apple sued claiming they owned the word "App" because it was short for "Apple" instead of "Application".

Google doesn't do that kind of nonsense.

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Trollface

Strange choice of name indeed

As would I, after all airplay must also come from Google. Thank goodness, without them I would be able to mirror displays, stream video, stream audio, play dual screen ios games.

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FAIL

Siri in a Ferrari ?

Well thats one sale they've lost.....

I'll stick to my Ford Fiesta with bluetooth and a mount to take my phone instead......

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Re: Siri in a Ferrari ?

Like you were ever in the market for a Ferrari (and switching to one direct from a Fiesta would leave you wrapped around a tree in next to no time)

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Re: Siri in a Ferrari ?

Well it does say at the end that Ford is on their list of companies to do sometime. Would be odd since Ford just switched from Microsoft to Blackberry (which is Android compatible).

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Re: Siri in a Ferrari ?

Interesting how many haters have no idea what it's like going from an 80bhp front wheel drive car to a 570bhp rear wheel drive. In 3 steps I went from 80 to 235 and that was a little tricky. There are police drivers who have crashed BMW turbo diesels because they just weren't ready for the surge of power as the turbo cut in. The combination of low weight, high acceleration and the tendency of rear wheel drive to oversteer are things that need to be learned.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Siri in a Ferrari ?

Do you know I never had a problem - at least after the first couple of Carreras

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Siri in a Ferrari ?

And I did enjoy the iPhone interface

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Re: Siri in a Ferrari ?

You may need a better driving instructor then, I am lucky enough to own three cars, 110bhp, 140bhp front wheel drive (those are the family cars) and my own personal wheels, roughly 450bhp rear wheel drive 2 seater with no stability control. There is absolutely no issue with driving anyone one of them safely. If you can't get in any car and drive it safely perhaps you should consider getting a pushbike.

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Re: Siri in a Ferrari ?

"Like you were ever in the market for a Ferrari (and switching to one direct from a Fiesta would leave you wrapped around a tree in next to no time)"

Hey, Steve, I have the doctors on the phone. They just want to check that you aren't suffering any complications after that sense of humour bypass operation. :p

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Siri in a Ferrari ?

"at least after the first couple of Carreras"

One assumes you left the first couple reversed into a ditch along with all the rest of the noddys who really don't have a clue how to drive?

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Do not want

I wouldn't buy a car with one of these. Also makes no sense for car manufacturers to target a shrinking slice of the population as iPhone market share is going down.

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Really why would a manufacturer design a dash around what seems basically to be a screen that will work only with one type of phone?

Just because those manufacturers have "signed up" I suppose we shouldn't assume they are ever going to market such cars. Ferrari owners tend to be the sort of saddos who would go for this sort of tripe, the owners of certain (but by no means all) Mercs too, but Volvo owners? Really?

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>Really why would a manufacturer design a dash around what seems basically to be a screen that will work only with one type of phone?

It is only being offered as an 'option' on cars - the buyer pays their money, they take their choice. Honda and GM are part of both Apple's 'Carplay' *and* Google's ' Open Automotive Alliance' efforts.

Google is working on a rival system, but one that doesn't require a phone - all the 'brains' are integrated into the car. One can imagine just plugging a Android 'black box' into this Apple-led system to turn it into a Google system.

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The way Ferarri seems to work, the Apple interface would be an extra cost option. The extra cost would be enough to buy my car new.

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>Google is working on a rival system, but one that doesn't require a phone - all the 'brains' are integrated into the car

And there's the answer. Google is working on it while Apple is delivering.

Microsoft delviers, too, but Ford customers seem somewhat unhappy with the Windows Experience in their cars.

I haven't heard of Intels Tizen for some time, are they still working on it?

QNX looks good to me, especially because car manufacturers have a lot of experience with it.

But providing connectivity to any android phone can be a problem, which android with which extensions and modifications on which hardware? Add Symbian and Windows Phone and we're in trouble.

Me? I don't even own a car anymore :)

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I've always had an Apple on the dashboard

It's quite handy when you're in a traffic jam and a bit peckish, you just pick it up and eat it.

The one I have in the car at the moment has gone a bit brown looking so I may replace it soon.

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Re: I've always had an Apple on the dashboard

I see what you did there.

I prefer an Orange. When it turns into everything everywhere you have crashed or it has passed its best. That or when it goes furry and starts to smell funny.

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Re: I've always had an Apple on the dashboard

I do like a furby orange to be fair.

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Re: I've always had an Apple on the dashboard

I have always thought that when my fruit gets furby I recycle it - or eat it.....

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Mushroom

This is great!

I can't wait for the time when cars are judged by how many apps they have, rather than their functionality as an actual car.

Be great for the insurance companies, they can start refusing claims with 'You're just driving it wrong'

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Facepalm

Re: This is great!

The problem of course being that most modern cars have functionality nailed?

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FAIL

Re: This is great!

There is absolutely nothing, no matter how well it seems to work now, that Apple can't make billions out of by patenting it and making you buy their products.

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Anonymous Coward

Ever heard of the options list?

The installation will not be mandatory, it will be an optional extra. But let's be honest, it's an opportunity for the boys to show their allegiance to their team isn't it?

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Some forward thinking car manufacturer may come up with a system to choose which fone you want to play with whilst concentrating on guiding your vehicle to said airport. Something in a little box on the dash, with walnut veneer and a Bakalite® knob which can be rotated to select the desired fone system. Just a thought. I'll get myself down the shed in a mo.

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Angry DashBirds

Hopefully is can sense when you are stuck in traffic, and pop up a game.

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FAIL

Distractions

Do drivers need any more distractions, any more displays, any more things with which to fiddle while they hog lane three at 90mph in pouring rain?

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Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and... Volvo?

Isn't that a bit odd? Or has Volvo become a top prestige brand while I wasn't looking?

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Stop

Re: Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and... Volvo?

Volvo has always been a prestige brand.

That's why (mostly) older people buy them new. They have the money.

They build comfortable, safe, practical and strong cars. All in the same model. They also do fast ones, if you want.

I can only put cassettes in mine, because I'm a pleb, and can't afford a new one. But hey, I can get Radio 4 everywhere, even in France.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and... Volvo?

Volvo aren't German - so were very popular amongst older, richer members of a certain race who didn't want to buy cars from the Fatherland.

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An alternative

I really like the sound of this feature, but until it becomes more widely available I'll continue using "Harken For iPhone" in the car. It's much easier to use than Apple's music player (bigger text, large buttons/touch areas). There's also "Harken" on the iPad but I need a new cradle for my iPad so I can't use it at the moment.

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FAIL

Re: An alternative

You won't be able to use Harken For iPhone much longer. Didn't you notice Apple patenting big controls for people who may be distracted? It will be pulled from the appstore without an apology, or even an explanation why.

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Gather 'round, children...

Once upon a time in the distant past of this thing called the Internet there was a way to communicate ideas and have discussions, much like the comments here at el Reg, called "Usenet". And, in the year of our lord nineteen hundred and ninety-four, was the following post brought to the Use Net:

"MS-DOS: You get in the car and try to remember where you put your keys.

Windows: You get in the car and drive to the store very slowly, because

attached to the back of the car is a freight train.

Macintosh System 7: You get in the car to go to the store and the car drives

you to church.

UNIX: You get in the car and type GREP STORE. After reaching speeds of 200

miles per hour en route, you arrive at the barber shop.

Windows NT: You get in the car and write a letter that says "go to the

store". Then you get out of the car and mail the letter to your dashboard.

Taligent/Pink: You walk to the store with Ricardo Montalban, who tells

you how wonderful it will be when he can fly you to the store in his Learjet.

OS/2: After fueling up with 6000 gallons of gas, you get in the car and

drive to the store with a motorcycle escort and a marching band in

procession. Halfway there, the car blows up, killing everybody in town.

S/36 SSP (mainframe, obv.): You get in the car and drive to the store.

Halfway there you run out of gas. While walking the rest of the way, you are

run over by kids on mopeds.

AS/400: An attendant locks you into the car and then drives you to the

store, where you get to watch everybody else buy filet mignon."

...

When I first saw that (and it may predate 1994), I thought it was worth a chuckle.

But, my God, they're actually doing it now.

D: D: D:

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Anybody who doesn't like it can always buy an Audi.

No, but seriously everybody around you will quietly think you are an utter bellend.

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Wireless Charging and NFC is what you want :)

Im not sure why any car company wastes time on a Phone specific function. I just want to throw my Nexus into its wireless charging hole and let it use NFC to set the phone to my presets, while it syncs with my stereo wirelessly. Of course the iPhone would actually have to use modern tech to be able to do this.

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Fail

Am I the only one wondering if people will be a little pissed off when their $100,000+ car no longer has a functioning stereo because the spastics at Apple decided a 2 year old car is too old and we should all upgrade to the latest Ferrari?

And this isn't just Apple and Ferrari - every bloody new car seems to have a non-DIN stereo that assumes you're going to have an iPhone 4S for the next 20 years.

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