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I use the MyFord Touch on my 14 Escape with my iPhone. I love the fact that I can control my iPhone playlist with voice or the steering wheel mounted controls.

There are limitations with the Ford system. It will read out loud your received text messages, but you can't reply. The system will recognize Siri, but you have to activate it from the iPhone first. I was even able to use the new iTunes Radio by connecting my iPhone with a USB cable. I haven't tried with Bluetooth yet.


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The other thing not really mentioned is that the best real-time traffic monitoring that I have seen is in the Waze app for Smartphones. So even if all that you care about is driving then this will help you get to where you are going quicker if you drive in places with traffic congestion - which is the case for me as I commute on the 401 in Toronto most days. And it can also warn you of speed traps, etc.

My 2013 Lexus GS has pretty good speech recognition and it does read in the library of songs from my iPod which is plugged in via USB. It can read emails and texts and respond but that isn't working in my current iPhone due to a corporate security setting on my phone. But I still find the system very much wanting compared to the capability of an iPad.
 

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Discussion Starter #23

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I wonder if this will be available in Canada or just the US? My Lexus car has something called Enform but it is only available in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Hahaha, I wonder if the irony is lost on them
Probably won't be irony, because I think they will announce Android integration at the same time!

I wonder if this will be available in Canada or just the US? My Lexus car has something called Enform but it is only available in the US.
I thought about that, too....I would not hesitate to bring a car up from the US if that were the case.
 

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Just thought I'd add some info here since I have some experience with the Chevy MyLink system now...

I recently purchased a 2014 Chevrolet Trax LTZ and it has a 7" touchscreen interface with their MyLink system built in. With an iPhone, that means while it is connected to the usb input it will send the BringGo navigation software from your iPhone app to the 7" screen. It will do the same for the TuneIn app, Stitcher app, and (in the U.S.) Pandora app. Apparently with Android it will do this via Bluetooth. Having a nav system that can be viewed on the vehicle's screen but updated through the phone is a nice alternative to pricier installed systems.

Through bluetooth it will play music off the iPhone, do phone calls, do Siri Eyes Free, etc.

There is actually no CD player with this system but in my previous vehicle I barely ever used the CD player anymore so I was fine giving that up (I also have XM in the Trax, so I have plenty of music options anyway).

Overall I'm pretty happy with the system. GM also lets you start your car and unlock/lock doors via the OnStar remote iPhone app and apparently that is free for 5 years if you activate it during the OnStar trial period. I'll be setting that up soon. I think it would be great to start my vehicle in the econo-lot at the airport after my plane has landed :)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Yup, I've done the OnStar remote start upon landing many times :) my personal best was starting it from Shanghai, but that just out of badness.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Re-christened CarPlay, and available now:


GENEVA―March 3, 2014―Apple® today announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone® in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri® without distraction. Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

Apple has led consumer technology integration in the car for more than a decade. CarPlay brings your car and iPhone together for a thoughtful experience that lets drivers focus on driving, while also tapping into everything they want to do with their iPhone.

Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps you easily access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.

CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display.

CarPlay gives drivers access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio℠ with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls or simply by asking Siri to pull up what you’d like to hear. CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio, so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.

Pricing & Availability
Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. CarPlay will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.
 

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It's great that we're getting further and further away from a unified standard that works with all devices.

I guess Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota won't be selling too many cars to Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry users.
 

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Doesn't make a difference to me anyway. For one I don't use an iPhone, and two, using any of this iOS integration in the car is strictly forbidden by BC's Motor Vehicle Act.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
It's great that we're getting further and further away from a unified standard that works with all devices.
Actually, the underpinnings of CarPlay are quite standards friendly....the car head unit is simply "playing a video" from the iPhone and sending back pressed touchscreen coordinates....that doesn't require anything onerous from the automaker and doesn't exclude any other platform.

Sorry about your luck being in a leftist nanny state in BC.
 

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Sorry about your luck being in a leftist nanny state in BC.
Doesn't bother me, I still burn CDs for the car.

As this technology becomes more common, distracted driving crashes will continue to rise. Just what we need, Angry Birds mirrored on a car's video screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
They seem aware of that issue and aim to work around it, but I'm not sure how much I like the idea of the phone parsing my data to guess where I want to go. Can you imagine driving to a restaurant with the wife, and the navi puts up your girlfriends address because it's in the same general direction?

In announcing CarPlay on Monday, Apple revealed that the new iPhone-driven system will intelligently interpret data from a user's handset to predict where a driver may be heading. This could allow for much simpler navigation, negating the need to enter in an address for a final destination.

CarPlay will predict where a user is most likely headed go by detecting addresses in emails, text messages, contacts and calendars. Likely destinations can then be presented to the user, who can simply select one and then be on their way.

It's this artificial-intelligence-like system that may prove to be the defining feature for CarPlay, analyst Maynard Um of Wells Fargo believes. He views the contextual awareness of Apple's new vehicle system as the most interesting announcement made by the company on Monday.

Um also believes that the ability of iOS devices to automatically obtain information needed, rather than requiring users to search for it themselves, has great potential that goes beyond CarPlay. He believes that new functionality could be a "key to ecosystem differentiation," and could become an important facet of iOS going forward.

In addition, Um believes that CarPlay will help to lock in existing iPhone users, tying them more into Apple's mobile ecosystem of accessories and applications that work seamlessly on iOS.

The automated functionality of CarPlay is also a key aspect for Apple, which is pushing the safety of its system in its promotional materials. In addition to automatically recommending addresses, CarPlay also works with the voice-driven personal assistant Siri to allow hands-free control and eyes-free dictation and receipt of text message
s.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Honda Canada released audio head unit firmware upgrade this week for Siri Eyes Free in the 2013 and 2014 Accords...I'm finally getting what I was looking for when I bought the car in January:

  • Selecting music via voice recognition (Honda only does that on highest trim levels)
  • Listening and responding to email/SMS via voice (Honda had a very limited Bluetooth profile for this)
  • Navigation, albeit only audio directions, but at least I save thousands versus OEM navi
  • Getting geo- and time-based reminders.
 

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I think CarPlay looks really compelling. I hope future car integration works that way - that the car only tries to provide an additional (larger) display and remote microphone and speakers for your smartphone. Just a set of peripheral devices.
 

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People buy cars based on how well they integrate with a phone and not for how they drive?
Yup, I called it!

However, Ford CEO Mark Fields previously told Re/Code that "we don't want to end up (like) the handset business ... we want to make sure you are not pushed into a decision on a $40,000 car based on your $200 smartphone." As such, the company is trying to be flexible by giving users an Android Auto or CarPlay option, but also having its own smartphone link system.
Toyota joins Ford's infotainment fight against Google, Apple
 
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