Posted in Business
Do you think it’s time to integrate CarPlay to your iOS apps? It can certainly give your iOS app an edge over other apps in the App Store. Learn more about CarPlay and how it works in this article.
CarPlay from Apple first came out in 2014 and is compatible with Apple iPhone iOS 7.1 or the iPhone 5 and all models that came after. It’s designed to allow users to access their iPhone hands-free for messaging, taking calls, playing music, or getting navigation instructions while driving. The information that normally be shown on the iPhone screen will be displayed through the car’s infotainment system using a USB port, and eventually, maybe, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Apple has also programmed the iPhone to automatically lock in to your car’s infotainment system so the driver will not be tempted to pick up the phone and use it while driving. To unlock and use the phone, the driver will have to detach it from the USB plug.
Lately, there has been a flurry of activity about CarPlay with the introduction of new seamless systems and third party apps that are compatible with the app. Some of the third party apps that can be used with CarPlay include Beats Radio, Stitcher, Spotify, and iHeartRadio. This list is expected to expand soon. The president of Digital for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment (formerly Clear Channel Radio), Brian Lakamp spoke about their experience with Apple on third party app integration saying that it was “fairly easy” to work their iHeartRadio app with CarPlay.
iHeartRadio is the company’s Internet radio service that lists 800 radio stations around the country. iHeartRadio was one of 4 music streaming apps selected by Apple to be the launching partners for CarPlay. Lakamp added that they were very happy and enthusiastic to be one of the four knowing that “Apple is pretty selective” which made the inclusion so much more thrilling. He mentioned that the process of integrating with CarPlay only required them to build a control and command structure that would act as a remote control to iHeartRadio.
Apple, according to Lakamp, provided them with the UI framework to work with which made the integration very straightforward and simple. Third party app developers, he believes, would likewise be delighted with how easy it is to work with CarPlay. Apple is known for being consistent with their platform and third party app developers will love browsing through the Apple menu of choices. Part of the buzz includes an in-car Android counterpart, Android Auto, which has been receiving reviews of being a more open system compared to CarPlay’s more intuitive system.
However as rumors are rife about Apple planning to add more third party apps to CarPlay, the main issue about Android Auto having more third party apps than CarPlay will soon be addressed with a resounding, “So there!”
In fact, in 2015, new third party apps were added to CarPlay like CBS Radio News, audioBoom, Amazon Audible, Radio Deejay, and Vox, among several others. Interestingly, most third party apps for CarPlay are music-oriented but Apple is expected to launch USA Today soon. Hopefully, this will open the door for third party developers with the right app.
Inside information from an anonymous Apple employee reveals that the company has plans to add more third party apps slowly and steadily. Apple is most concerned with making sure that any additional third party apps they add to their CarPlay roster will have safety as one of its top priorities seeing that CarPlay is used while a person is driving.
Apple CarPlay works with the top infotainment system of most modern cars and has that added appeal of voice commands and lets Siri read incoming messages. In 2014, all car manufacturing brands agreed to eventually incorporate CarPlay with their respective infotainment systems. These brands began offering CarPlay in a limited capacity in 2014 and are steadily expanding to all their latest models. Expect to see CarPlay in models from Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Audi, Volvo, Porsche, BMW, Peugeot, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Jaguar, Fiat, Renault, Skoda, Kia, Hyundai, and the top Japanese car models from Toyota, Honda, and Nissan. Hyundai recently announced that they plan on upgrading their car system for the current Sonata so it becomes compatible with CarPlay.
For older car models, there are aftermarket in-car multimedia receivers that are compatible with CarPlay. They are receivers by Kenwood, Pioneer, and Alpine. These aftermarket units can do more than give you CarPlay. They can also be used for rear passenger display and for use with parking cameras. It is recommended that these aftermarket units be installed by a professional. Based on feedback from users of CarPlay, quite a number are hoping that Apple adds third party apps that provides better traffic information, multiple messaging, an app that would allow third party apps to work with Siri, optional routes or navigation apps that would help a person find an alternate route away from traffic, better interface design options, and something that would help improve soundproofing.
Tips to Being Chosen as a Third Party App for CarPlay
The key to being a third party app that Apple would consider for CarPlay is to design one that is not distracting. It is definitely a challenge in a field that has strict limitations but immense potential. For instance, families could have a more pleasant time on long road trips if they had third party apps that would keep the children from getting bored. Apple has also said that the CarPlay platform is patterned after the Apple TV which suggests limited third party apps. However, a juicy reminder for third party app developers is that your third party app does not have to be limited to CarPlay. Most car manufacturers have agreed to work with both CarPlay and Android Auto so your app has the potential to be used for both options. According to Ford engineers, their priority is to make sure their cars support the phones of their customers whether they are Apple or Android.
Finally, third party apps will be automatically arranged alphabetically in CarPlay so you might want to consider naming your app in such a way that it pops up at the top of the list should you be lucky enough to develop an app that Apple wants for CarPlay. Contact Davzo Inc. for help in developing your app or a quick informative chat.
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