Wire­less in your car

Whether it’s maps, mu­sic, voice­mail or weather, in-car tech is get­ting smarter all the time. Here’s how to get on­line on the road

Mac Format - - WIFI SECRETS -

Thanks to GPS, mo­bile broad­band and ini­tia­tives like Ap­ple’s CarPlay, cars are be­com­ing as smart as our homes.

Most of the world’s car mak­ers have signed up to CarPlay (you can see a com­pre­hen­sive list at ap­ple.co/1LH6yhR) and there’s a grow­ing num­ber of af­ter­mar­ket in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems from com­pa­nies such as Alpine, Ken­wood and Pi­o­neer.

CarPlay ef­fec­tively turns your car’s ex­ist­ing in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem into an ex­ten­sion of iOS, giv­ing you easy ac­cess to favourite apps such as Mu­sic, Maps, Pod­casts and Mes­sages. You can even ask Siri to read your mes­sages to you, and you can dic­tate replies in re­turn.

You don’t just have to use iOS’s de­fault apps ei­ther. There’s a grow­ing num­ber of third-party apps that are CarPlay-ready, in­clud­ing Spo­tify, Au­di­ble and iHeartRa­dio, and apps de­vel­oped by car mak­ers them­selves.

Right now you’ll need to use a wired con­nec­tion to your car or af­ter­mar­ket sys­tem, but Ap­ple’s de­vel­op­ing a wire­less so­lu­tion too. It first in­tro­duced the idea of this in a de­vel­oper build of iOS 8.3, and then talked about it at WWDC 2015. It still hasn’t an­nounced any­thing con­crete as yet, but once it does, and you have com­pat­i­ble hard­ware in your car, you’ll be able to use CarPlay with­out a ca­ble, pos­si­bly over Blue­tooth or Wi-Fi. You may still want to plug in your iPhone to charge it, of course.

One of the best things about CarPlay is that it’s been de­signed with driver and pas­sen­ger safety in mind. It not only gives you easy-to-ac­cess touch­screen ac­cess to the iOS apps you want to use, but it’s also able to use the knobs and but­tons on your’s car in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem to ac­cess cer­tain fea­tures. Now that’s smart!

Even­tu­ally you won’t need to keep a spare Light­ning ca­ble handy to use CarPlay fea­tures.

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