Apple CarPlay to offer wireless smartphone connection, automaker app functionality

Apple CarPlay
Apple is pulling the cord on its CarPlay system.

Don’t worry tech fans, the brand’s smartphone connectivity suite isn’t going anywhere, but at the 2015 WWDC event, Apple announced that upcoming vehicles will offer complete wireless functionality between your ride and your phone.

“In future cars, you’ll be able to get in your car without taking your phone out of your bag or out of your pocket and start experiencing CarPlay effortlessly,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering. “It’s going to be really great.”

CarPlay enthusiasts will note that Apple started offering wireless connectivity with the iOS 8.3 update, but iOS 9 looks to improve the experience overall. Federighi didn’t elaborate further on CarPlay’s cordless abilities, but we assume the phone will connect via WiFi, Bluetooth, or perhaps both. A lightning cable will still likely be required for charging.

During CarPlay’s brief time in the spotlight at WWDC 2015, Federighi also teased new app functions for the infotainment system.

With the current offering, drivers who want to access applications created by the carmaker must exit the CarPlay program to do so. Soon, manufacturers will begin creating apps that can accessed within the confines of CarPlay, meaning you’ll be able to hear music, answer calls, and read maps just as easily as you can view performance data, fiddle with climate control, or monitor battery charging status.

“CarPlay supports audio apps, and now, in iOS 9, it also supports apps by the automaker to control things in your own car without leaving the CarPlay experience,” explained Federighi.

Additionally, he mentioned that CarPlay will be available to more in-dash screen types and sizes with different aspect ratios, including high DPI screens.

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