Shanghai Auto Show: Apple and Volkswagen team up to create the ‘iBeetle’

VW-iBeetle1

Volkswagen and Apple have come together not only to create a special-edition car but also a new app, tethering both companies together in both tech and design.

First off, the new app is (not so) slyly named the “Beetle App.” This ingenious new app includes a vehicle-integrated docking station for the user’s iPhone, allowing the smartphone to connect directly to the car.

volkswagen-ibeetle-iPhone-dock-dashboard

Once connected, the app can run any number of features, including; Spotify; Postcard (for sharing vehicle location) Photo (for sharing interior photos), Trailer, which allows drivers to compare driving specs with previous drives and other Beetle owners through social media, and Reader, which will read text and Facebook messages aloud.

Most distinctively, there’s Expert, which allows the iPhone to function as an extended on-board instrument cluster with dials and readouts including a “G-Meter for measuring lateral acceleration, oil and coolant temperature gauges for the engine, a chronometer, and a compass.”

While having Spotify and “Reader” are cool functions, we especially love the “Expert” addition to the app. We’d love to see smartphone and car integration lead to more than just hokey social media-based buzz features and more useful tools like this.

Beyond the app, which will be available to all Beetle and Beetle Convertible owners, is a new limited edition Beetle model called the iBeetle.

VW iBeetle3

Available early next year, the iBeetle will feature color schemes influenced by Apple products with 18-inch “Disc” alloy wheels and a “Chrome pack” that mimics the iPhone’s color scheme.

Sure, a new limited-edition Beetle is neat. But a new app that furthers driver and vehicle connectivity is tops.

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