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Apple CarPlay lets you tap your iPhone from your Ferrari, Mercedes or Volvo dash

Read our full Apple CarPlay review.

Apple will debut its long-awaited iPhone integration system for cars at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

CarPlay – known as iOS in the Car during development – will allow drivers to control certain phone functions with either Siri or a car’s built-in infotainment controls, which Apple hopes will minimize distractions.

Naturally, drivers will be able to make phone calls and send and receive messages. This part of CarPlay should be functionally similar to the standalone Siri Eyes Free system that is already available on certain Chevrolet models.

Siri can make calls and pull up contacts and voicemail through vocal prompting. It can also read text messages to the driver, who can then dictate a response.

The controversial Apple Maps is also part of the package. Siri can give drivers turn-by-turn directions, while a map is displayed on the car’s center-stack screen.

The system can also anticipate future routes by looking at a driver’s recent trips, contacts, and e-mail, which is only a little creepy.

The third part of the CarPlay trifecta is music. A phone’s entire music library will be available, of course, along with iTunes Radio and select third-party apps, including iHeartRadio and Spotify. As with the rest of CarPlay, drivers can use either dashboard controls or Siri to get things done.

CarPlay will be offered as an update to iOS 7, and is only compatible with Lightning-equipped iPhones.

After its launch at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, CarPlay will initially be available on models from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo.

If your automotive needs lie beyond the supercar, luxury car, and Swedish station wagon realms, CarPlay will be offered in more manufacturers’ vehicles “down the road.”

The global list includes BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar-Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, PSA Peugeot-Citroean, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota.

With CarPlay in so many vehicles, Apple could very well make the dashboard its newest domain. That is, assuming CarPlay works as advertised, and there is no physiological limit to the amount of time human beings can spend playing with their phones.

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Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
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