Car infotainment, when designed by automakers, is generally bad and getting worse. Modern cars are constantly knocked for infotainment failings, yet companies insist on adding more and more screen real estate anyway. But what if all that space could go to something else? Say, Apple CarPlay?
At today’s Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple laid out plans for the next version of its iOS mobile operating system. If you weren’t aware, iOS is the part of your iPhone on which all the apps run — what you see between closing Twitter and, three seconds later, reflexively re-opening Twitter.
iOS 16, the upcoming newest version, includes a wealth of upgrades for the world’s second-most-popular mobile operating system. Between the updates to the lock screen and the new ability to un-send iMessages, Apple included a little update with a big impact: Soon, CarPlay will take over your entire car.
The upcoming new version of CarPlay won’t be limited to just your car’s infotainment screen. As cars continue to include more and more displays, CarPlay will run on every single one — replacing your factory gauge cluster, climate controls, and more.
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Apple didn’t go deep into the specifics of the update, promising that “[m]ore information about the next generation of CarPlay will be shared in the future,” but it did reveal that cars with support for the new system would be revealed late in 2023.
With UI and UX often being the largest sticking points for manufacturer-built infotainment, a total Apple takeover could be a nice upgrade for the cars that fully support it. While touchscreen climate controls may never reach the ease of use that we had with knobs and buttons, the only company that could make them come close might be Apple.