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The Apple Car

The Apple Car
by Gary Woods

Apple makes a lot of products that work in and around our cars. When I get into my Ford Explorer my iPhone 5S instantly hooks up to the car and my address book downloads into the car's address book. Then, when I want to listen to some tunes my iPod gets displayed on the console and I pick out what I want to hear. But now, Apple has taken a big step into actually residing right there on that center console of your car.

At the Geneva International Motor Show Apple launched something called CarPlay which will run on some Ferraris, Mercedes-Benz and Volvos. CarPlay lets you take advantage of various iPhone functions in your car with minimal distraction. Besides being able to take and receive phone calls you can listen to voicemails, send and receive texts, use the Maps app and even talk to Siri with a dedicated button on the steering wheel.

Naturally, a big part of CarPlay is Apple's Maps which has been enhanced for in car use. You can ask Siri for directions and a map will appear on the car display along with spoken turn-by-turn directions, traffic conditions and estimated travel time.

After you've used the feature for a while CarPlay will even be able to predict where you want to go based on recent trips and by using addresses from your email, text messages, contacts and calendar.

If you’re not in the market for a new Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz or Volvo there are a couple of possibilities that may interest you. First, other manufacturers are planning to offer the feature this year including BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota. Or second, if you don’t want to get a new car, Pioneer is coming up with an aftermarket radio that will be out this summer. Currently the only place locally that I know the Pioneer model will be available is Santa Barbara Auto Stereo and Wireless at the corner of San Roque Road and State St so stop in and talk to Alan or Kevin.

Apple has clearly thought about this feature a long time and has focused on hands-free and eyes-free operation. But I definitely want to see it in action before I make the move to an Apple Car.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and he is a Broker/Associate at Sotheby's International Realty.