Highly-connected Apple pundit Mark Gurman has provided further details about the forthcoming iOS 7 update this morning, this time reporting that Apple could be using the software to further integrate Maps and Siri into vehicles.
According to people familiar with the plans, Apple is working with car makers on updated versions of car center consoles that could attach to iOS devices like the iPhone. Specifically, an iPhone could be plugged into a car and an optimized, redesigned version of Apple Maps will appear on the car’s built-in display instead of a proprietary GPS system found in many cars.
Apple released a feature called Siri Eyes Free last year, allowing drivers to operate the voice assistant feature with the iPhone screen turned off. But, according to Gurman, Apple wants to go one step further and integrate Siri and other iOS-based features directly into cars.
While Apple’s upcoming plans for an aggressive move into the car space appear limited to Maps and Siri, the two iOS-based functions likely most important for most drivers, we speculate that Apple could eventually look to take Ford and GM head-on in the car center console interface game.
Apple senior executive Eddy Cue, who just so happens to be in charge of Siri and Maps, has long had an interest in cars. Cue sits on the Ferrari board of directors and, coincidentally enough, the luxury car maker began equipping one of its car models with iPad minis.
It is unknown if Apple will debut these new car-based features at WWDC 2013 this June, but Gurman notes that iOS 7 will most certainly be a requirement due to the processing power that this functionality could demand. Gurman speculates that Apple could also announce the features at an iPhone hardware event later this year.
I for one would be welcome to an increased presence from Apple within my vehicle. While I drive a brand new car, the proprietary touchscreen GPS system and hands-free Bluetooth calling function are two areas of the vehicle that I have always found to be lacking. I most certainly think that Apple could improve on that experience tenfold.