Apple’s new iPhone and its iOS 7 operating system is expected to be one of the most car-friendly smart phones on the market.
Apple hinted at a host of technical smarts in the phone when it unveiled iOS 7 in June and claimed compatibility with “95 per cent” of cars in the United States.
The software in the new iPhone (to be called 5S or 6, say reports, and out soon) is likely to allow drivers to control by voice command various components in their cars, such as music and phone calls, seat and wing mirror settings and favourite radio stations.
Another nifty feature would allow the driver to enter an address into the satellite-navigation system simply by asking Siri – Apple’s virtual Girl Friday software.
Siri could even read messages out loud and reply using voice recognition. It’s not necessarily unique as many infotainment systems can do this already.
Reports of the features result from a patent filed by Apple to the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The patent says: “A user’s portable electronic device can learn configuration preferences from a first environment, such as the user’s car, and when the user visits another similar environment, such as a rented automobile, those configuration preferences can be imported into the visited environment and used to automatically configure the environment according to the imported preferences.”
Apple already showed a glimpse of its iOS 7 in the Car software at the June conference. It described it thus: “iOS in the Car seamlessly integrates your iOS device — and the iOS experience — with your in-dash system.
“If your vehicle is equipped with iOS in the Car, you can connect your iPhone 5 and interact with it using the car’s built-in display and controls or Siri Eyes Free.
“Now you can easily and safely make phone calls, access your music, send and receive messages, get directions, and more.
“It’s all designed to let iPhone focus on what you need, so you can focus on the road.”
Honda, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz are among the handful of carmakers who’ve already signed up to the software, while BMW is working separately to integrate Apple products into its own software, ConnectedDrive.