Apple Wants All the Screens In Your Car

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

If you’re like the vast majority of Americans, you have a smartphone in your pocket. And while the original purpose of these mobile devices was ostensibly for talking to other people, the truth is most of us use them for anything but talking to people.

Including interfacing with the system of modern cars. Android and Apple have been refining the abilities of Android Auto and CarPlay, respectively, for the last few years. Now, Cupertino wants to take that relationship further – a lot further.

In fact, it may be further than carmakers are willing to go. According to descriptions of the upcoming iOS 16 operating system previewed yesterday at Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference, the specter of CarPlay may soon stretch well beyond the simple delivery of music and maps. If plans go ahead as described, it may be possible for Apple to infuse itself into every nook of a car’s display – infotainment, maps, even gauges.

Permit us a moment to acknowledge that the world’s car builders spend untold gazillions of dollars designing gauge clusters, infusing them with their own brand of style and function. Hundreds of hours are spent poring over details like character spacing and fonts. Do you really think any of them are eager to provide Apple the opportunity to replace all their hard work (and brand DNA) with Cupertino’s Day-Glo images and user experience? Not likely. Yet, at the keynote, the presenter said “Automakers around the world are excited to bring this new vision of car play to their customers.” Yeah, ok.

Perhaps someone should have asked them first. Journalists at The Verge certainly did, reaching out to a dozen car companies for their take on Apple’s grand new idea. Some responded with a variant on the “yeah, mmm-hmm” theme, with most simply spouting the notion they can’t comment on future product plans. While the talking head on the Apple stage didn’t verbally mention any specific car brands, the above slide was briefly tossed up on the screen before being whisked away.

What do you think? Well, actually, what do most of you think? We say that because we know wide swaths of the B&B still daily cars which barely have a functioning analog radio (and we love ya for it). As for the rest of you, riddle us this: would you let Apple – the company which once blamed us all for holding our phones wrong – take over your speedometer?

[Images: screenshots, Apple WWDC]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Funky D Funky D on Jun 09, 2022

    I would welcome the chance to have a customizable instrument display in my next car, and by customizable I mean the ability to display any piece of data I want from the ECM and other systems in the place I want it. That being said, I am not sure Apple-izing everything is such a hot idea. Currently, the newest car I own is a 2012 that doesn't have built-in CarPlay, but has most of the functionality it provides. My other 2 rides have a CarPlay head unit which is about 80~85% of my desired level of tech. A heads-up display would probably cover the remainder. I certainly don't need or want an outgoing data stream tattling on me constantly.

  • TheEndlessEnigma TheEndlessEnigma on Jun 09, 2022

    Seeing how reliable my company supplied iphone isn't...yeah...now take that kind of reliability and integrate that into my car? Nope.

  • SaulTigh When I was young in the late 80's one of my friends had the "cool dad." You know the guy, first to buy a Betamax and a C-band satellite dish. Couple of stand up arcade games in the den. Bought my friend an Atari 2600 as soon as they came out. He had two of these crap heaps. One that only ran half the time and one for parts in the yard. My middle school brain though he was the most awesome dad ever, buying us pizza and letting us watch R rated movies recorded on free HBO weekend. At the time I though he was much better than my boring father.Now with adult hindsight, I now know he was "dad who should have taken better care of his family" and not had so many toys.
  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.
  • Master Baiter Both people who bought ID.4s will be interested in this post.
  • Urlik Not a single memorable thing happened in the big three races this weekend IMHO.
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