Apple CarPlay Reviewed, it could Disrupt the Auto Industry in one important way

Automakers have given up fighting Apple and Google and are now joining the tech giants.

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General Motors, for one, will be making Apple CarPlay available on nearly its entire 2016 model lineup, according to Consumer Reports. Android Auto will come later.  Business Insider recently spent a few days with CarPlay in a 2016 GM vehicle, and the experience was a mixed bag. But that might have had more to do with the car than with CarPlay.  GM lent us a Corvette Stingray that was CarPlay-equipped. The Stingray was Business Insider’s 2015 Car of the Year, and, for our money, it’s just about the best high-performance bargain in the market.  So you’re really supposed to be thinking about how much giddy fun you’re having while driving this sleek beast, not whether you’re disconnected from your iExistence while behind the wheel. My CarPlay test might have been a bit easier had GM lent me an SUV.

And one other thing — the Vette was a convertible. Still, CarPlay is astoundingly impressive in on critical respect: Siri.  

The bad:  It wasn’t all great. I couldn’t really get CarPlay to slip up, but I did find that playing music off my iPhone was a little iffy at times. Spotify was better.  But I wasn’t tempted to use CarPlay for entertainment when I had SiriusXM satellite radio in the Vette. And once I was tooling along, listening to “Deep Tracks” or “Classic Vinyl,” I wasn’t all that motivated to jump back over to CarPlay.  Also, GM’s own infotainment setup is quite good. In the cars I’ve tested over the past year, GM’s system has been neck and neck with Audi’s for speed and ease of use. And GM has OnStar, which enables you to push a button and talk to an operator, asking for directions to be sent to your car. I’ve long been a fan, preferring OnStar to in-vehicle nav systems.

There could be some behavioral or generational stuff going on here. I overwhelmingly use headphones or earbuds with my iPhone, and I’m accustomed to that setup. When I’m in a car, I want the old-school radio experience. But over time, and especially if I had a commute and wanted to take in audiobooks or podcasts, I could change my ways.  Additionally, while CarPlay greatly reduces distractions while driving, it doesn’t eliminate them. I’m old enough to know that even fiddling with an ancient push-button car radio from the 1980s could lead to death. Infotainment systems, pre-smartphones, brought numerous new reasons to take your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road.   The advent of the smartphone sent us over the top. I now routinely ask auto executives when they — the experts on what causes people to die behind the wheel — are going to push back against the tech industry and its obvious agenda to keep us ceaselessly glued to our phones (defensive driving is no match for push notifications). I usually get a very ambivalent answer to that one.

See on Scoop.itInternet of Things – Company and Research Focus


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