It has been a while since Apple have made any meaningful changes to their in-car infotainment software, Car Play. In fact, it was over 12 months ago that they previewed it at WWDC 2022.
At that time, they promised a host of changes including better integration with the car’s HVAC, RFM radio and more. Since then it has been all silent on the CarPlay front but the next version of Apple CarPlay is expected to debut in cars in “late 2023” from manufacturers such as Audi, Honda, Jaguar, Nissan, Porsche, Volvo and more.
The five main features expected to arrive are:
- Instrument Cluster Integration
- Climate Controls
- Multi-Display Support
- Fm Radio App
Instrument Cluster Integration
Just as Android already does with their automotive integrations, the new version of Apple CarPlay will be cable of displaying the car’s instrument cluster including speedo, tachometer, odometer, fuel gauge, engine temperature gauge, oil pressure and more.
Drivers will be able to decide which cluster to use from several stock ones – we assume each manufacturer will also customise their own clusters to their own design language.
Apple CarPlay gen 2 will also allow you to access your car’s HVAC unit to adjust temperature and other related settings such as fan speed, heated seats and more.
Obviously if the new CarPlay is going to support the instrument cluster it will also have to support other displays to display the infotainment information somewhere. Once again manufacturers will be able to tailor the new CarPlay to suit the number, size and shape of the displays in their cars.
Widgets are not new to Apple users but they will be new to CarPlay gen 2. These widgets will offer at-a-glance information to allow the user to get that information fast and without taking their eyes off the road for any considerable amount of time.
Widgets are expected for trip duration, fuel economy, calendar events, weather, phone calls and more. The widgets are also expected to be scrollable which somehow doesn’t seem to fit with the at-a-glance definition.
FM Radio App
The new app will allow you to adjust the FM radio of your car without ever having to leave the CarPlay interface.
Many of these features have been available on Android Automotive for quite a while but are we now going to end up with fragmentation of our cars? Will you have to decide whether you want the Volvo XC40 which comes with Android Automotive (which it currently does) or the version which comes with Apple CarPlay? What if you change phones? Will you have to buy a new car?
So many questions left still to be answered but you can be sure the ACCC and our other toothless regulators will be watching closely.