Engadget posted a nice little hands on video with Apple’s CarPlay dashboard interface as seen in a Ferrari.
Here’s the video, and below, my thoughts.
The interface is excellent. No idea why car makers weren’t able to do something like this before. All it requires are simple on-screen menus and large buttons. Apple nails it. There’s nothing unnecessary here.
The screen is responsive. Automaker nav systems are slow to respond and always seem sluggish. There is no evidence of this here.
The familiar home button is always available on screen. Again, super simple, and instantly recognizable. We all know what that does.
Siri runs the show here. You can still control many operations with buttons, but it looks like Siri has learned a lot from her time on the iPhone. This is where she finally get to shine in an all voice-command environment. If you’ve ever used voice command in a car – it’s painful. Siri might not be perfect but she gets it right more often than not. Also, I notice the Apple rep calls the big buttons on screen “accelerator buttons” basically you can press these to finish the command if you don’t feel like waiting or responding to Siri.
Example of why Siri isn’t perfect. The rep has trouble calling up an ESPN podcast because she doesn’t get the syntax just right. In a perfect world you’d jump into your car and say “play my ESPN podcast” but she must say “Play Podcast ESPN” to get the right response from Siri. But what’s great about Siri is that she learns fast and can be taught on the backend by Apple devs.
I love the irony of showing off an app like iHeartRadio. All this work to come up with a new in-dash system from Apple, connect your iPhone, make it integrate nicely with a high-tech system only to call up a radio station you can easily grab over the air with an FM radio perfected decades ago.
At the end, the Apple rep says you can “always go back to their system” and when you see it, you realize why we need Apple’s polish. It just looks gross.
Additionally, it looks like a majority (if not all) of the processing is being run off of the iPhone. That’s why you need the lightening connector and why Bluetooth won’t cut it when it comes to CarPlay. It’s a tiny step back for a big step forward when it comes to a much better in-dash experience.