This week Apple finally revealed the production version of CarPlay, its plan to take over your car with iOS.
So far, Volvo, Mercedes and Ferrari have shown off their implementations of the system formerly known as “iOS in the Car.”
Among those, Ferrari demonstrated to a number of publications what CarPlay would look like in the Ferrari FF, a coupe with a suggested retail price of $US295,000.
The responses to the infotainment system have been surprisingly mixed for the end result of a collaboration between Ferrari and Apple, two companies known for the attention to detail put into their products.
The main critique that we’ve seen of the screen is that it isn’t a capacitive display, like you’d find on your iPhone or iPad. That means that you can’t seamlessly swipe around the interface: like your standalone GPS from 2005, it has a resistive touch screen, so it responds to you”pushing” on the screen rather than your light taps.
It’s not all bad news, though. Engadget’s Matt Brian got a hands-on demo in the FF, and has good things to say about the apps available, Siri, and the “hands-free” features:
The first thing we noticed is how speedy everything is. Apps load quickly, and Siri’s contextual algorithms hastily recognised our voice commands and responded appropriately. Apple has also implemented safety features to ensure services do not draw your attention away from the road and push forward its “hands-free” theme. For example, when we sent or received a message from a contact, Siri would only read the message back to us and we never once got the chance to see its contents.
The use of a resistive touch screen is especially odd considering the fact that Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president in charge of Internet services (Siri and Apple Maps, two of CarPlay’s most important features) joined Ferrari’s Board of Directors in 2012. You’d think that Ferrari would have used hardware akin to a low-powered iPad Mini, considering the close ties between the two companies.
Other automakers are also facing criticism for their CarPlay implementations. Independent Apple blogger John Gruber thinks that the screen Mercedes will be putting in its C-Class sedans looks like “a $US50 drugstore Android tablet taped to the dashboard.”
You can see for yourself — we gave a walkthrough of Mercedes’ CarPlay system yesterday.