• Hyundai's new 2015 Sonata will offer Apple CarPlay technology
  • Tech allows iPhone users to access apps, use Apple iOS in the car
  • 2015 Sonata goes on sale this summer

The all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata will make it easier than ever to use the iPhone while you're behind the wheel. That's because of a newly available technology dubbed Apple CarPlay, which will offer a safe alternative to iPhone use when you're driving.

The newly redesigned Sonata will be one of the first cars to use Apple CarPlay when the midsize sedan reaches dealers this summer. Designed to work with the Sonata's optional navigation system, Apple CarPlay allows you to access many basic iPhone functions -- such as music, messages and maps -- using an interface that's similar to the iPhone's iOS operating system.

While that may sound distracting, Apple CarPlay also offers a few benefits over traditional behind-the-wheel phone use. For example, it works with the car's Bluetooth system to let drivers dictate text messages, and it can read messages out loud when you're on the go. It also works with Bluetooth to help you dial your contacts, so you don't have to scroll through names on your phone.

More importantly, Apple CarPlay uses a similar interface to the one that iPhone users are already used to. Icons appear exactly as they do on the Apple iOS operating system, and many functions are controlled in the same way. That means drivers already accustomed to their iPhones won't be distracted when figuring out how to use their car's infotainment system.

In addition to Hyundai, several other brands -- including Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo -- will soon offer Apple CarPlay as standard or optional equipment in their upcoming vehicles. The system is compatible with iPhone 5s, 5c and 5 models using iOS 7.

As for the Sonata, Hyundai's latest midsize sedan was revealed in April at the New York Auto Show. On sale this summer, the new Sonata will offer updated styling and a revised interior, though it will retain last year's 2.4-liter and turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engines.

What it means to you: Apple iPhone users who opt for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata's navigation system will find a familiar operating system when they use the Apple CarPlay feature.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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