Those who can't bear to be away from their gadgets during the dreaded morning commute might find a lifeline if they are shopping for a new Volvo.
At the Geneva Auto Show last week, the automaker debuted an in-car tablet called Apple CarPlay, a nifty device that utilizes the seamless features familiar to i-devotees and that will be a fixture in the XC90 SUV, which is the first car to offer the tablet. Drivers simply connect their iPhone in the car with the Lightning connector (a Wi-Fi connectivity option will be available in the near future), and the large center console's touchscreen display will give them access to the features that they've come to expect on their iPad, iPhone and iPod, without fumbling to grab them.
The device allows drivers to use voice and steering-wheel controls to access Apple features and services, making sure all of that command-giving is super-safe and simple to use. The system's portrait screen lets drivers access both Volvo and Apple content at the same time, pretty much eliminating the need to toggle between a dedicated car and smartphone screen.
Volvo believes the learning curve to be a pretty short one. Users will quickly recognize their basic iPhone applications, such as music, phone, messages and the all-important navigation feature. Initially, Volvo is also throwing in a smattering of third-party audio apps, including Spotify, the addictive music streaming service.
The automaker says that the two companies have similar sensibilities design-wise, with both embracing simplicity and functionality.
"Apple's clean and intuitive user interface is a perfect match with Volvo's Scandinavian Design approach and our focus on fluid functionality," says Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars.
Seamless, simple and streamlined. Sounds like something our commute could definitely use.
The system is available for iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5, running the most updated version of Apple's iOS operating system.