Since its introduction in 2015, Apple CarPlay has been a notable upgrade over the user interfaces that most cars have by default, but many of our concerns about it and Android Auto are due to their limitations. Newer features, such as dual-screen support and third-party applications such as Google Maps, could help, but there are still huge parts of the driving experience that exist outside of Apple’s control panel. Now, Mark Gurman reports for Bloomberg that Apple’s “IronHeart” push provides settings such as climate control, seat positioning and even specific changes to the surround sound on the iPhone.
This is a gap that Google has closed by reducing agreements with automakers such as Polestar, Ford, Honda and GM to use Android Automotive as the basis for their user interface. Conformable Bloomberg, although Apple’s plans would require the participation of the carmaker, this is not a plan to provide the basis for an infotainment system such as Android Automotive.
Instead, Bloomberg suggests that it might resemble Apple’s smart push with HomeKit, with an API that devices (in this case, cars) access with different levels of support for sensor control and communication. An interesting wrinkle is the mention that, with iOS 15, Apple has removed more API features from SiriKit, making its disappointing assistant from time to time less capable than before. This includes controls that, on compatible vehicles, could handle these exact settings, such as seat position, climate control or audio source.
If the plans turn into actual updates, this could mean that different cars have different levels of feature support, some using CarPlay to customize the seat position, while others may not accept this, but may configure A settings. / C of the vehicle according to your iPhone preferences. As mentioned in the report, so far there has been limited support for things like the CarPlay applications provided by the manufacturer, which can access these deeper control settings and only BMW supports Apple CarKey so far.
So what does this mean for Apple’s not-so-secret Project Titan machine program? Bloomberg reports that CarPlay expansions would not collect data about cars or users, so any project led by Kevin Lynch will need to obtain useful information in another way.