In the embedded video, an Apple CarPlay rep gives a detailed hands-on walkthrough of CarPlay in this gorgeous Ferrari. The interface looks exactly like what you’d expect from iOS. The controls seem responsive, the interface elements consistent.
Compatible with the iPhone 5 and up, CarPlay is “loaded” into the Ferrari’s built-in navigation system by way of a Lightning adapter located underneath the armrest. Wireless connections are coming, at least from Volvo, but our test was limited to traditional cables.
I believe this means that you’ll plug your phone into a lightning connector in the console, with wireless (WiFi) support on its way.
Once it’s connected, Ferrari will continue to utilize its own infotainment system, but users can load CarPlay by hitting a dedicated dashboard button, allowing all touch and voice inputs to be diverted to your iPhone. This loads the CarPlay dashboard, which features a familiar array of icons and services you’ll recognize from your iPhone. From here, it’s a case of using the touchscreen or calling upon Siri to load each of the services — the latter of which can be summoned with the Siri Eyes Free button located on the reverse of the steering wheel.
This is what you’d expect. If you don’t own an iOS device, you can still use the radio, etc.
The first thing we noticed is how speedy everything is. Apps load quickly, and Siri’s contextual algorithms hastily recognized 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 overall impression I got was that this interface belonged in this car. This is the factory media control center, not a 3rd party product grafted in place. The Siri integration was very well done. 3rd party CarPlay apps were also seamlessly integrated. The video shows off playing content from various sources (your music library, I Heart Radio, various podcasts) and it all works exactly as you’d expect.
When I buy my next car, the availability of CarPlay will definitely be a major factor in which car I choose. Sadly, there’s little chance I’ll be buying the Ferrari below. But I can dream, can’t I?
UPDATE: David Barnard pointed out that the wireless connection will be WiFi or WiFi direct, not Bluetooth.