One of the major iOS 7.1 features we expect to see when the iOS 7.1 release arrives is iOS in the Car, in actual cars from major manufacturers, but until then drivers will need to take a look at these iOS in the Car screenshots from a developer.
Apple announced iOS in the Car last June when showing off iOS 7 to developers counting many car companies as on board including Chevy, Acura, Audi, Ferrari, Honda, Nissan, Kia, Mercedes and others. Ford told Gotta Be Mobile it was investigating iOS in the car, but was not committed to a rollout on 2014 vehicles.
At the 2014 North American International Auto Show manufacturers were tight-lipped about support for iOS in the car and questions about iOS 7.1, but the release appears to be tied to the new car models and upcoming iOS 7.1 release which one rumor currently pegs for March.
Developer Steven Troughton-Smith shared a series of iOS in the Car screenshots on Twitter this afternoon showing what IOS 7 in the car could look like. It’s not clear if these are from iOS 7 or the recently released iOS 7.1 beta 4. The current iOS 7.1 betas show an iOS in the Car option under restrictions.
Given the screenshots it is likely Troughton-Smith is emulating the center console of a car in a test environment. 9to5Mac reaches the same conclusion about a testing mode and states that Apple is able to beam the screen to other devices like an Apple TV, or a TV display which could lead the way to more specific modes with a similar feature.
The overall look of iOS in the car changed dramatically since Apple first showed the screens off at WWDC 2013 last year, and match the evolving look of iOS 7 which Apple continues to tweak slightly with each iOS 7.1 beta. Below is a warning screen which we find on many in-car apps and devices, as well as indicators for direction traveling in the upper left, the time and WiFi or LTE signal and an on-screen home button in the lower left.
It’s not clear what the home button on-screen will do outside of taking the user to the home screen where apps can exist for maps and music. Siri Eyes Free is a big part of iOS in the Car but it is activated with a button on the steering wheel in previous demos, not an on-screen home button.
The final screenshot shows a location bookmarked on the iPhone being called up on the iOS in the car screen. where a user can choose to start the navigation. Hopefully this will solve one of the major in-car navigation issues — outdated maps and points of interest. Many users can find a location or business many times faster on an iPhone than on the in-car navigation system, and adding a location to the iPhone Apple Maps app would also let a user plan out a trip before getting in the car better.
The iOS in the Car system will likely make an official appearance on several 2014 vehicles later this year, once the iOS 7.1 release arrives and unlocks the feature for iPhone owners. It’s not clear if Apple will extend the same functionality to the iPad and iPad mini or the iPod touch.