It seems clear that the future of car radios is connecting the music player up to phones and music devices. Having everything on one device is clearly the way things are going, with Apple, Blackberry and Android dominating this trend. There are several possible directions that the future of in-car entertainment will take, and all of these three major companies have been making forays into the developing market. This sections treats each of their attempts to dictate and dominate the path that the future of car entertainment will take.
Carplay is the name of Apple’s in-car entertainment system. It was previously intended to be called ‘iOS in the car,’ using the name of Apple’s majorly successful operating system. All new Iphones have the ‘Carplay’ feature, which was brought in first on the operating system iOS 7.1 and will be included on all subsequent operating systems. Your Iphone will be compatible as long as it has a lighting connector, so make sure you check the spec for that. The product is simple and easy to explain. Essentially, it allows you to access your Iphone from the dashboard of your car by placing a touchscreen display on your dashboard and connecting it to your phone. The main functions that can be accessed through the dashboard are your messages, your music, your telephone calls and your satellite navigation system. The device also uses Siri, Apple’s innovative hands-free software, so that you can access all this material without using your hands. As is common with Apple products, though expensive, this streamlined system is likely to be the market leader in in-car entertainment.
As usual, Blackberry offer a rival product to Apple. Their product, the Blackberry QNX, is in fact based on an older company’s work. QNX existed as a company before, and was acquired by Blackberry in 2010. Now Blackberry’s latest tablets, such as the PlayBook, use the QNX operating system. Whilst Blackberry has fallen behind to Apple and Google in almost all phone-related markets, they remain the leader in the in-car system. The QNX system is favoured by many huge car manufacturers including Ford, Porsche and BMW and many of these cars come fitted with the QNX system. The system offers a similar list of features to the Apple product discussed above, including internet access and the ability to stream and browse online. The product remains a real rival to those developed by Apple and Google, and it may be worth considering Blackberry this time, rather than dismissing their product.
Android Auto, the third major competitor in this market, have approached things with a slightly different emphasis. Good have marketed their product with ‘safety in mind,’ emphasising that the product is designed principally for ensuring safety on the road while you access what you need. The focus is on navigation software but the product will allow you to access music and other features as well. There are a huge number of car manufacturers who have signed up to the Android product, though it has not yet been released.