iOS in the Car hits a road bump?

Madeleine Swain
29 January, 2014
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More information has come to light regarding the development of iOS in the Car, which, as MacRumors explains, is a feature “intended to allow an iOS device to take over the in-dash display of a car, providing access to navigation, phone functions, messages and music”.

In last week’s Rumour Mill, we noted that some screen shots of the technology in action had been published by developer Steve Troughton-Smith. And now the developer has gone one further and published a video on YouTube of the feature in action.

MacRumors notes that the implementation is present in iOS 7.0.3, which has already been released, but it is not accessible by default. And this is very much a bare bones approach, with the video depicting iOS in the Car being run in the iOS simulator for developers.

Troughton-Smith has posted a number of notes along with the video explaining the different resolutions that the feature will support, as well as its other capabilities:

  • supports Multiple Resolutions
  • supports touchscreens (presumably single-touch?), hardware buttons, wheels and touchpads
  • does not support multitasking – car display will always show same current on-screen app as iPhone (which can be locked/asleep)
  • whitelisted to specific Apple apps – no public API for developers [yet?]
  • has no keyboard UI – voice recognition as input
  • UI clearly subject to change, and
  • missing functionality in video is due to iOS Simulator not containing all the stock iOS apps.

While Troughton-Smith is explaining the current state of play, elsewhere Jessica E Lessin, writing for The Information (via Shane Cole at AppleInsider), reports that development of the feature has been plagued by ‘organisational issues’. Lessin says Apple executives “didn’t know what to do” with the program. “The disconnect is attributed primarily to overarching organisational issues that are said to place pressure on non-hardware products that do not fit within existing teams,” says AppleInsider.

These issues meant that even when iOS in the Car was being touted at last year’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers’ Conference), the team working on it were forced to “lobby hard” for their share of stage time, because “executives were reportedly still unsure about its future”.

As MacRumors notes, Troughton-Smith’s posting and publishings seem to corroborate issues with the software. “While one design is depicted in the video, Troughton-Smith’s screenshots and commentary on Twitter indicate that iOS in the Car has undergone a redesign from its early depiction on Apple’s website and at least one other redesign in iOS 7.1, which is currently available for developers,” says the website.

Meanwhile, iOS in the Car is still being listed as ‘Coming Soon’ on Apple’s website, with no information released as to when ‘soon’ may be.



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