CarPlay is only the start.
Along with Android Auto, the Apple CarPlay interface is used by millions of vehicle owners. Both systems offer features like controlling music, navigation, a wide array of apps, and regular old-fashioned phone calls. Apple now wants to move beyond all of that. Put it like this: your Volkswagen ID.4, Kia Sportage, or any other vehicle whose owner has an iPhone will never be the same.
Bloomberg claims the tech giant is now working on new technology, known as "IronHeart," that's capable of accessing functions like the speedometer, radio, seats, and the climate control system. The tech is still in a relatively early stage of development and automakers will need to get on board as well. The key reason why Apple is pursuing this is that there's more money to be made. It's that simple.
Bear in mind the many difficulties Apple has had in trying to get its own car into series production. Over the past several weeks, some key players involved in its development have left the company. Therefore, expanding CarPlay and developing new in-vehicle systems has become a top priority. IronHeart has the potential to change the rules of the game once again, making Android Auto seem outdated by comparison.
Along with those aforementioned features, sources claim Apple engineers want the new system to offer temperature and humidity readings inside and out, control temperature zones, fans and the defroster, and control audio settings for surround-sound speakers, equalizers, subwoofers, and even the fade and balance. Apple has declined to comment. But the idea itself is brilliant and it's kind of surprising it hasn't already been done.
Some Apple CarPlay users have complained about the fact they have to switch from to their car's built-in system to adjust those features. Why not have everything all under one roof? However, there could be some automaker pushback as they may be unwilling to give up control of major features so easily.
Take Tesla, for example. It's developing the next-generation infotainment system entirely in-house and it'll avoid both Apple and Google. Ford is also anxious to have its own in-car technology; it poached Tesla's former chief engineer who later became the head of the Apple car program last month for the task. If Apple can't convince automakers to work with them, IronHeart could suffer the same fate as the Apple car itself - stuck in purgatory.