The new CarPlay is Apple’s Trojan horse

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WWDC 2022 left so many new features in both software and hardware that the less flashy ones were overshadowed, in the case of the next version of CarPlay, which looks absolutely spectacular. so spectacular that it is inevitable to think about the difficulties that many manufacturers will put in order for this interface to reach their cars.

Until now, CarPlay has been little more than a mirror of the iPhone on the car’s infotainment screen, with an interface adapted to its environment and very limited in options so as not to favor distractions at the wheel too much. With the update that Apple announced It goes on to colonize all the screens that the car has and to replace even certain controls of the vehicle, such as the speedometer, the tachometer, the fuel indicator or remaining autonomy and even the air conditioning. They can even turn on heated seats. And everything customizable in layout, backgrounds, widgets, etc. In line with the latest versions of Android Automotive.

In other words, it is as if Apple’s presence in our daily communications went from being that of an iPod from 2005 to that of an iPhone and a Mac at the same time.

Question of control and a Trojan horse

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At the launch event, Apple mentioned several car manufacturers: Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Nissan, Ford, Lincoln, Audi, Jaguar, Acura, Volvo, Honda, Renault, Infinity and Polestar. He said of them that “they are excited to bring this new vision of CarPlay to customers”, which by the way will not begin to be announced until the end of 2023. There was no mention of the multitude of brands that already offer current CarPlay. First suspicion.

It is one thing to launch the platform for the first time with a few partners and expand the agreements, another is not having been able to reach all or almost all of the manufacturers that have been on the compatible list for years. There are 64. Only 14 have been announced in this new wave.

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Most likely, with the passing of the months in the long year that is missing until this CarPlay begins to reach cars, more manufacturers will join, but it also sounds reasonable to think that more than one will put difficulties. Even among some of those announced as compatible.

It is no longer a question of Tesla compromising once and for all (it has remained firm in its refusal to take on CarPlay), but that Many manufacturers may see it as a threat to give Apple so much driving data at such a deep level that Apple can use it to its advantage. That is to say: to help him create his own car, as has been rumored since the Apple Watch did not even exist yet. Data on driving patterns, driver preferences, consumption and engine behavior… A full-fledged Trojan horse.

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TheVerge has already started a round of consultations with a dozen manufacturers and neither is there a clear predisposition to incorporate all these novelties in their answers. Stellantis gave an eloquent answer: “This is more than a CarPlay update, it is an Apple operating system for the car. We have not made any announcement regarding that system.”

That is exactly the key.

Nor is it that all manufacturers refuse to share data from their vehicles with a technology company. Volvo and Polestar for example entrusted themselves completely to Android Auto. Other manufacturers have tended to be less receptive, such as Toyota. Then there are others like the aforementioned Tesla, which has never wanted to let anyone in. And Volkswagen, which hired 10,000 engineers to be a software company. “If we stay in the hardware we will become a commodities“, said its director in Spain a Autobild.

The past of banking and telecoms

The arrival of technology companies in very powerful sectors with a long tradition that try to put barriers to their progress is not new. He went through banking when Apple Pay arrived. There was talk of unacceptable conditions imposed by Apple that only Santander had agreed to accept. A few years later all Spanish banks were compatible with this service.

Another example was the telcos themselves when the first iPhone arrived. They were used to routines such as being the ones asking manufacturers for phones with certain characteristics, putting their logo on both the casing and on the welcome screen, and even modifying the interface to adapt it to their colors and placing shortcuts. to the WAP portal on duty.

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The arrival of Apple and Google in telephony —and their firm refusal to accept these practices— changed the rules and stripped telecoms of the relevance they had in this sector: they began to set rates, but today there is no longer a trace of their logo neither inside nor outside the terminals, and the sale of free terminals ended up being imposed.

This five-year period will possibly resolve this issue. Whether Apple gets car manufacturers to move back as banking and telecoms did at the time. It will depend on the force with which customers demand this adoption, which was what ended up motivating the previous changes: the fear of losing customers who changed banks because they did not have Apple Pay and the fear of a leak to the operator that was capable of offer the iPhone.

WWDC 2022 left so many new features in both software and hardware that the less flashy ones were overshadowed, in…

WWDC 2022 left so many new features in both software and hardware that the less flashy ones were overshadowed, in…

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