With iOS 13, Apple extends not only the functionality for smartphones and tablets, but also in the car when using CarPlay. Unevenly shaped displays are supported as well as multiple displays and dynamic adjustments of the display size. An overview of the new features for car makers and users.
The biggest novelty for users for whom car makers do not need to make any changes to their CarPlay implementation is the new Dashboard as a new startup screen. Here CarPlay displays a map and important information about navigation, music or news as well as controls for garage door openers. Frequently used apps appear on the left, including a link to all apps.
CarPlay supports crooked displays
So far, Apple CarPlay (test) could respond only uniformly shaped displays such as rectangles or squares or had to assume that a display in the car has this feature. In iOS 13, on the other hand, CarPlay can handle non-uniform displays, such as a trapeze.
To determine the format of a screen, an exchange of information between the car and the iPhone can take place on iOS 13, where CarPlay is told what the gross view area and what the net safe area is that the driver can see , For example, the view area is the entire area of the screen, while the safe area is the area that potentially gives the view of blocking cladding elements, such as enclosures, that mask certain areas of the image, potentially making a rectangle a trapezoid. CarPlay then projects a H.264 stream from the smartphone into this Safe Area.
Multiple screens with different CarPlay streams
CarPlay is no longer limited to an H.264 stream with iOS 13, but can address multiple screens in the vehicle with different information that need not be physically separated. In the instrument cluster, for example, two H.264 streams can be displayed on a display. Again, there are again the duties of the View Area and Safe Area. For example, if a digital cockpit in the standard view consists of two circular elements for the speedometer and tachometer, an irregularly shaped view area and a rectangular safe area are created in between, in which CarPlay projects the stream. In the round area, the circle is the view area, while the square in it is the safe area.
Maps and driving instructions only from Apple Maps
For second-screen support, there is a restriction that driving instructions and maps can only come from Apple Maps and not from third-party providers. If you switch to the full-screen view of the navigation map in the instrument cluster, as is the case with the Audi Virtual Cockpit, for example, the map would have come from Apple Maps using CarPlay. Although Apple has been supporting third-party third-party map apps since iOS, such as Google Maps or Waze, this is only true for the main display when multiple screens are supported.
A head-up display, however, can not be addressed as a screen for Apple CarPlay. In this area, only metadata of the iAP2 protocol (iPod Accessory Protocol) can be displayed, which are transmitted via Bluetooth. These are textual information such as the next upcoming maneuver, the distance to the next turn, the destination address or the time of arrival.
View Area adapts dynamically
Also new is the dynamic adjustment of the display size or view area. This can be useful if you want to switch to a horizontal or vertical split-screen mode on a large screen. To do this, car manufacturers must define several view areas for one screen and exchange them with the smartphone during the handshake. Again, the rules of the Safe Area apply again. In the instrument cluster, for example, the circular displays could be moved, and yet in the rectangular area in between, all information would still be displayed correctly. The car can tell the smartphone how much time is left for the animation of both states, so CarPlay estimates the same time for the change accordingly.
The dynamic scaling to different display sizes or view areas is also useful for large vertical screens, such as those installed at Tesla and Volvo. CarPlay can then switch to a full-screen mode that occupies the entire screen and dynamically scale to a smaller view if the user wants to access other functions of the vehicle, such as air conditioning.
Hey Siri in the car use
CarPlay supports “Hey Siri” for the first time with iOS 13, so that no button has to be pressed for communicating with the assistant. For this purpose, the built-in microphone in the car must be permanently active and perform a permanent speech recognition. The data is stored in a buffer, which caches the speech information for a few seconds and then rejects it, if no suitable voice command is given. In addition, it is now possible to speak to Siri immediately by pressing the button on the steering wheel, without having to wait for an acoustic confirmation. With Siri can also speak while the music continues in the background.
iOS 13 with new CarPlay is available since Monday in a first developer beta for the iPhone, in July will follow a more stable public beta. The final release is scheduled for fall. Away from the new dashboard, automakers need to integrate the new screen features into their vehicles.