Saturday, 04 December 2021 04:44 GMT

Apple Ironheart: It will soon enable iPhones to control features in your car

(MENAFN- BreezyScroll) Apple Inc. is aiming to increase its presence within cars. Apple iPhone CarPlay interface is useful to millions of drivers to control features like music, receive directions, and make phone calls in their cars. According to those familiar with the project, the company is working on the technology. It will allow users to access functions such as the climate control system, speedometer, radio, and seats. Internally known as IronHeart, the effort of Apple is still in its early phases and would require automakers' assistance.

The research supports the premise that cars might be a big moneymaker for the company; even if it doesn't sell cars. Apple's plans for a car have been thwarted, after the departure of key executives this year. The company has made strides with CarPlay. It allows users to connect their iPhones to a vehicle and control“infotainment” features. CarPlay is now available from the majority of major automakers, seven years after its debut.

CarPlay would be taken a step further by Apple IronHeart. According to the persons who wanted not to be identified because the project is classified, the iPhone-based system could access a variety of controls, sensors, and settings.

That includes:

  • inside and outside temperature and humidity readings
  • temperature zones, fans and the defroster systems
  • settings for adjusting surround-sound speakers, equalizers, tweeters, subwoofers, and the fade and balance
  • seats and armrests
  • the speedometer, tachometer and fuel instrument clusters

A spokesman for Apple in Cupertino, California, declined to comment on the company's automobile intentions. In early Thursday trade in New York, Apple shares jumped 1.2 percent.

Apple may convert CarPlay into an interface that spans nearly the entire car if it has access to controls and instrumentation. Apple or third parties might use the information to create new types of apps or add functionality to existing ones.

To manage crucial controls, some Apple users have grumbled about having to switch between CarPlay and the car's built-in system. This initiative would help to ease the conflict.


Apple's approach to health and home technology is akin to this initiative. Using its HealthKit protocol, the business offers an iPhone app that can retrieve and collect data from external health equipment. Meanwhile, Apple's HomeKit technology is used by the Home app to operate smart appliances like thermostats, security cameras, and door locks.

IronHeart would be Apple company's most aggressive foray into automobiles since the advent of CarPlay in 2014. But it may not be a hit with automakers. They may be hesitant to give Apple authority over important functionalities. CarPlay is now available in over 600 car types. Apple's other recent initiatives have been slower to gain traction with automakers.

Apple began allowing carmakers to create third-party CarPlay apps in 2015. Thereby, allowing them to access the car radio, GPS, and HVAC controls. It began supporting CarPlay on secondary automobile screens, like digital instrument clusters, in 2019. A year later, it released CarKey. It is a feature that allows you to unlock a car with your iPhone or Apple Watch. Also, electric-vehicle routing, which allows your iPhone to detect when you link it to an EV and display charger information in the maps view.

However, most automakers have resisted adopting these features. Only a few automobiles support climate control and radio apps. Furthermore, no vehicles are currently shipping with the EV routing feature.

If the IronHeart features don't show enough potential, Apple may decide to postpone or even cancel them

Apple's Siri speech assistant has had access to some automotive functionalities for a while, allowing it to alter audio sources and radio stations, shift seats, and control climate settings. According to a note issued to developers in July, such functionalities, which relied on app support from carmakers, were deleted in iOS 15, the most recent version of the iPhone operating system.

Some automakers, like Tesla Inc., have completely ignored Apple and Google's car efforts in favor of developing their next-generation infotainment platforms. Ford Motor Company is also striving to expand its horizons. Doug Field, the former chief engineer of Tesla and the leader of Apple's car project, was recently hired to work on the company's in-car technologies.

Carmakers, on the other hand, run the risk of enraging iPhone aficionados by focusing on their incompatible systems. And this may persuade more of them to embrace Apple's technologies. They may also opt to integrate the features in a variety of ways, depending on the vehicle. Apple might get control of HVAC controls in some vehicles, but merely have access to speakers in others.

iPhone firmly rooted in customers' daily lives.

Apple's efforts to construct a self-driving automobile could benefit from the project's findings. However, as part of the program, the firm would not gather data from users or cars.

Following Field's departure, Apple named Kevin Lynch, the company's head of Apple Watch and Health software, to lead the automobile project. Although an actual automobile is years away — if it ever occurs — Apple has many ex-Tesla vice presidents working on the project, including Ulrich Kranz, a former BMW electric car executive.

Gaining a larger footing in automobiles may help to keep the iPhone firmly rooted in customers' daily lives. Each time the gadget performs a new activity; such as driving a car, paying for groceries, displaying an ID, or unlocking a house door; consumers have another reason to stick with the iPhone.

They'll be more likely to upgrade to newer models and avoid competing phones as a result. Despite Apple's expansion into other areas, the iPhone remains the company's most profitable product, accounting for about half of all sales last year, or nearly $138 billion.


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