If there's one thing that the world at large is pushing for Apple
to enter into, it's the television market. But long before those wishes became a reality, many were hoping that Apple would do for the automobile
what it did for phones and MP3 players: reinvent the wheel, so to speak. There have been various reports over the years regarding the late Steve Jobs' ideal of changing up the motorcar, and while most every car company on the planet now offers some level of iDevice support, there hasn't been much done beyond surface-level integration
Now, however, Volkswagen
is hoping to step that up a notch. While it's not exactly the iCar you may have been waiting for, the new iBeetle showcased at the Shanghai Auto Show represents a unique alliance that could signal changes ahead. The iPhone will interface with the Beetle and Beetle Convertible via a specially developed app and a docking station. The iBeetle is the first model line from the Volkswagen Group in which the iPhone will become an integrated component. Volkswagen offers two different ways to acquire the innovative interface between iPhone and Beetle: as an app or as a standard feature of the new iBeetle and iBeetle Convertible. Both special models will be launched at the beginning of 2014. The app, docking station and iBeetle will make their world debut at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show (20th to 29th of April).
The newly designed docking station is located centrally on the dashboard of the Beetle: the iPhone simply snaps in to integrate it with the car. Essentially, all iPhone functions can be used in the Beetle; the iPhone can be used to navigate, make calls hands-free, listen to music, and much more. When this special app is launched on an iPhone, it can either connect the phone to the Beetle via the docking station or wirelessly. Each option allows for different app functions to be accessed: Spotify, Expert, Trainer, and Reader. There's also Postcard, Photo, and Milestones, all of which tap into varying levels of automobile integration.
The iBeetle is one of the first cars in the world to have a genuine integrative interface for the iPhone that was coordinated with Apple. Of course, you'll have to wait until 2014 to buy one, but hopefully Apple's branching out and working with other automakers as we speak.