The system, which was earlier referred to as iOS in the Car, has been rebranded as CarPlay and will let iPhone users make phone calls, have their messages read out to them, and use Siri-like voice commands to control knobs, dials and controls on their car.
“iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing.
CarPlay will also look at a user's calendar and emails to anticipate upcoming meetings and help get directions to these meetings.
The layout for the new system is a simplified iOS interface, with a heavy reliance on voice-controlled actions. The focus is on simple and clean design, which means that there are simple interface elements and no virtual keyboard.
But you will not be able to use all your apps on CarPlay. At present, CarPlay will run all Apple applications and the only two third-party apps to make the cut are Spotify and iHeartRadio.
Initially Apple has partnered with Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, but plans to bring on an impressive list of car manufacturers: BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.
CarPlay will be available to Apple devices running iOS 7 on lightning-enabled phones, which currently means only iPhone5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will get to experience CarPlay, which will be available as an update. Apple hasn't said much about whether they plan to release an API that will allow third-party developers to make apps for the new system.