Monday, September 7, 2015
Wireless CarPlay In iOS 9 And The Challenges It May Face [Opinion]
Apple's Fall media event is almost upon us and everyone is looking forward to the announcement of the next generation iPhones. Along with new hardware, Apple's upcoming iOS 9 will be released. And one feature car enthusiasts will be eager to see is Apple's implementation of wireless CarPlay.
Wireless CarPlay was promised back when iOS 8.3 was announced in April this year. But Apple dropped the feature from the final release. But at WWDC 2015 in June, the feature was included as a part of iOS 9 during Apple's keynote (screenshot above is from the event).
Seems like Apple will finally take a bite at wireless CarPlay. So what are the challenges the feature could face?
Wireless CarPlay in iOS 9 - Challenges
1. Battery Life: This is probably an obvious one. With CarPlay working wirelessly, it is bound to drain the battery of your iPhone much quicker. Currently, wireless streaming of media over Bluetooth isn't much of a drain, but CarPlay is different. And whether it will only use Bluetooth or even an additional wifi connection remains to be seen.
Which brings me to my next point...
2. Will it actually be wireless? If losing battery power much quicker is an issue then drivers will be forced to plug in their iPhones to a power source - which defeats the 'wireless' purpose.
3. Wireless Charging: Android phones have it, but iPhones don't. Not yet, anyways. If Android Auto ever went wireless, they would face much fewer hurdles with the current technology many phones have. Most phones support the Qi standard of wireless charging which could mean installing a simple wireless charging mat in your car for use with Android Auto.
Apple needs to, and probably will include wireless charging capabilities in its next generation of iPhones. This could well be one of the main selling points for the new devices. Wireless CarPlay will absolutely need the capability, in my opinion.
4. Vehicle Hardware: Vehicles will have to include a wireless hotspot or the latest Bluetooth standard which is capable of supporting wireless CarPlay. Earlier this year there were rumors that Apple dropped wireless CarPlay from iOS 8.3 because the car hardware technology wasn't up to par yet.
5. Aftermarket Hardware: Not everyone can afford to buy a new car for CarPlay. For those folks there's always the aftermarket. But, none of the current head units are capable of supporting wireless CarPlay at the moment.
One of the head units, Alpine iLX-007, did have a built-in wireless chip in it and was advertised as being 'wifi enabled' when it was first launched. So hopefully those head units will be wireless CarPlay-ready when the need arises.
The other possibility is for aftermarket manufacturers to make current head units wireless CarPlay-capable. How would this happen? The likelihood of wireless dongles that plug into the USB port on the back of the head unit is not a far-fetched affair. These would make the head units a wireless hotspot.
6. iOS Features: When connected to a head unit or car wirelessly for CarPlay, the iPhone has to be able to receive an active data connection to the internet. Currently, if you're connected via wifi, there is no way of using your cell phone data connection for your data needs. This will have to change in iOS 9. If CarPlay can work over Bluetooth alone, this problem won't arise.
I'm sure Apple has thought out all the possible scenarios for wireless CarPlay to work. We will have definitive answers when the final release of iOS 9 is upon us. Stay tuned for that.
By AppRadioWorld at 5:00 AM