Video: How Easy Is It to Pair the New iPhone to Your Car?

Now that you've got the iPhone6 in your hot little hand, you'll naturally want to know how compatible it is with your car's multimedia system. As Cars.com Executive Editor Joe Wiesenfelder explains in the video above, our experts put the new smartphone to the test in a number of vehicles to generally impressive effect. Watch the video to learn what features you can use and what else you'll need to know about this mating of mobile media.

By Matt Schmitz | September 29, 2014 | Comments (1)

Should You Use the Apple Watch in Your Car?

Applewatch

Apple just took the wraps off its new iPhone 6, which ships on Sept. 19 for a contract-tethered starting price of $199. Along with the phone came a new — and much-anticipated — device from the Cupertino, Calif., company: the Apple Watch. Apple's first foray into the field of wearable devices, which are multiplying like digital rabbits, the Apple Watch heralds new ways to do a lot of old things: text messages, checking the weather and social media, but it also has maps and turn-by-turn directions built in. It will start at $349 and be available in early 2015.

Related: Navdy Rethinks the Head-Up Display

Having all this information on your wrist may be as convenient — or more so — than having it on your phone, but looking at your wrist while driving may not be an advisable experience for drivers.

By Kelsey Mays | September 10, 2014 | Comments (2)

Apple's iOS 7 Ready for the Car

Ioscall

Today, Apple introduced a new operating system for its popular mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad.

It's called iOS 7 and will be available to download this fall. The new operating system features a number of design changes to the devices' interface. It also adds a new application that will let an iPhone5 display a few essential functions through a car's multimedia system.

By David Thomas | June 10, 2013 | Comments (13)

California Outlaws In-Car Smartphone Navigation Systems

In-car-gps
If you don't have an in-car navigation system or are annoyed by the one you do have, what do you do? Pull out your smartphone and enable its GPS function, right? Not in California. It's now illegal to use while driving.

The state is broadening what it considers distracted driving to include using a GPS-enabled phone for navigation. Techcrunch.com is reporting that a federal appeals court in Fresno County recently ruled that "distraction would be present whether the wireless telephone was being used as a telephone, a GPS navigator, a clock or a device for sending and receiving text messages and emails."

What's unclear from the ruling is if a hands-free version of the GPS-enabled phone would be allowed. Talking and texting while driving are already illegal in California unless the phone is configured for hands-free use.

Related
California Court Bans Checking Smartphone Maps While Driving (Techcrunch)
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By Jennifer Geiger | April 8, 2013 | Comments (14)

Kia Connects With Google for Destination, Directions Service

KiaSorentoUVO

Kia announced today it has teamed up with Google to enhance the second generation of the automaker's voice-activated multimedia system. The new version of Kia's UVO ("Your Voice") will help motorists more easily determine where they want to go and how to get there, according to the automaker.

The feature, integrated into UVO's eServices system, will use Google Maps and Google Places to allow motorists to search for driving directions and points of interest. The new smartphone-app-based services will debut during the first quarter of this year in the 2014 Kia Sorento crossover. Other models will follow, including the 2014 Forte sedan.

Kia drivers will be able to access the feature whether they are in or away from their vehicles by sending a destination directly from Google Maps on their smartphones via the UVO app. While in their vehicle, drivers can use Google Places to find points of interest or resources such as dealership locations. At the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia announced that UVO would also incorporate "geo-fencing," or the ability to draw zones on a map and receive alerts when your car goes there. This would allow parents, for example, to receive a text-message alert if their teen were to drive somewhere they weren’t supposed to.

By Matt Schmitz | January 2, 2013 | Comments (1)

iPhone 5 Turn-by-Turn Navigation vs. Android vs. Automaker

Iphone1

A lot has been said about the new Maps application on the iPhone 5 and the latest iPhone operating system. People say they've gotten lost or they can't find the location they're looking for and are just generally unhappy. The problems have even led the company to apologize for the app itself.

But the one function drivers covet the most about the app — turn-by-turn directions — worked exceptionally well for nearly two weeks of testing. That doesn't mean there aren't issues, and yes, I got lost.

By David Thomas | October 8, 2012 | Comments (32)

iPhone 5 Won't Work In Your Car? We May Have the Solution

Iphone1

There I was last Friday, a happy new iPhone 5 owner about to drive home in a 2013 Chevy Spark with the latest multimedia system on the market.

I plug the new Lightning connector into the iPhone 5 and the USB into the car's port.

The Spark's 7-inch screen says "Loading" with a ring of circles spinning around and then ... nothing.

The smartphone reads, "This accessory not supported." The accessory is a $16,000 car.

I'm a bit devastated and drive home listening to talk radio.

Over the weekend, I tried out the iPhone 5 in my wife's car, a 2010 Subaru Outback and then my in-laws' 2012 Acura TSX, and it isn't working in either of them.

I may have discovered a huge flaw in the new iPhone's system, I think to myself. This story will break the blog's traffic records.

By David Thomas | September 25, 2012 | Comments (46)

iPhone 5 Will Require Adapter in Some Cars

Iphone1

Today, Apple unveiled its iPhone 5, which goes on sale later this month. One feature possible iPhone 5 owners need to know is the smartphone's new Lightning connector that replaces the current 30-pin connector found on Apple's products like the iPhone 4S or 4.

Some cars from Hyundai and Kia to luxury brands like BMW and Audi have special cables or cradles designed for the current design. If you buy a new iPhone 5, you'll also need to purchase an adapter from Apple that allows the new smartphone to work with your — now outdated — car.

Adapter

The adapter (above) is $29 and looks rather large. It will likely make a current cradle that's sized for an iPhone 4 impossible to use as it was intended.

Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor said that Hyundai's latest models work without the use of a proprietary cable, but for those that do, he confirmed you'd need the new Apple adapter for full iPhone 5 integration.

Related
Cars.com Tests New iPhone Maps App in a Mercedes-Benz SL550
More Car Gadget News
Download Cars.com'’s iPhone App

By David Thomas | September 12, 2012 | Comments (9)

Cars.com Tests New iPhone Maps App in a Mercedes-Benz SL550

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By David Thomas and Dave Lee

Apple unveiled a number of new laptops and two new operating systems earlier this week. The new mobile platform's operating system, iOS 6, will be coming to iPhones this fall, and one of its major upgrades is a new Maps application that's been designed from the ground up by Apple and replaces the current Google-based version.

We installed the beta version of iOS 6 on an iPhone 4 that we had handy and decided to test it head-to-head with an iPhone 4 running iOS 5.

It was a gorgeous Chicago summer day, so it only made sense to log these test miles in a brand-new Mercedes-Benz SL550 convertible, stickering at close to $130,000. I got behind the wheel while gadget-obsessed editor Dave Lee manned the two iPhones side by side in the massage-equipped passenger seat.

This is what we discovered.

By David Thomas | June 14, 2012 | Comments (4)

Nissan Develops Self-Healing iPhone Case

Phones
You pay a lot of money for your iPhone, but normal wear and tear makes its case look old within weeks. What if those scuffs and scratches disappeared after an hour or so? 

In 2005, Nissan developed Scratch Shield self-healing paint, making shallow vehicle scratches disappear. Today, the paint is used on the Murano and 370Z and across Infiniti's lineup. The Japanese automaker recently announced the technology's first non-automotive application: the iPhone case.

The Scratch Shield iPhone uses the same gel-like, durable paint finish found on Nissan and Infiniti products, as well as rigid, high-strength plastic. As with vehicle scratches, a shallow scratch on the iPhone case will take around an hour to heal on its own; deeper scratches could take around a week to repair themselves.

The case is being developed in conjunction with the University of Tokyo and Advanced Softmaterials Inc. and is compatible with iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S models. Prototypes are being tested with a small group of customers and journalists. If the tests are successful and demand proves high, Nissan could sell the cases to the public later this year. 

By Jennifer Geiger | January 17, 2012 | Comments (3)

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