Toyota With Apple CarPlay - Yes Please, But When?

CarPlay Infotainment 1 photo
Photo: Apple
We are pleased to see Toyota recovering and creating cooler cars for the masses, but if there is some thing to complain about is their infotainment system.
Yes, the Toyota Touch offers a lot of features for the money, especially the updated Touch 2 system, but in a world dominated by minimalistic square-shaped apps ordered in a minimalistic grid, it simply looks like an old phone running on a Java operating system.

And then comes the laggy way it moves, which totally spoils the way you interact with the car. It feels like a dying Pentium III processor is running behind the screen trying to keep up with what you’re doing.

Even worse is the fact that Lexus luxury models are having the same issue. Despite the fact it has slightly better graphics than what you find in a Toyota, it still lags and moves unnatural. And you can better see this huge discrepancy by looking at the 2014 Lexus IS’ LFA-inspired-crispy-clean gauge and the infotainment.

The 2015 Toyota Aygo promises to come with a revised ‘x-touch’ infotainment system that looks a bit more capable, but the real deal comes from Apple. There is not much time left until all infotainment systems will use Android or iOS and it looks like the bitten silver fruit made the first step by trying to introduce its CarPlay interface.

Although Apple’s CarPlay is not a standalone operating system for your dashboard gear, it’s a feature that lets you use your iPhone via the infotainment screen. You just tether the phone with the car via USB and boom - most of the phone’s functionalities are mirrored on the big screen using the same clean-cut design.

Some manufacturers like Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai and Volvo are already offering this technology in their 2014 vehicles, while most of the other automakers are on the list to get it somewhere in the near future. Toyota is there too, but its not known when the new functionality will be implemented among its models.

Some rumors were saying something about 2015 models, but Toyota said nothing about it and is now idling on the idea. Our saying on this one is that the CarPlay is not just a mirroring of an iPhone screen - its output still requires processing from the behalf of the infotainment system itself. And judging by what specs and iPhone 5 has to run all that crap, Toyota’s laggy hardware is not going to sustain all that work.

That may explain the delay and the fact Toyota said absolutely about when it will happen. The company probably needs new infotainment hardware. Otherwise it’s unnatural for the not that popular Hyundai to have it already. The ‘x-touch’ system on the new Aygo seems a bit more capable, so maybe it will be the first one to get CarPlay. Guess well just have to wait for it and see.
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