When it comes to infotainment and mobile operating systems, Android may have become the auto industry's Chosen One, but Apple still has plans to conquer the world's dashboards. Details about those plans remain fuzzy, but according to Mashable, some images of its auto-centric OS have now leaked to the web, hinting at what's to come.
Every summer, Apple brings together developers, tech nerds, and the media for its annual Worldwide Developers Conference. At the June 2013 event, Apple announced a new product called "iOS in the Car", a modified version of Apple's mobile operating system that will allow users to quickly and easily integrate their iPhones with the infotainment systems found in their cars.
Apple Vice President Eddy Cue said that iOS in the Car would roll out as an option for new-car buyers in 2014, and that the list of brands set to carry the service ranged from Ford and Honda to Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. We were also told that iOS in the Car would make full use of Siri and her/his often-dodgy speech-recognition software.
In the seven months since Cue's presentation, though, we haven't heard much at all about iOS in the Car -- and frankly, we still haven't. In fact, Apple's page devoted to iOS7 looks the same today as it did last summer. But now, we at least have a few screenshots of the operating system in action, courtesy of developer Steven Troughton-Smith.
Yesterday, Troughton-Smith posted several images of iOS in the Car to his Twitter account. (There's one above, with others here and here.) Apple hasn't commented on the images, but sources suggest that they're accurate screencaps from the company's iOS simulator, used by developers.
To us, the images are a bit of a letdown. Apple's official shots of iOS in the Car look clean and easy-to-read, which is obviously very important for drivers. Troughton-Smith's shots, however, show a more cluttered screen, with buttons and displays that seem unnecessary or ill-placed. Does Apple really need that vertical navbar on the left? Maybe, but let's hope not. For users with smaller display screens on their center stacks, less clutter means less time that they'll spend hurtling down the highway with their eyes off the road.
And don't even get us started on that center-aligned text. Siri, call Jony Ive, pronto.