The big news in the tech world right now is the World Wide Developer's Conference which Apple just concluded. That's where the House that Jobs Built unveiled its latest operating systems for both computers and mobile devices, its latest laptop computer design and more. But what does this all have to do with cars, you ask? Plenty.
First off, Apple used the high-profile press conference extravaganza to announce the integration of its Siri voice service into cars, starting with nine automakers (among them the massive General Motors group) that will be putting a dedicated button on their steering wheels to allow drivers to activate the service on their iPhones and iPads without taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road. But that's not all that's of relevance to motorists from WWDC 2012.

Apple has also announced the launch of its own Maps application, replacing the Google Maps utility it had begrudgingly integrated into its devices until now. Resulting from Apple's acquisition of several erstwhile independent digital cartography operations, Maps aims to improve on the popular Google service with such features as spoken turn-by-turn directions with real-time ETA, smooth-scrolling 3D imaging, aerial flyover views of city centers and important landmarks, Siri integration and real-time traffic information.

The latter is reportedly crowdsourced anonymously from other users, leaving us with some questions regarding privacy issues. But we'll leave that to the guys with the tin-foil hats while we blissfully revel in Big Brother's latest offering to the masses. Follow the links below to see what Apple has in store in greater detail.


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  • 50 Comments
      CharlieSlasher
      • 2 Years Ago
      Noah, regarding your crowdsourcing and privacy issues of real-time traffic... do you think google maps' traffic data runs on magic? It is crowdsourced just like apple's will be.
      pompanonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      I guess FORD is the odd guy out here....... with that really bad "sync" system
      LEDfoot
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just so you know, the old Map app for iOS devices was also Apples application, they were using Google Maps as a source of map images and POIs. People would complain day in and day out that Google didn't bring their navigation to the iPhone but in reality it was always Apple who held that power and didn't do it. Now it is still Apples Map app, they are using TomTom as a provider instead of Google and they added navigation FINALLY.
      turbomonkey2k
      • 2 Years Ago
      Siri-usly pointless. For well over a year I've been able to tell my Android phone to "Navigate to - Address, Store Name, landmark" before I even get in the car. I slap the phone onto the dash mount and go. Why do I need to tell the car to tell the phone what to do?
        davebo357
        • 2 Years Ago
        @turbomonkey2k
        Well you see, you need to be able to touch a button on your steering wheel because tapping the screen of your phone will be illegal soon in America. That's distracted driving and will result in you running over a crosswalk full of children and cute baby ducks! Meanwhile I just got a new car and instead of a few stereo buttons that are easy to press it has this touch-screen that is so distracting I don't even bother listening to the music I want until I'm at a stop light.
        cms
        • 2 Years Ago
        @turbomonkey2k
        Well that's funny, every single time I've tried to use the "free" navigation on Android devices, all I get is basically a "Tough luck, this feature is useless here" message. Which is mostly all over the world.
          Lemon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @cms
          Google maps works great for me. I use the voice recognition and even with windows down and music up it picks it up word for word. I've had that for years now and love it.
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @cms
          Hmm, strange. I've yet to navigate to a location that it couldn't find, complete with a nice StreetView image of the destination as well. I'm certainly using mine more and more and my standalone GPS is getting less and less usage.
          turbomonkey2k
          • 2 Years Ago
          @cms
          My Tom Tom has been in the kitchen drawer for years since switching to Google nav.
      Bjorn
      • 2 Years Ago
      The cult of Apple moves one step closer... And I move two step farther.
      davebo357
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just what we need, more proprietary stuff in our cars. I hope that for all the people who don't buy Apple products, this button will serve some alternate function.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @davebo357
        [blocked]
        Bobby_Sards
        • 2 Years Ago
        @davebo357
        hes talkin about the Siri button being put in cars
        lucasgladding
        • 2 Years Ago
        @davebo357
        What makes you think it's proprietary? It looks like a button for voice control, distinct from the phone button.
          davebo357
          • 2 Years Ago
          @lucasgladding
          What makes me think it's proprietary is the article I'm commenting on. "Putting a dedicated button on their steering wheels to allow drivers to activate the service on their iPhones and iPads" Like I said, I HOPE it will serve an alternate function for other devices, but since the article only mentions one specific companies' products, that's all I really have to go on. You said yourself the button could be used to work with Siri or whichever system is available on that device, and if they let any person with any phone use that button then I've got no problem with it. What I don't want is some stupid smartphone/automaker partnership war where all Apple people buy BMW's and all Android people buy Cadillacs.
          lucasgladding
          • 2 Years Ago
          @lucasgladding
          http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2012/06/siriapplewwdc2012liveblog3777-1339439480.jpg In my Chevrolet, I push the phone button, then say "Bluetooth", then say "voice", then wait for the notification that I can speak the command. I don't know how it works in other cars, but I suspect the problem is similar with many manufacturers. Many cars have their own voice recognition, which then interacts through Bluetooth. This button could be used to bypass that system and work with Siri (or whichever system is available on that device). Aside: Seriously, are people down voted when there isn't an anti-Apple undertone, or is there a good reason?
          lucasgladding
          • 2 Years Ago
          @lucasgladding
          Point taken. Sometimes it's tough to separate the Apple and Google bashing from everything else. I haven't heard anything suggesting it's Apple-exclusive, so I strongly suspect you'll see other phones supported. I don't know much about how Bluetooth communicates with devices, but I suspect it would just be another message distinct from dial/answer. If that is the case, there would be nothing stopping Google and Microsoft from implementing their own solution. Apple may have a lot of pull, but I don't think even they could convince manufacturers to go iPhone-exclusive, especially when Android is as popular as it is.
      Jake
      • 2 Years Ago
      Welcome to 10 years ago?
        MONTEGOD7SS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jake
        All the Apple people will vote you down because they feel superior being part of the single digit percentages. Us Android users see this as a non-story, because we've always had free navigation. I just went from a 16GB to 32GB micro-SD card yesterday, how is it you can do that with an iPhone? Oh yeah, you can't do that either. :)
          KaiserWilhelm
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MONTEGOD7SS
          So I'm part of the ruling elite in this country because I bought an iPhone? Hmm I wasn't exactly feeling rich with the 42k I made last year. You are insane.
          Jake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MONTEGOD7SS
          I have an ipod 4th gen, not an iphone but the same OS, but the interface is over-simplified and kind of dated. It seem like to do anything useful, I have to connect it to my PC and use itunes. My GF has an iphone, and it just seems too simplified to me. I get the impression that the iphone is one of those products like the wii, people buy it because that is what they think they're supposed to buy and don't know that there is better stuff out there.
          lucasgladding
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MONTEGOD7SS
          Navigation interfaces are far from perfect. Apple might be late in the game, but that doesn't mean they don't have anything to add in usability.
          montoym
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MONTEGOD7SS
          I just had a similar conversation over the weekend with my iPhone using friend. We were all in my car and she was outnumbered 4 to 1 by Android users. She was defending her iPhone, but for every single thing she mentioned that her iPhone could do, we all agreed that our phones could do the same equally as well. In one area was she truly impressed by my Android was the turn-by-turn Nav. She apparently hadn't experienced it before and was truly impressed (she's surrounded by iPhone users most times apparently). Glad to see that Apple is finally upping their game a bit. Android has forced their hand several times and it's all the better for us consumers.
          MONTEGOD7SS
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MONTEGOD7SS
          Kaiser, not single digit wealth, market share. Apple has a roughly 10% market share, but don't forget that includes almost every school computer in the entire country. If you take them out, only a fraction of a percent of people actually pay their own money to the Evil Empire.
          Brandon Allen
          • 2 Years Ago
          @MONTEGOD7SS
          I have an iPhone, I argue against getting one every day for the reasons you stated.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jake
        Nobody had smart phones with gps 10 years ago.
          jonnybimmer
          • 2 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          @ Jake. Voice recognition systems 10 years ago existed in the same way as ABS existed in the 70s. Yeah they were around, but in such early stages they were near useless to use. Early MB COMAND systems anyone?
          Josh Lyon
          • 2 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          It's pretty amazing how fast technology moves... That being said, I was really surprised to find that there was a phone released in 1999 that had GPS integrated. http://www.gsmarena.com/benefon_esc!-44.php
          Jake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @KaiserWilhelm
          No, but have driven cars from long ago that had voice activate navigation with turn-by-turn and all that. But, I'm sure Apple with retroactively have invented it.
      4gasem
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looking forward to iOS6... SO much more than just turn by turn nav. There are some pretty cool ideas coming from the Jail Break community. This is why I love competition. It makes everyone stronger!
        Julius
        • 2 Years Ago
        @4gasem
        Just a "devil's advocate" thought - if iOS was so great, why would it need jailbreaking?
      TwoBits
      • 2 Years Ago
      Don't make this an iPhone/Android debate. For all the iPhone users out there, it just got better.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @TwoBits
        Maybe not because Waze is a great application. It is powered by TomTom and their devices and mapping service is utter garbage. Maps aren't always up to date, incorrect address locations, POIs are incorrect. I've never had a problem with Google Maps on any iOS or Android device.
      davebo357
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just what we need, more proprietary stuff in our cars. I hope that for all the people who don't buy Apple products, this button will serve some alternate function.
      Richard Hunter
      • 2 Years Ago
      Screw Apple....I'll just stick with my Droid...Better, Faster, and cheaper...Go Google...
        A.Hirigoyen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard Hunter
        Not better, and maybe faster till your operating system crashes or glitches. Almost all android and windows mobile based OS's do sooner than later. And cheaper yes, but it shows in the quality of the product. And honestly do you think Google cares? They've already proved to be a powerhouse. Consider the Galaxy Nexus, maybe not a complete success, but an offering none the less. Given time most companies will be given no choice but to cut them out and compete, unless Google fails to be competitive. It would seem silly to keep paying royalties to a company that could, potentially grow to push you out of the market.
          ngiotta
          • 2 Years Ago
          @A.Hirigoyen
          That's not true. My iPhone 3GS crashed ALL the time. My Wife's iPhone 4 crashes at least once a week. Yes-- they were both kept up to date. My HTC Evo has crashed once in almost 3 years-- and is still better than my Wife's much newer phone.
      Sox05
      • 2 Years Ago
      All the Apple haters can go F themselves! They make one the most beautiful products in the tech market. I'm a BIG fan of both Apple and Google and this is good news because it will force Google to make their navigation better then it will force Apple to improve theirs so on and so fourth.
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