“When Apple previewed CarPlay earlier this week it set gearheads’ pulses racing. It also made some developers green with envy. That’s because Apple chose to only bless four third-party developers with access to CarPlay ahead of its launch. I spoke to one of them to see what it’s all about,” Michael Grothaus reports for FastCompnay. “The lucky third parties who have access to that private API are Spotify, Beats Radio, iHeartRadio, and Stitcher. It’s of course easy to see what all these apps have in common: They stream music and can be seen as the successor to ‘old fashioned’ radio. Brian Lakamp, president of Digital for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, oversees subsidiary iHeartRadio, and agreed to speak with me about his early experience integrating with CarPlay.”

“‘Apple is pretty selective about how they disclose information,’ says Lakamp. ‘Apple made us aware of the opportunity. We were enthusiastic to participate and then worked closely with them to build the demo that they just demoed in Geneva,'” Grothaus reports. “Lakamp wouldn’t reveal when Apple approached the company, but he says that once they did and iHeartRadio signed on, developing a CarPlay-compatible iHeartRadio app wasn’t a major coding challenge–mainly because Apple did a good job with the API allowing developers to add CarPlay support to their existing apps instead of having to make new, dedicated versions. ‘The way that Apple constructed this is a relatively thin layer that we need to build to copy existing apps that move some of the control and command structure to the console,’ Lakamp says. ‘Then the console simply acts as a remote control to your app. It was a relatively light integration.'”

“The reasoning behind the limited access, according to an Apple employee with knowledge of the plans who spoke to me on the condition of anonymity, is because Apple wants to go ‘slow and steady’ with CarPlay,” Grothaus reports. “The employee stressed safety behind the wheel was a major concern, but wouldn’t comment if more developers might get access to CarPlay’s private APIs once iOS 7.1 ships. We may have to wait for WWDC in June to find out.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

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