Apple patent application reveals plans to take ‘iOS in the Car’ to whole new level

“On August 1, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new advances that could be coming to Apple’s new ‘iOS in the Car’ software in the future,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Today we learn that Apple has deeper integration plans to take ‘iOS in the Car’ to another level,” Purcher reports. “Apple’s latest invention generally relates to in-vehicle self-configurable environments and more specifically to techniques and systems for storing configuration details in an iDevice like the iPhone.”

Purcher reports, “The new system will allow a future iPhone user to control their in-vehicle settings for power seats, mirrors, climate control, radio and more. Once set, the iPhone will be able to control settings even for a rented car. Apple envisions this software to eventually apply to a user’s home environment and beyond.”

Much more, including Apple’s patent application illustrations and diagrams, in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. I expected IOS for Car to personalise my car according to who was driving it ( triggered by their iPhone ), but to extend this principle to compatible rental cars would be a huge advance.

    I look forward to finding out more about the details when it actually launches.

    1. Actually, there is a nice safety aspect to this. Every time I get in a rental I have to find out how to set all of these things. It would be nice especially if the mirrors self adjusted. Sometimes I forget till I’m on the road and need to see something.

  2. Phase one of Apple’s iOS for the Car we know of. Phase two is off to a good start. What we’d really like as a feature is an anti-radar technology so that we can actually enjoy our new cars at speeds that are fun. Are you listening Jony?

  3. This is clearly one area where Apple is really leading the field and generally beneath the radar to. From Apples point of view this is an area that if/when they own will be very difficult for others to penetrate, as the technology will be deeply and increasingly woven into the vehicle itself in ever more complex, integrated ways. And that will encourage buyers to use similar and associated technology especially in the communication field. It may not be glamorous at present but ultimately this could be the perfect big new platform that so called analysts demand but cant see developing before their very eyes. No wonder Apple are not advertising their moves for when others take notice the game will be over in cars. And once cars are a hub it is natural to use the same technology everywhere in houses, hotels, ships and aircraft and of course the work place. A great out flanking move.

  4. The juxtaposition of cars and iPhones is very interesting. Cars are much more expensive but the design cycle is much longer and the lifetime of a car is much longer and relatively few cars of any given model are sold compared to iPhones. It would solve a lot of problems if the iPhone, which is updated frequently, carried a lot of the intelligence and data and the car mostly just had an interface. A five or ten year old car would still operate in a familiar manner with a new iPhone.

    Obviously there are a lot of issues. Could someone hack in while you are driving? What if your battery dies? What if you don’t have an iPhone, can you still operate the car? Probably many more. Solvable with effort.

    1. I think you have touched upon a very important aspect there.

      The design cycle of a car is several years and the operational life is expected to be in excess of ten years. What Apple can offer is a platform that is well established and proven, with the expectation of being around far into the future. If you look at the alternatives, there are rumours about Google becoming less committed to Android, so what of the future for Android ? Microsoft have already demonstrated their competence with Ford Sync and it’s a huge turkey. Only Apple can offer a solid and versatile solution with a guaranteed future.

      If you look under the surface of any Apple technology, they go to a lot of trouble to make it flexible and scalable. They don’t simply come up with a solution just for today, but a solution that will be relevant for many years to come. That’s exactly what carmakers need.

      The Lightning connector is a great example of how Apple works. It’s only a 9 pin connector, but the functions of those pins can be reconfigured by software for purposes that might not currently even exist on drawing boards.

      What Apple could offer isn’t just one solution to be imposed the same way on every car, but an ecosystem which car manufacturers can adapt to suit their particular needs, using an architecture, protocols and an interface that will be standardised throughout the industry.

  5. Call me when Apple announces a heads-up display for autos. We old guys could use some help watching all the little clocks and lights while paying attention to the road.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.