With today’s release of iOS 7.1, Apple has officially enabled CarPlay for recent iPhones (5, 5C and 5S models only) and vehicles that are equipped with the latest in Apple tech. What does Apple CarPlay do exactly? For starters, it’s the safest way to use your iPhone and key apps while you’re driving. CarPlay leverages your new car’s large display to provide directions, make calls, send or receive messages, or even just listen to your iTunes playlists, in much the same way you’re already used to. Control your iPhone’s apps via Siri voice control, or use your car’s knobs, buttons or touchscreens to handle things while still keeping your eyes on the road. For 2014, a handful of auto manufacturers are already on-board to support CarPlay, including: Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. And, there are more makes and models on the way. What’s unclear is, whether CarPlay will be an option or standard in vehicles and how the auto-manufacturers might deal with Android users. You have to wonder if Google has something in the pipeline too.

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