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What are Apple and Ferrari up to? UPDATE #2
Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT) and Sonic LTZ and RS will integrate Siri, the intelligent assistant that helps get things done just by asking.  Those who use Apple devices know how much better Siri has become with the latest iteration
Well it appears Apple is entering the automotive market even before they put an entire iPad Mini in car dashboards.  Early next year, the Chevrolet Spark (1LT, 2LT) and Sonic LTZ and RS will integrate Siri, the intelligent assistant that helps get things done just by asking. Chevrolet made the announcement today at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Through the cars’ standard Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, customers with a compatible iPhone* running iOS 6 can direct Siri to perform a number of tasks while they safely keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. To further minimize distraction, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further with an Eyes Free mode that enables users to interact with their iPhone using nothing more than their voice while keeping the device’s screen from lighting up.

Owners simply connect their iPhone with the MyLink radio via Bluetooth, pair with the system, and use the steering wheel voice activation button to begin and end sessions with Siri in Eyes Free mode.

In the Spark and Sonic RS, owners can use Siri in Eyes Free mode to:

  • Make voice-activated, hands-free calls to Contacts on their iPhone
  • Play songs in the iTunes library, and even switch music sources automatically from AM/FM/XM radio to iPod mode
  • Listen to, and compose and send an iMessage or text message to a phone number or anyone in saved Contacts
  • Access Calendar and add appointments
  • Minimize distraction even more by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up, even when Siri answers simple questions such as game scores or the dates of national holidays
  • While in Eyes Free mode, Siri will not provide answers to complex questions that require displaying a web page.

“It says a lot about our commitment to small-car customers that Chevrolet has announced that Siri Eyes Free capability will be available in the Spark and Sonic well before the luxury brands,” said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars. “Safe, easy, reliable and portable connectivity is a top priority for our customers, and Siri complements MyLink’s existing capabilities to help deliver an incredible driving experience.”

11/12/12 A recent review in Motor Trend Magazine blasted the blatantly obvious Dodge/Chrysler corp stereo/nav unit in a late model Ferrari.  For a vehicle costing an amount that less than the minority of the 1% can afford, you should have something sharper in the dash......which is where the iPad Mini comes in.

11/11/12 There was an interesting news snippet this week; the announcement that Apple’s head of Internet software and services, Eddie Cue, has joined the board of Ferrari.

There has been speculation about what this might be leading towards, with some suggesting that Apple is interested in the “Connected car” concept, whereby services available in the home will become available in the car, thanks to improved 3g and 4g connectivity.

There is also much for Ferrari to gain in terms of reaching its enormous fan base worldwide with content and raising revenues from it, as Cue has extensive experience of Apple’s ITunes platform. He is also currently in charge of its Siri and Apple Mapping divisions.

“I am pleased and proud to become a member of the board,” Cue said. “I have personally dreamed of owning a Ferrari since I was 8 years old and have been lucky to be an owner for the past 5 years. I continue to be awed by the world-class design and engineering that only Ferrari can do.”

“I am delighted that Eddy Cue, one of the main driving forces behind Apple’s range of revolutionary products, has now joined our board,” said Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo. “His huge experience in the dynamic, innovative world of the Internet will be of great assistance to us.”

The superstar of the global tech business, Apple has had a tough time lately, by its own high standards. It’s share of global tablet sales has fallen in the face of stiff competition, while the share price is down from its peak at $700 to $550. And there is a storm in the US, as it was revealed that the company paid taxes of only 1.9% on its non-US earnings last year.

This latest move is bound to lead to something interesting and may ultimately lead Apple to F1. James Allen

[Editor's Note: Apple has intentions of putting the iPad Mini in the dashboard of cars, replacing the current navigation screens.  According to AR1.com sources Apple hired automotive engineers a year ago and the rumor is that are working on a version of the iPad Mini that will be superior to any existing in-dash units providing voice activated navigations, voice-to-text and text-to-voice email and instant messaging, search for nearby ATMs, banks, restaurants, control the HVAC, calculate things, tell you when you need service.......pretty much anything an iPad Mini can do and more.  The possibilities are endless.  Apple and Ferrari are high-end brands, a perfect marriage.  Look for Ferrari to get the first in-dash iPad Mini in the next year or two.]

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