Column: CarPlay -- not perfect, but perfect for Apple
One of the more entertaining trends at CES 2014 involved automakers and in-car apps. The auto companies appeared somewhat desperate in their attempts to make new mobile tech features seem relevant and necessary, as essential as the functions we've come to expect from our smartphones.
Ford, for example, unveiled a pizza-delivery app, while Mercedes-Benz talked about taking Facebook mobile. GM announced that future cars would come LTE-equipped, and Audi demoed its very own tablet-based entertainment system. Each manufacturer wanted to show off its app store, even if apps themselves were in short supply.
To call most of this redundant would be to state the obvious: One hundred and fifty million Americans now own smartphones, which they generally carry with them into the car.
More importantly, embedding mobile technology into the car is a recipe for obsolescence. The average automobile on the road is 11 years old; the average smartphone was bought in the last 12 months.
So while your next car might seem pretty clever as you're driving it off the lot, rest assured that for the majority of its existence, it will be about as "smart" as that tattoo you got in college.