In-Car Tech

Apple WWDC: Apple CarPlay gets minor updates

Apple is revamping its CarPlay system as part of a larger iOS 14 upgrade.

Photo courtesy of Apple

Apple isn't giving its CarPlay technology a full redo, but it is getting some upgrades this year. The move comes as competition between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay grows stronger in light of rapid product evolution within the companies and their products that are designed to interact with vehicles.

Apple CarPlay is available in 97 percent of the new cars sold in the U.S. and 80 percent of the new cars sold worldwide.

2021 BMW 5 Series The iOS 13 version of Apple CarPlay is shown here.Photo courtesy of BMW

Apple CarPlay was introduced in 2013. It currently allows for phone, Apple Music, Apple Maps, calendar, messages, AudioBooks, and podcast functionality.Apple CarPlay users will have more than light or dark modes to choose from. They'll be getting new wallpaper options with multicolor backgrounds that look similar to default background options on Apple's iOS system.

Additionally, Apple has introduced three new types of apps for parking, ordering food, and electric vehicle charging. Those types join the roster of four categories that are currently available including audio, navigation (including Waze), automaker (vehicle-specific controls), and messaging/voice over IP (VOIP).

Users can utilize Apple CarPlay functionality via a cord or wireless connection, depending on what their vehicle allows.

The area of the system devoted to electric vehicle charging is part of a larger electric vehicle component added to iOS 14 and announced today during the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

During WWDC, Apple also announced that BMW would be the first automaker to receive the ability to use Apple's phone-as-key technology.

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The 2022 Lexus ES will debut next week.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

The meat and potatoes of the Lexus sedan lineup, the ES, is due for a refresh, and it will get one. The 2022 Lexus ES will be shown publicly for the first time this Sunday as part of the festivities of the Shanghai auto show.

While the photo doesn't tell a lot, there's some things you can bet on in the 2022 ES. For starters, look for all the improvements that the auto has gotten over the last two years to carry over into the new model. That includes the addition of all-wheel drive to the lineup and standard blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert.

The ES Black Line may not make its way to the 2022 version of the midsize sedan. Generally, blacked out editions are available only at the tail end of a model run ahead of a refresh or generational redesign. However, the blacked out elements could become available as part of a package.

The headlight photo that Lexus has offered as a teaser shows a housing that is not dissimilar to the one that the Lexus IS wears. However, the daytime running light is on the bottom here, instead off the top. Like the IS, there are strong hood lines.

At the back, the preview video shows a vehicle that is very similar to the current model. It's taillights, a strong chrome line that runs the width of the year, and rear lip spoiler all look mostly same as before.

As for what to expect underneath the body of the car, there's not a lot of indication from the teasers, which leads one to believe that's where the biggest changes are coming. There's a good chance that we'll finally say goodbye to the Lexus touch pad in favor of a touch screen display that's within a comfortable distance.

It's also likely that Lexus will fine tune the dynamics of the ES in a similar fashion to how the Lexus IS got more performance-focused driving dynamics in its latest redo.

Stay tuned for more specifics are the curtain is pulled back on April 19 in China (April 18 in the U.S.).

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The Breitling Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition is inspired by vintage watches from the 1940s.

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

A limited collection of just 25 timepieces is designed to infuse the style and elegance of the 1940s with modern chronograph technology. The new Breitling Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition launches this month.

The wristwatch is a fresh take on the original Breitling Premier watches of the 40s. It features a 42 millimeter case wrapped in 18 karat red gold with rectangular chronograph pushers, a gold-brown alligator strap, and a transparent sapphire caseback that reveals the movement of its 22-karat gold oscillating weight.

A release from the company details that the. distinctive green dial, reminiscent of the British racing green, is the highlight of the piece. The Breitling-Bentley partnership has used similar coloring in other endeavors.

Premier B21 Chronograph Tourbillon 42 Bentley Limited Edition

Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors

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The timepiece is powered by the Manufacture Caliber B21. The COSC-certified tourbillon movement offers around 55 hours of power reserve and is water-resistant up to 100 meters.

The partnership between Bentley and Beitling is a few decades old but the passion for the combination of Breitling timepieces and luxury cars goes back much further. Willy Breitling, the grandson of the brand's founder Léon Breitling, was a passionate Bentley driver. He patented the chronograph with two independent pushers at 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock in 1934. In 1940 he designed the original Premier wristwatches, the company's first link that moved them from pure purpose to style. As Willy saw it, "When a man puts on his watch, it is the unmistakeable stamp of impeccable taste."

The watch has a $52,000 starting MSRP.

Late last year, Bentley showed off its branded specialty watches, which were developed in partnership with Jacob the Jeweler. The timepieces from the Jacob & Co. x Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon collection bring together the feeling evoked by the raw power of the Chiron super sports car and the artistry of its design into a timepiece.

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