FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) launched a major initiative at the Geneva International Motor Show Monday in what's shaping up as the next battleground -- after the desktop and the pocket phone -- in the computer platform wars: The dashboard of your car.
In a press release and live demos with a trio of big-name automakers, Apple re-released and re-branded iOS in the Car, which it had announced only last June. The new name is CarPlay, a calculated marketing reference to AirPlay, Apple's proprietary system for streaming video, audio, photos and Web content from Apple devices to TVs and stereos.
Similarly, CarPlay will tap into a stack of Apple-owned technologies -- Siri, iTunes, Maps -- and its reputation for ease of use to differentiate Apple's offering from its chief competitors: Google's (GOOG) Open Automotive Alliance, introduced in January, Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Embedded Automotive, now in its 8th version, and the GENIVI Alliance, a nonprofit compliance program based on Linux.
CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car's native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri® without distraction.
Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.
Apple's line-up of partners puts it ahead of the pack -- even Microsoft, which has been in the car OS market since 1998. Since the Guardian published the attached checklist in January, Ford (F) announced that it has dropped Windows Embedded Automotive in favor of BlackBerry's (BBRY) QNX.
Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5.
Get out your handkerchiefs for Apple's annual holiday "home movie."
FORTUNE -- What would the holidays be without a sentimental Christmas ad from Apple (AAPL)?
This one, titled Misunderstood, is a movie about a movie that was shot on an iPhone 5S and presented via Apple TV and AirPlay by the fictional Harris family's teenage son. The title is not explained. Perhaps it's a given that all teenage sons feel misunderstood, especially MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Dec 17, 2013 7:37 AM ET
Is Google's $35 dongle a match for Apple's $99 set top box? The Verge's tale of the tape.
FORTUNE -- Google (GOOG) took another crack at television this week, having failed to get much traction with the Google TV solution it introduced three years ago.
The new entrant is a $35 dongle called Chromecast that plugs into the HDMI port of a high-definition TV and receives audio and video content streamed over MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 26, 2013 6:50 AM ET
Those TV spots are No. 1 in Jon Friedman's list of ways the phone can regain its "swagger"
You might think that Apple (AAPL) would know best how to promote its own products.
You would be wrong, according to Jon Friedman, the media columnist for Dow Jones' (NWS) MediaWatch. His Monday offering starts with the premise that the iPhone has lost its "swagger," and then helpfully offers seven ways the company can MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 11, 2011 11:48 AM ET
Steve Jobs may have found a way to get TV makers to put Apple's technology in their sets
Apple (AAPL) is talking to television makers about building a new generation of HDTV sets with Apple TV technology built in.
That's the thrust of the report Bloomberg posted Wednesday that cites "two people familiar with the project" and quotes a Pioneer vice president on the record as saying "Apple connectivity in AirPlay is MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 24, 2011 8:08 AM ET
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