Honda Introduces New HondaLink Services which Boost iOS Car Integration
The Japanese car manufacturer, Honda, recently announced that the 2014 Civic and 2015 Fit will gain access to the company’s new Display Audio system, a 7-inch built-in touchscreen with functionality partially powered by Apple’s iPhone. For those of you who didn’t know, Display Audio represents the deepest integration seen from any car manufacturer between smartphones and in-vehicle infotainment systems. In addition to combining several now-standard phone-connected functions such as placing and receiving calls and messages over Bluetooth with a new pinch and swipe-able touchscreen user interface, Display Audio acts as a “second screen” for Honda’s suite of HondaLink apps.
The HondaLink suite consists of four apps: Connect, Navigation, Aha and Launcher. Connect powers most of Display Audio’s information search functionality, giving owners access to things like point-of-interest search, local weather, and maintenance reminders. Aha focuses on entertainment such as providing access to internet radio, in addition to the built-in Pandora integration, podcasts, audiobooks, news and Twitter and Facebook access. The Navigation app is the most interesting of the group, leveraging mapping data from Nokia. Navigation can be used outside of the vehicle to plan a trip and the route can be displayed and edited on the Display Audio touchscreen, with turn-by-turn announcements routed through the vehicle’s audio system once the user’s iPhone is plugged in.
The touchscreen itself seems to be a high-def capacitive model measuring 7 inches diagonally, which Honda says is among the largest in its class. Display Audio will also integrate Apple’s Siri Eyes Free mode, making the personal digital assistant a factory-installed option rather than the dealer-installed add-on Honda announced last month.
The Display Audio system is said to be compatible with Apple’s iPhone 5, 5C and 5S, which connect to the vehicle via a special cable. While not a full implementation of Apple’s iOS in the Car. Both Display Audio and the new HondaLink app represent a significant leap forward in smartphone-vehicle integration.
Honda held a Google Hangout to announce the technology, a session which can be found in the video below for those of you who are interested:
What do you think of the recently announced technology?