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Hands-on: iOS 9.3, CarPlay, and the Chevy Volt are firing on all cylinders

Susie Ochs | April 15, 2016
The 2016 Chevy Volt has the best CarPlay screen we've tried yet, and the new additions to Maps and Apple Music in iOS 9.3 are most welcome, even if a little overdue.

2016 chevrolet volt row heavy machinery
Chevrolet designed the 2016 Volt to look and feel more mainstream. Credit: Melissa Riofrio

I was also impressed with how many sensors the Volt has. It could tell if I left the keys inside, and beeped to warn me. (The “key” is really just a fob, and to start the car you just need to have the fob nearby and press a glowing blue button on the dash.) The headlights came on automatically when it got dark. A dashboard indicator showed if I was following the car in front of me too closely, and little lights blinked on each side-view mirror if a car in the next lane was riding in my blind spot.

Maybe if your car is newer than my 2006 Subaru wagon, these features won’t sound so futuristic to you. But something about having a partially electric car talking to me with Siri’s voice—complete with an iOS app for locking, unlocking, diagnostics, and even remote startup—got me wondering how Apple might approach streamlining the typical car dashboard and overhauling the driving experience. And I guess I’m not the only one.

Have you taken the CarPlay plunge yet? Or are you just fine with connecting your iPhone to your car’s plain old stereo over Bluetooth or USB? (At least you don’t have to wait for new features to trickle down to CarPlay.) Let us know what you think about CarPlay in the comments.

 

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