On Monday 5th June, Apple had its keynote that kicked off its annual World Wide Developer Conference – WWDC. To me, this is a great time in the year for Apple to lay up new features for its CarPlay platform. A time to showcase new apps, improvements and perhaps give more insight to its rather illusive Wireless CarPlay technology.
Sadly, CarPlay was only mentioned once throughout the keynote, and that was during Apple’s showcase of iOS 11 and the improvements with their Maps app.
Any kind of juicy CarPlay details were kept very thin, but there are some bits we can take away from this year’s WWDC.
Apple Maps – Lane Guidance
Apple showed a brief look at upcoming features for its Maps app in iOS 11. Lane guidance is their first new feature in Maps. This is a feature that was greatly missed in Maps and is a welcome addition.
Apple Maps – Speed Limits
The second major feature shown in Apple Maps was speed limits, which displays the speed limit of the road you are currently driving on. Again, this is something covered in other navigation apps, like Waze, and is a welcome improvement to Apple’s own app. I am sure support for speed limits and lane switching will be a roll our feature around the world. We will see when the public beta launches later this month.
Do Not Disturb While Driving
CarPlay is Apple’s safest way to interact with iOS apps whilst driving, albeit a limited one. However this hasn’t stopped Apple from supporting owners who do not have Apple CarPlay. In iOS 11 Apple has created a new way to detect that you are driving, by using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and motion detection to measure that you are driving in the car. Once detected, the screen is blank and notifications will be blocked, whilst automatic responses can we sent back to people contacting you via Apples Messages app.
App Notification Badges in Dock & Resized Active App
Two new improvements that have been pointed out by @chrisgaffka, @bmarriner1990 on Twitter and Bart on Facebook (thanks guys) shows the presence of notification badges on apps that reside on the last used apps section in the side dock. Currently in Beta 1 of iOS 11 there is no number in the notification bad, which could be intensional, as Apple may not want you looking over at the tiny badge to read the number inside it. We could see the number in the badge appear in newer versions of the Beta, as we have a number of months until the final release of iOS 11.
Also you’ll notice the currently active app in the side dock is also slightly larger, at the top of the stack, which is a simple way to display which app is active at the moment, although we all know the top one is. Sadly, it still looks like Apple Maps takes priority in the stack.
Users of the new Apple Maps in beta are reporting, as expected, that it is currently a little unstable. Also that clicking the black ETA bar at the top will switch between advanced and simple navigation UI. Dynamically tracked delays on routes are also shown with times at certain points along your journey. Other than that, there isn’t much noticeable differences to iOS 10 Apple Maps. The small 50 in the second screen above shows speed limits, possibly under advanced UI mode, compared to the simple rather large display in the previous screenshot. No audible or visual warning is heard or seen when you go over the stated speed limit. So it seems there is still lots to improve with Apple Maps until its launch later this year.