It all started with the iPod. Then there was the iPhone, the iPad and the iTV. Well, buckle yourselves in, Apple fanboys and fangirls, because the iCar is set to arrive next year.
Apple and Volkswagen have partnered to create the iBeetle, a new line of the German automaker’s signature vehicle that's designed to fully integrate with the iPhone. The phone connects via a docking station and can be used for navigation, hands-free calling, music, messaging and even Facebook.
Alright, so it isn’t really a full-on "iCar" produced by Apple. But for now, it’s the closest we’re likely to get. Volkswagen is styling the car to match Apple’s sleek designs, with shades of gray, white and black. Apple fans will finally have a mode of transportation that complements their computers and mobile devices.
Other than the car’s design, the only other feature that really helps the iBeetle stand out from traditional Bluetooth connectivity is a special Volkswagen app. The app will incorporate Spotify, display the car’s vital information (oil, coolant, mileage, etc.), send messages with current location and compare driving times to determine optimal routes (for driving time and fuel economy). Photos can be taken from inside the car, and they can be posted to social networks and sent via messages.
While some of the features will be used less than others, it's nice to know that if you’re running late to work, you can always send a postcard proving you're on the way -- and follow it up with a picture that reveals how bad the traffic is.
The iBeetle was displayed at the Shanghai Auto Show this week. A press release says the car will be available to the public in early 2014.