Upcoming iterations of Apple’s CarPlay may make fuller use of Siri and Maps

Future versions of Apple’s CarPlay may take the use of Siri, Apple’s digital personal assistant, to a new level and which works better with the company’s Maps app. The company has been granted a patent (number 9,230,556) by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for “voice instructions during navigation.”

According to Apple, CarPlay is the “smarter, safer and more fun way” to use an iPhone in your car. It gives iPhone users a way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can 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, says Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing.

The invention is for a method of providing navigation on an electronic device — that would be an iPhone or iPad — when the display screen is locked. The method receives a verbal request to start navigation while the display is locked. The method identifies a route from a current location to a destination based on your spoken request. 

While the display screen is locked, the method provides navigational directions on the electronic device from the current location of the iOS device to the destination. You’ll also be able to use Siri to ask for directions. This method receives a navigation-related verbal search request and prepares a sequential list of the search results based on your request. 

Your iOS device, through CarPlay, then provides audible information to present a search result from the sequential list. It presents the search results in a batch form until you select a search result, quit the search, or the search items are exhausted.

Many map-based applications available are designed for a variety of different devices (e.g., desktops, laptops, tablet devices, smartphones, handheld global positioning system (GPS) receivers, etc.) and for various different purposes (e.g., navigation, browsing, sports, etc.). Maps is available on OS X and iOS devices. Most of these applications generate displays of a map based on map data that describes relative locations of streets, highways, points of interest, etc., in the map. 

The maps used in such applications are usually two-dimensional (2D) maps or three-dimensional (3D) maps. However, Apple says that a large number of the apps use 2D maps due in part to the processing-intensive demands of viewing 3D maps. For the same reason, the applications that use 3D maps are often slow, inefficient, plain, and/or simple, to the point that renders the application useless. Apple plans on changing that.