Malaysians really love their smartphones and it’s common to see most drivers rely on it for navigation and messaging (not supposed to) purposes. For a more connected hands-free drive, there’s Android Auto for Android smartphones and Apple CarPlay for those with an iPhone. Unfortunately, you don’t often see them included as standard when you buy a brand new car in Malaysia.
Naza Kia is about to launch the latest Kia Picanto in Malaysia next week which will support these two connected in-car interfaces. This is their compact A-segment car and it appears to be the most affordable brand new car you can get with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support in the country.
BFM has beaten everyone to the punch and is the first Malaysian company to launch an iOS app that works with Apple CarPlay. Yep, it’s the company that owns and operates BFM 89.9. Here’s what you can do with it.
Apple claims CarPlay, its in-car infotainment system, is like “iOS in a car” but unbeknownst to many CarPlay doesn’t run on iOS at all.
The CarPlay system uses Siri extensively to communicate with the driver allowing you to control run applications, control playlists and receive notifications hand-free. Naturally for the system to work, you will have to connect CarPlay to an iPhone or iPad and while it interfaces with iOS devices, CarPlay runs on QNX, an operating system owned by BlackBerry and is the base of the BlackBerry 10 operating system. Apple is even listed as a strategic partner in automotive on QNX’s website.
So why not iOS in CarPlay? A simple assumption, the iOS is Apple’s mobile platform and CarPlay is not a part of that. Instead, CarPlay suplements iOS devices allowing users to extend the capabilities of the iPhone and iPad into the car.
But why QNX? Well it’s the natural choice for such an advance in-car infotainment system — that’s QNX’s forte. Before being re-purposed into a mobile operating system by BlackBerry, QNX was specifically developed as a powerful and flexible operating system for embedded devices like in-car entertainment systems.
BlackBerry may be struggling in the mobile space but in Apple’s CarPlay, the once leader in smartphones, finds an unlikely success story.
Head on over to after the jump to see Volvo’s installation of CarPlay in their cars.