Got a tip for us? Share it...

Volkswagen Debuts 'iBeetle' With iPhone Integration and Special Badging

Volkswagen has introduced a new version of the Beetle that "integrates" the iPhone into the vehicle. However, that integration amounts to little more than an iPhone dock on the dash, a Beetle app, and iBeetle badging on the car.

004 volkswagen ibeetle
Autoblog is unimpressed with the iBeetle, hoping for more from a car that VW says is "one of the first cars in the world to have a genuine integrative interface for the iPhone that was coordinated with Apple".
This is the kind of kit we expect to see as a bullet point on an option sheet, but instead, VW has made this dock+app an entire model by including special "Disc" wheels and iPhone-matching color schemes. The iBeetle will land on dealer lots in the US in 2014, but you can probably make something similar yourself today with an aftermarket dock and an iTunes gift card's worth of third-party apps.
The app does offer some unique features because it talks to the car while docked, getting information such as oil and coolant temperatures, a G-meter, and more. The iBeetle app allows users to send map-based postcards and to measure driving times and fuel economy to determine the best route to a destination.

The iBeetle will be available at the beginning of 2014 with preorders beginning in October.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

Posted: 13 months ago
Terrible placement. It should be more seamless than a dash-mount for your phone. Not to mention, what happens when the iPhone changes shape? Surely people keep cars longer than phones, no?
Rating: 4 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago
It's not a product. It's a feature.
(A feature that more and more cars will have, but a feature nonetheless.)
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago
iFail....
Rating: 3 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago
I wonder how much of a premium this is going to put on the car. It really is a pretty sorry implementation.

All auto manufacturers need to do is allow for bluetooth connection to their built-in system, so that any enabled device can work with it. Have a USB charging port available and a place to stow the device. Why is that so difficult?
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago
Looks more like a dung beetle to me.
Rating: 2 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago
What is with all this intergration? Facebook, and now iBeetle. This seems like the my choices to use my phone my way are being limited.

Phone integration is not a factor when choosing my next car.
Rating: 1 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago
Very poor effort VW. Almost cringe-worthy.
Rating: 1 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago
Let me just state the obvious. The iPhone should be an iPad Mini and should be integrated in the dash right where that other display already is!

This feels like a version 0.1 effort. Leading to exactly what I just said.

Rocketman
Rating: 1 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago

Would have been pretty cool if it used an iPad mini as the cars built in stereo.


Wired has a pretty good article that highlights the difficulty of doing just what you recommend. The product development cycles are just too disparate between automobiles and mobile tech.

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/04/siri-eyes-free-roadblock/ (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/04/siri-eyes-free-roadblock/)

Although I think the idea is novel, I'm not sure I would want to be an early adopter. My main concern: longevity. People are keeping their cars for longer periods of time. Would the infotainment be updated over a period of 2 years? 5? 7? My secondary concern involves said updates. If OS is fully integrated with the car, would a glitch in the update turn the car into a driveway lawn gnome? Too many unknowns.
Rating: 1 Positives
Posted: 13 months ago

iFail....


Still beats the MS SYNC system in my ford truck to smithereens I bet.
Rating: 1 Positives

[ Read All Comments ]