Apple enlists TomTom as Siri heads for cars
The GPS service will be a boon for Apple's new Eyes Free feature on iOS 6 that allows drivers to ask for directions and makes calls using only their voice.
Tue, Jun 12 2012 at 3:10 PM
TOMTOM MEET SIRI: A TomTom GPS device in 2008. TomTom is supplying Apple with maps-related data as Apple launches its own maps and navigation apps. (Photo: Jens Schlueter/AFP)
SAN FRANCISCO — In-car navigation firm TomTom on June 12 said it has inked a deal to provide map information to Apple, which a day earlier introduced its own mapping service for iPhones and iPads.
"TomTom has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information," the Dutch firm said in a statement, without elaborating.
Apple on June 11 showcased modifications to its mobile device operating software that included kicking Google Maps to the curb and replacing it with a customized mapping program.
During a presentation at the start of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple said that it is working with car makers to build Siri artificial intelligence technology into voice control systems in automobiles.
"Through the voice command button on your steering wheel, you'll be able to ask Siri questions without taking your eyes off the road," Apple said at a website page describing improvements coming with the iOS 6 operating system.
"With the Eyes Free feature, ask Siri to call people, select and play music, hear and compose text messages, use Maps and get directions, read your notifications, find calendar information, add reminders, and more."
Siri, which debuted with the iPhone 4S, is being extended to recent-generation iPads.
Eyes Free mode enables people to interact with iPhones "using nothing more than your voice," according to Apple.
Copyright 2012 AFP Global Edition