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Apple’s CarPlay brings Siri to your car

Apple is pushing its iPhone ecosystem into automobiles. CarPlay will be available in a few new cars, but it can be added to other vehicles by installing a compatible aftermarket radio.

CarPlay is supposed to offer a safer way to access functions like getting directions, making calls and messaging on your iPhone while in a car. A number of music apps will eventually be available on CarPlay, but don’t expect apps like Facebook, YouTube and other apps with potentially distracting content for safety and legal reasons.

Cars that sold with CarPlay will have integrated controls on the steering wheel or the dash. CarPlay supports touchscreen input, but Siri’s voice interface is being touted as the backbone for getting things done on the move.

CarPlay requires an iPhone 5, 5s or 5c running Apple’s latest software, iOS 7.1. It will not work with iPads.

How good is it? Associated Press technology writer Michael Liedtke found it flawless reading back incoming texts, composing and sending emails and playing music requests. It did stumble though on getting directions to a restaurant.

Newsobserver.com online producer Matthew Fortner blogs about tech products, hints, cool tools, geek chic and the tech-rageous. From consumer electronics to comic book heroes, you'll find it here. Twitter: @techjunkieblog.