Nokia Car Mode for smartphones launched at IAA

Nokia Car Mode

The Nokia Car Mode app unveiled for in-car use makes its presence felt at IAA. This standalone app simplifies the use of the Nokia Drive (voice-guided car navigation with Nokia Maps) and gives access to traffic updates, music and voice calls when driving. MirrorLink is said to be gaining industry momentum, and thus Nokia Car Mode fully supports it.

The MirrorLink platform enables smartphone-to-car connectivity, and is driven by 20 major global brands within the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), claims the company. In-car displays, car controls and audio systems can be connected to the Nokia smartphone supported by the Car Mode app and the MirrorLink. This aggregates all the controls in one place and then the handset can be used via the car dashboard, providing easy functionality.

“MirrorLink and Nokia Car Mode are a big leap forward in allowing car drivers to access their favourite smartphone services,” states Floris van de Klashorst, Director Automotive Services of Nokia’s Location & Commerce business. “Via MirrorLink users have comfortable and safe access to maps, music and telephony on their phones when they’re in their cars even while driving. In the future, MirrorLink will enable plenty of other popular features since we’re only at the beginning of what we can do by linking smart devices with vehicles. We expect developers to come up with innovative new applications optimised for use in cars.”

Apart from the Nokia Car Mode app, for enhancing behind-the-wheels experience Alpine’s new ICS-X8, complete with a 7-inch display, was presented at IAA. The ICS-X8 is a unit to be mounted on the car’s dashboard and it enables MirrorLink and Bluetooth hands-free capabilities in supported cars. In order to enjoy their smartphone apps directly from the ICS-X8, users are required to connect them together.

The Nokia Car Mode, built with Qt, will be available for download from Nokia’s Ovi Store in Q4 2011 for Nokia smartphones based on Symbian Belle – such as the recently revealed Nokia 701, Nokia 700 and Nokia 600 – as well as the Nokia N9. The Alpine ICS-X8 will be available in November at Alpine authorized dealers.