Changed my mind. The next Apple product should be the iCar …

… an in-dash car entertainment, communication and navigation system.

I was reading about the beta firmware 2.1 for the iPhone, iPhone 3G and iPod Touch and it seems we will be getting turn-by-turn direction in the Google Maps iPhone application.

Now just imagine a standard in-dash unit which at the press of the finger would reveal an touch sensitive LCD screen, controlling what would essentially be the electronic of an iPhone. Add some radio DAB/FM/AM circuitry – similar to the Apple FM iPod remote for the iPod 4G – and optionally a connector for a boot CD changer, and you’ll get the ultimate in-car entertainment (featuring iPod music, video, podcasts, TV series and Movies), communication (with Bluetooth for headphones, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, Wi-fi) and navigation (using Google Maps) solution.

Let’s call it “iCar”, as I couldn’t find a better codename.

With iCar you will be able to drive in town and have restaurants, hotels, museum, night clubs, gas stations, and other points of interest informations pulled from the internet using 3G or Wi-fi internet connection and displayed live on your moving map. Click theirs icons for turn-by-turn driving directions, rating, comments, menus, calling them or send them a message.

Park the car and wait a few seconds for download and watch pictures from MobileMe Galleries and Flickr taken around your car location do a nice slide show. This thanks to your GPS and the localization feature of the iPhone.

When listening a cool song on the DAB or FM radio, a button will trigger Shazam (or an Apple equivalent) and offer you to buy the track, music video or complete album from the iTunes Music Store. After waiting a few seconds to download a track over 3G, you’ll be able to listen to it forever.

When not driving, watch podcasts, videos, tv series, movies, … all on the beautiful LCD screen.

Park your car within Wi-fi distance of your home computer and sync your iTunes media with your iCar automagically, just like with an Apple TV. For those unable to park their computer so close, an iPod connector will permit connecting any iPod or iPhone and syncing media down to the drive or transfer purchases done on the iCar back to your iPod.

Thanks to MobileMe, iCar will also sync over-the-air with your email, calendar and address book. Great to have a look at your agenda without getting your iPhone out of your pocket. But even better, you’ll have only one finger touch to get your driving direction for a contact in your address book, or the next meeting in your calendar!

With Apple Speech Recognition, and Text to Speech technologies currently included in Mac OS X, you’ll be able to ask verbally your Apple iCar to read your day’s agenda aloud, or your latest emails. You’ll even be able to dictate short messages and emails.

This would be a revolutionary product and an entirely new platform for third party application developers. A specific App Store would allow downloading applications to iCar over-the-air. Facebook will release an app that will locate your friends (those who agree) on the map, thanks to their iPhone and iCars GPS. Trip advisor will release an application that allow sharing reviews and rating for any place around your car. Apple will release Remote, an application that allow locking your car remotely and driving it from a distance for Batman like performance 😉

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