Some level of smartphone connectivity is standard on nearly every new car, but Toyota appears to be the first to implement the Car Connectivity Consortium's MirrorLink protocol in their iQ later this year. Besides playing music and making calls through the vehicle's infotainment system, the display on the connected smartphone will be mirrored on the iQ's larger seven inch touchscreen, making it easier to navigate the UI while driving.
Users with Nokia handsets will be able to connect to the Touch Life system using the Nokia Car Mode app available from their app store for devices running Symbian Belle. While the car is in motion the app provides a simplified version of the phone's UI, making it easier for a driver to place or take calls and operate the navigation and multimedia functions. But when the car is stationary, the Touch Life system then provides access to all of the phone's functionality, including the ability to use shortcut gestures on the larger touchscreen.
iPhone users running iOS 4 or later will have to download the Application Launcher app to connect their handsets to the the system. Which then provides remote access to navigation apps, internet radio and even social media like Facebook and Twitter. In both situations a set of steering wheel based controls also provide a safer way for drivers to control music playback and make calls, without taking their eyes off the road. But since the press release is only showing up on Toyota's European site, it's not known when the system will start showing up in North American vehicles. [Toyota via Engadget]