Apple has updated iOS to v.7.1 compatible with CarPlay, shown here in a Volvo

Apple has updated iOS to v.7.1 compatible with CarPlay, shown here in a Volvo

Apple has introduced a new version 7.1 of its iOS software that adds CarPlay funtionality to its mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads.

The company said apps for use in the car have been 'reimagined' for use with voice and/or touch control and for compatibility with buttons dials and knobs in individual car models.

The 7.1 update also includes Apple's usual "bug fixes and improvements" and is available for download immediately.

Apple's consumer website highlights CarPlay use of its proprietary Maps app, phone and messaging function and music and promises the availability soon of more apps such as Spotify, Stitcher IHeartRadio, Beats Music and podcasts.

As well as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, as announced at the Geneva show last week, Apple's website says Honda and Hyunda models will also offer CarPlay this year.

Cars made by the BMW group, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel (which would include Vauxhall here in the UK), PSA Peugeot Citroen, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota are "future models" from "committed partners".

CarPlay works with iPhone 5, 5C and 5S but application availability and features vary by country, Apple said.

It added: "iOS 7.1 is packed with interface refinements, bug fixes, improvements, and new features. Apple CarPlay introduces a better way to use iPhone while driving. And you can now control exactly how long Siri listens and more."

Device website pocket-lint.com, in a favourable review, said other changes had been made "to Siri, iTunes Radio, Calendar, some accessibility changes, and smaller tweaks like FaceTime call notifications [which] are automatically cleared when you answer a call on another device".