The car audio tech industry has been lacking for quite some years now! Slow sluggish interfaces, awkward button displacement (upper and lower console knobs buttons residing on the cars dashboard outside of the device at hand), little to no mobile device compatibility outside of iOS, and the lack of consistency between each car released has plagued in-dash head units as we know it to date. Google Android a house hold name for great mobile devices has teamed up with third party manufacturers to attempt a major overhaul solution for car audio tech. We now have some aftermarket major players to add into the mix so let’s tune in and find out what they have in store!
Android Auto is coming soon to new vehicles from 28 automakers and counting, but In-dash head unit manufacturers like Panasonic, Kenwood, and Pioneer to name a few are the first to announce their involvement with Android Auto as a third party involvement. So let’s crank this up a notch. CES 2015 – Android Auto, Google’s attempt in the car audio industry!
Has added a new demo unit to introduce Android Auto at its prime, this head unit is not for consumers to purchase and install in their personal vehicles but it’s a prototype that will be coming soon to several different car OEM manufacturers. With that said, specs and when we will see this in the wild are unknown at this time. What we do know is that it will be running Panasonic’s custom software of general car functionality plus support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. One thing to note is that off brand manufacturers can take advantage of this to bring a more rounded consistent experience.
A top competitor in the In-dash third party head unit department has announced a new auto audio consumption receiver for everyday automotive transportation. This device will soon be the first consumer ready device with support for both Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay. Sporting its custom UI as the foreground then transform when you add you’re mobile device to the mix. The model number is DDX9902S and supports a highly sensitivity touch screen, Bluetooth capabilities, SiriusXM, Pandora, and iHeartRadio integration out the box. Kenwood’s last statement was that pricing and shipping information is coming soon.
Pioneer: Is stepping up with 3 different variants that differs in touch screen technology and built in navigation features. Starting with AVIC-7100NEX has a non capacitive screen using a dated resistive touch sensitive display, AVH-4100NEX will be missing Pioneer’s proprietary mapping software (that’s where mobile mapping software shines) price tag $700USD, and last AVIC-8100NEX priced at $1,400USD respectively, but highly priced. You still get both Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay mashed up into one device, but now you have options when it comes to price. Hell they did release pricing information unlike the others mentioned above so keep that in mind. Each having 7-inch touch screen displays, Bluetooth compatibility, HDMI connectivity, and built-in microphone integration with your pre-installed steering wheel controls.
Third party manufacturer support is always welcome in my book when it comes to Automotive tech. When you can bring in cross platform consistency and variety you end up with a non complex environment. First of all this post is mainly tailored to Android Auto a new OS/UI in 2015. It’s really nice that Google stepped in to make a more unified ecosystem in the car audio industry. When your Android device is connected you still retain native navigation options, phone calling text and contact support, music play back, plus relevant Google Now card information all just a tap and swipe away. So how do you feel about having new tech at a finger tip reach when it comes to car audio technology? To me I wish we had this for the past 5 plus years now!
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