Toyota caves to pressure and adds CarPlay to new models

Many car manufacturers have joined the modern era by adopting Android Auto, Apple CarPlay or both, but not Toyota. It insisted on going its own way, and that has usually meant skipping its cars entirely if you cared about smartphone integration. Thankfully, the automaker has seen the light. The 2019 Avalon and future models (including Lexus vehicles) with an Entune 3.0 or Enform 2.0 system will support Apple CarPlay, letting you use the more sophisticated apps from your iPhone instead of making do with limited built-in features. CarPlay will be standard on all Avalon trim levels when the sedan goes on sale in late spring, although that’s no guarantee it’ll be standard on other models.

A spokesperson told MacRumors that CarPlay would initially be limited to US models, and that there’s no wireless option. Also, there’s no mention of Android Auto. If you carry an Android phone, you’ll have to use the Avalon’s Alexa voice control and smartwatch support. You do get Qi wireless charging and a WiFi hotspot feature, however.

Toyota hasn’t outlined pricing for the Avalon, but its role as Toyota’s flagship sedan suggests it won’t be trivial. As such, the car giant isn’t quite going toe-to-toe with smartphone-friendly rivals like Honda or Volkswagen, which offer Android Auto and CarPlay across a wide range of designs. It’ll be a while before you can get a seamless smartphone interface in a new Corolla. Even so, it’s good to know that the feature is at least on the horizon — this closes a gaping hole and lets you focus your buying decision more on driving dynamics and style than on in-car tech.

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Via: AppleInsider, MacRumors

Source: Toyota

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Honda’s 2018 Gold Wing is the first motorcycle with CarPlay

Most of the automakers announcing their adoption of Apple’s CarPlay have mentioned them in reference to cars, and for good reason: It only works with screens, which are starting to become widespread on new 4-wheeled vehicles. But on Tuesday, Honda revealed that the new edition of its Gold Wing touring motorcycle would become the first bike to use Apple’s iPhone-porting service.

The new Gold Wing displays CarPlay functionality that through a dash-mounted 7-inch LCD — but it’s not touch-sensitive. Riders will have to plug their iPhone in via USB in either the trunk or a compartment in the gas tank, according to Road Show, and then link up a Bluetooth headset to activate CarPlay (an Apple requirement). Then they can navigate through features via directional buttons on the left handlebar or, more awkwardly, via a keypad on top of the gas tank. Whew.

Still, awkward UX is often the fate of first adopters. If you want to be the cool kid on the moto block who can talk to their iPhone their bike while riding, the 2018 Gold Wing starts at $ 23,500.

Source: Honda

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Apple CarPlay now supports Google Play Music

If for some reason you’re an iOS and CarPlay user that also manages your tunes with Google Play Music, you’re in luck. Google’s music service is now compatible with Apple’s in-car system, which means you can control things from the safety of your car’s display rather than fiddle with your iPhone while on the road.

CarPlay already works with Apple Music, Amazon Music and Spotify, so it makes sense that Google would want to get its own service into rotation here. According to 9to5Google, Google Play Music for CarPlay has four main sections. You can view your recommendations on the Home screen, recently played tunes on Recents, your saved music catalog on Music Library and find genres and other collections on Stations. To get this fine feature, you only have to update your Google Play Music app on your iPhone and you’ll be good to go. You can also move the Play Music icon to your main CarPlay screen in the CarPlay Settings on your iPhone to make it even easier to access.

Source: 9to5Google

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Alpine’s latest receiver brings wireless CarPlay to all

Apple CarPlay has finally gone wireless. After debuting the technology at CES this year, Alpine is now shipping the iLX-107, the first CarPlay receiver with support for wireless connectivity. And considering the tech world’s general disdain for wires and cables, it’s a surprise it’s taken this long to reach the aftermarket.

The receiver (compatible with the iPhone 5 and later) lets CarPlay be accessed through the touchscreen and Siri voice control. You’ll get the full CarPlay experience: make calls, read texts, choose music and get real-time traffic updates. Plus, depending on your car you’ll get customized vehicle information too, such as park assist. There’s no longer any need for the proverbial Lightning cable: simply connect your phone via WiFi or Bluetooth.

While CarPlay receivers have been kicking around for a while, this is the first to support wireless connectivity — a function that began development in 2015 but didn’t find an infotainment home until late 2016 when it was added to the 2017 BMW 5 Series Sedan.

Despite growing demand for such systems, very few manufacturers have the tech built into their cars, so it’s still very much a novelty. Perhaps this is the argument for the iLX-107’s eye-watering $ 900 price tag.

Source: Cision

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