As the year goes on, more and more automakers are announcing vehicles with Android Auto, and Honda joined the club today with the refreshed 2016 Accord.
The new Accord will be arriving soon at American dealerships (how soon, we're not sure), and it will be among the very first cars to ship with both Android Auto and Apple Car Play here in the US. Currently, no on-sale vehicle is offered with both, and some upcoming cars won't get both until dealer-installed software updates are made available.
The 2016 Accord is the second model to use Honda's new Android-powered infotainment experience (not to be confused with Android Auto), which proves to be a vast step up from previous iterations of Honda's system, with smooth 60FPS graphics and better performance overall. Read More
Luxe is a service that allows you to summon a valet to park your car when time or energy is low, something that many people probably won't consider using due to either reluctance to paying for this sort of thing or because they don't live in an area where it just isn't very hard to park for yourself. The name itself screams, "This is a want, not a need" (also, luxury). The service is launching something new called Drive Home in which their valets will drive you up to 50 miles to your own home and in your own car, which is targeted to keeping drunk or otherwise compromised drivers off the road. Read More
Pioneer has been the only company thus far to ship Android Auto-equipped aftermarket head units, but now Kenwood has made good on its previous announcement. The DDX9902S and DDX9702S are shipping to retailers, but the pricing will be obscene. Kenwood's MSRP on the units is $900 (DDX9702S) and $950 (DDX9902S).
These head units both have a 6.95-inch resistive (!) touchscreen, HD radio, HDMI input, CD/DVD, and SiriusXM support. Kenwood says they're the only receivers on the market that can switch between Android Auto and CarPlay without modifying any system settings, which is... important? Make sure your car supports double-DIN head units before you get too excited, though. Read More
An external USB-powered battery is not a complex piece of electronics. Generally it has energy input, energy output via a couple of standard USB ports, maybe a few LED lights for measuring the charge, and perhaps a flashlight if the manufacturer is feeling creative. But today's Amazon Gold Box deal includes a battery that can actually start your car. How's that for flexibility? The Anker gadget (an economical brand name we've come to trust) is going for $59.99, $100 off the retail price.
Technically I suppose this is a car starter that can also charge your gadgets via two USB ports (1 and 2.1 amps, if you're wondering). Read More
It has been nearly a year since Google announced Android Auto, and it's still available almost nowhere. No car companies have built the technology into their 2015 vehicles (though some may get a software update with support later), and only a handful of aftermarket head units have the software. So what's the deal? Is it worth getting excited for? I've finally gotten my hands on one of Pioneer's Android Auto units (the 8100NEX), and here's how I'm feeling about it after a few days.
We all know the perils of using a cell phone while driving. At best it's difficult and at worst it is incredibly dangerous. Still, sometimes we need to perform simple actions on our devices when behind the wheel. This basic problem has driven the development of Android Auto and various company-specific software and hardware to smooth things out. AutoMate is an Android app, now in beta, that is quite a bit easier than buying a new head unit. Rather, it delivers a cleaner, Android Auto-inspired interface designed to make on-the-road use easier.
You will probably notice that it looks a lot like Android Auto. Read More
Have you ever looked at your low-tech car audio system and wished your head unit could just be as smart as the phone in your pocket? Or maybe you have one of those fancy infotainment systems whose software tends to make the HTC G1 look futuristic by comparison. Well, an automaker finally decided to acknowledge that it's easier to use the hardware that the customer already has than build something newer and more expensive that won't do any better. Which manufacturer decided to do it? It's the same people who brought you this:
Yep, smart, of smart car fame and subsidiary of Daimler AG, the group behind Mercedes-Benz. Read More
Car insurance isn't something you buy because you want to. I mean sure, I'd buy it even if I didn't have to, but I do have to, and so does basically everyone else in the US who wants to drive a car. Regardless, comparing insurance isn't particularly easy, especially if you don't know what you're looking for.
Google is doing something to help the situation, as long as you live in California. With Google Compare for car insurance, you can stack multiple companies against one another to see how they rank.
You can make comparisons whenever you search for car insurance or head directly to the Google Compare website. Read More
The ranks of Android Auto in-dash head units continue to grow at CES, but they aren't going to be cheap. While Parrot neglected to mention a price for its fancy new Android deck, Pioneer is coming right out with it. The new NEX series units will start at $700 with support for Android Auto and CarPlay. Read More
Seeing which manufacturers will bake Android Auto into their latest models is cool and all, but I'm looking to see which third-party options start appearing on store shelves. After all, I bought my vehicle in 2013, and I'm not looking to replace it in the next couple of years. Fortunately Kenwood has come to CES with one that supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the DDX9902S.
Out of the box, Kenwood's unit has a tacky interface that perhaps only a car enthusiast could love. But once you plug your Android device in, the interface switches over to the one we're actually interested in. Read More