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Pioneer Unveils 2016 Head Unit Models With Android Auto Support, Arriving In Spring

Pioneer announced Android Auto head units at last year's CES, and it's following up with updated model names for 2016. You could think of this line as the 200 series, as each unit has jumped from 100 to 200.

The new units are the AVH-4200NEX ($700.00), AVIC-7200NEX ($1,200), and the AVIC-8200NEX ($1,400).

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Ford Announces Android Auto Support For Current And Future SYNC-Equipped Vehicles, Coming Later This Year

Google's Android Auto system is gaining a bit of steam, but you still need to hunt for a manufacturer and model that support it (assuming you're buying a new car and not just upgrading your stereo). That will be a little easier later this year: in the lead-up to CES, American manufacturing giant Ford has announced that its semi-proprietary SYNC system will soon support Android Auto. Specifically, those cars that are currently on the road and use SYNC version 3 will be upgraded with Android Auto capability, and 2017 SYNC-equipped models should have Android Auto support built in.

Android Auto support will come along with a host of other upgrades, including simultaneous support for Apple's competing CarPlay standard.

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AutoMate Car Dashboard Is Finally Out Of Beta And Available In The Play Store

Odds are you don't have Android Auto in your car, but you still might want a more optimized mobile experience for driving. That's what AutoMate aims to offer, but it's been in beta for a long, long time. That ends today as v1.0 has been uploaded to the Play Store for all to see. It squashes some bugs, and also adds a few more features.

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Android Auto v1.4 Cleans Up The Companion App Interface And Adds Granular Control For Previously Connected Cars [APK Download]

The Android Auto companion app is generally one of those things you're probably only going to work with a couple of times before you're done setting things up, then it'll stay tucked away, never to be seen again. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't look good and be as useful as possible. An update to the Android Auto app began rolling out today and it's a near total refresh of the user interface. Granted, there's not a lot to change, but it now looks much more like the companion app for Android Wear.

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Following The Accord, Honda's Second 2016 Model With Android Auto Support Is The Civic

The Honda Civic is one of the most popular economy cars on the planet, thanks in no small part to Honda's continual updates over the last forty years. The 2016 model year, which incidentally includes a complete redesign for its tenth generation, will be the first model to support Google's Android Auto digital platform. It's the second car model in Honda's lineup to do so, after the larger 2016 Accord, and it also supports Apple's CarPlay standard.

According to a press release by Honda, the new models will appear in North America this fall after rolling off of the manufacturing lines in Indiana and Ontario.

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[Hands-On] Honda Announces Its First Car With Android Auto - The 2016 Accord

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.

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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.

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Luxe Introduces Drive Home, Which Allows You To Get A Valet To Drive You Home In Your Own Car After A Night Out

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.

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Kenwood Is Shipping Its DDX9702S And DDX9902S Android Auto Receivers With An MSRP Of $900 And $950

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.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Gold Box Has An Anker 10000mAh External Battery With Dual USB, Flashlight, And Car Starter (Yes, Really) For $59.99

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.

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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).

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Initial Hands-On With Android Auto: It's Probably Better Than What You Have Now

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.

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