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.
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.
Certain 2015 Volkswagen cars with come equipped with Android Auto and CarPlay (Apple) support starting later this year. The option will be available in any models that come with MiB II, the second generation of the manufacturer's "modular infotainment platform," though the Golf is the only vehicle explicitly mentioned in the announcement. MirrorLink support will also come included.
We've known that Razer was working on its own branded version of an Android TV set-top box for more than half a year, but at CES 2015 the well-known gaming peripheral company has given the gadget its coming out party. The Razer Forge TV hopes to be the go-to choice for gamers, with support for up to four simultaneous players, keyboard and mouse input, and (eventually) streaming high-end games from a local gaming PC.
We have been wondering for a while when we'd see Lollipop-based builds from CyanogenMod, and now is that time. For this first round of nightlies, 31 devices will be supported with many more to come in the near future. CyanogenMod 11, based on KitKat, will now be on a weekly update schedule until its M13 release, after which development will be frozen. While some bugs are to be expected, all supported devices should have core functions working smoothly right away.
Blue Spark Technologies has introduced a new wearable device at CES, but it's not a smart watch or a fitness band or even a VR headset. It's a single-use skin patch called TempTraq that connects to your Android (or iOS) phone to track body temperature.
Blue Spark pitches the patch to parents with sick progeny, though it could conceivably be used on or by anyone. The patch affixes to the body under the arm, and transmits temperature information over Bluetooth to its dedicated app.
Google's lone Android TV box is getting some company, but not in the form of a more capable over-the-top box. Sharp has announced three new 4K TV series at CES 2015, and two of them have Android TV built-in. It'll cost you, though.
Parrot usually arrives at CES with a swarm of consumer-oriented drone aircraft, but this year it's also showing off the RNB6. What is the RNB6? It's an in-dash head unit running its own version of Android 5.0, but it also has support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Last week, we saw Hyundai announce that it would be the first auto manufacturer to provide Android Wear support for its cars, in the form of remote actions that can be initiated on your smartwatch. Pretty cool stuff. But Android Auto is probably even cooler - navigation, music controls, voice dictation, and other functions will soon be made possible in vehicles by your smartphone, instead of some ancient infotainment system from hell.