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 , 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.
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.
It's here, or, well, it will be here shortly: the day you can start your car with only a watch and your voice. Hyundai is announcing that its official Blue Link app (which, to be fair, reviews pretty badly) will be gaining Android Wear support in "early 2015." The company will be demoing the new app at CES, though, along with its Android Auto-powered 2015 Sonata concept.
Hyundai has been a rapid adopter of 3rd-party smart tech in its vehicles, and will likely be among the very first automakers to sell an Android Auto-ready car (any Hyundai with Android Auto will also have Apple's Car Play).