Google Assistant is everywhere these days: phones, tablets, speakers, Chromebooks, and more. The first Assistant devices for cars were unveiled earlier this year, and the first model from Anker launched in April. The other device, JBL's Link Drive, was announced at CES and seemed like it wasn't going to come out. Of course, JBL is no stranger to delays, and the Link Drive just became available recently. So, how is the JBL Link Drive? It's an almost identical experience to the Anker Roav Bolt, but with more hardware disadvantages and a higher price. Read More
At the start of this year, Google announced it was working on Assistant devices for your car. The idea is to bring the same convenience of an always-listening smart speaker into your vehicle of choice, without requiring an expensive Android Auto head unit. The first product in this category is the Anker Roav Bolt, a small device that plugs into a car charging port.
I was very excited to try out the Roav Bolt, after years of dealing with annoying adapters and Bluetooth receivers in my Android Auto-less car. I've always had issues with my phone hearing voice commands while I'm driving, even when using a vent mount. Read More
99% of dashcams on the market follow the same formula: a suction/clip-in mount on the top, microSD storage, and power drawn from your car's cigarette lighter. The Owl Car Cam, however, completely bucks that trend; it mounts differently, stores clips differently, and is powered differently. It's been out since late March, though Android support was only added a couple of months ago.
The Car Cam is certainly a well-made piece of hardware, and it might be well-suited for your needs. It does a lot of things that other dashcams can't do, but given its $349 price, it'd be shameful if it didn't. Read More
The dashcam market is pretty saturated these days, with products ranging in price from $9 (yes, $9) all the way up to $600 or so. As a result, it can be pretty difficult to even get started with your search without being blasted with options. In the ~$100 price range, we've already checked out Anker's Roav C1 Pro and C2 Pro, which we found to be solid offerings.
This time around, we're checking out a dashcam from one of Anker's direct competitors: RAVPower (which owns VAVA). VAVA's Dash Cam 2K can record higher-resolution video than most at this price point, but sacrifices some features to keep costs competitive. Read More
Most people purchase used cars instead of new models, which means most people don't have the latest and greatest tech in their vehicle. How many cars on the road today are equipped with cassette players, iPod integration, or navigation systems with horribly-outdated maps?
There are countless products designed to give existing cars more modern features. Dash cams are fairly popular, like the Roav models we previously reviewed. There are also third-party tracking devices, like T-Mobile's SyncUP and Linxup. Read More
In theory, Android Auto is a fantastic idea. It brings a unified UI, Google's class-leading Maps, and seamless integration with your music, notifications, and calls to any car or head unit that supports it. But aside from the various bugs and issues that seem to continually crop up, I'd argue that Android Auto's biggest downside is having to plug and unplug your phone whenever you enter and exit your car. As a result, many people, including myself, were pretty excited to see wireless Android Auto debut at CES this year with new head units from JVC and Kenwood.
A few months later, Pioneer announced two of its own wireless Android Auto head units: the $700 AVH-W4400NEX and the $1,200 AVIC-W8400NEX. Read More