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Review: Pioneer's $700 wireless Android Auto head unit is a great concept that needs polish

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.

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[Update: More screenshots] Google Podcasts support on Android Auto seems imminent

Google launched its own Podcasts app back in June. It's a pretty well-rounded app with over 2 million indexed podcasts and a nice UI, but it was missing one thing that any Google-made audio app should support: Android Auto. We first noticed a 'Google' option popping up in Auto a few weeks ago, though it doesn't really work unless you start a podcast from your phone. That's probably about to change.

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Google app v8.14 beta reveals upcoming Pixel Stand smart dock, in-car enhancements with Herbie, and more [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Google app made a late-night appearance on the beta channel. As is common, there aren't many new things to see after installing it, but there are plenty of topics to discuss from doing a teardown. The latest additions include text revealing an upcoming Pixel Stand charging dock, settings for a YouTube TV content filtering option, and what looks like enhanced voice-controlled features for use in the car based on work Google has done with Assistant-enabled headphones.

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'Raven' adds dash cams, remote monitoring, and a customizable dashboard to any car

There are plenty of ways to extend the 'smart' functionality in your car. You can buy a dashcam, buy a Bluetooth adapter for the AUX port, use an OBD app to diagnose problems from your phone, or connect a tracking device. Raven, a new 'connected car system,' aims to integrate all of that into one single device.

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KENWOOD's five wireless Android Auto head units are now shipping

Android Auto is handy to have in your car, but one of its main caveats is the requirement to have your phone plugged in at all times. Wireless Android Auto aims to solve that problem, and JVC and KENWOOD have collectively announced seven units that support it. KENWOOD's five units, all of which are understandably pretty pricey, are now shipping in the US.

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Waymo and Jaguar announce world's first premium electric self-driving SUV

At a press conference today in New York, Waymo CEO John Krafcik announced the world's first premium electric self-driving car. The first collaboration of a planned long-term partnership with British carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, the Jaguar I-PACE will form part of Waymo's autonomous car fleet in 2020 after testing begins later this year.

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[Update: Google confirms] Android Auto now allows phones to be unlocked while connected

The Android Auto team has been known to put safety above all else. Most people agree that's the best strategy, but there have been some scenarios where users have pointed out that certain decisions may be over-reaching, or they might not account for common scenarios. One of the biggest points of contention since the launch of Android Auto has been a feature that effectively locks users out of their phones while connected to Android Auto. In the last couple of days, users are now being presented with the ability to swipe up and unlock their phones to use them normally.

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[Deal Alert] Get the JVC KW-M730BT Android Auto unit for $298.99 ($51 off) from Amazon

Android Auto is great, but paying $400+ for decent head units (even when they're on sale!) is a bit ridiculous. If you don't mind the lack of most physical buttons, one of JVC's Android Auto-compatible units is just $298.99 right now on Amazon, $51 lower than the usual price.

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Android Automotive updates from CES 2018: 8.0 Oreo, Google Assistant, fancy head units, and more

Android Automotive remains something of an obscurity, but companies are still happy to tout their latest progress with the platform (or something like it), especially on a stage as large as CES 2018. Before we get to that, it's probably worthwhile to distinguish between Android Automotive and Android Auto: Android Automotive is a standalone, in-vehicle infotainment and control system running Android — basically Android OS for your car. This is a more appealing proposition than the rather laggy experience that is Android Auto, which just projects what's on your phone to an interface that sits in your car.

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Anker puts Alexa in a car charger with the Roav VIVA

For every category of electronic accessory, you can be certain that Anker will make one and that Amazon will try to put Alexa into it. These two nearly inescapable industry forces were clearly destined to come together and make a car charger that you can talk to. Thus the introduction today of the Roav VIVA, one of those simple and compelling ideas that makes one wonder why it hadn't existed until now.

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