Toyota Entune infotainment system palms-on (video)
Toyota‘s nonetheless the most important auto producer on the planet, handily trumping GM and Ford, and with the Prius celebrating its 10 yr anniversary it is clear the corporate can definitely lead the business when it needs to. Not a lot with superior infotainment and smartphone integration. There the corporate has been lagging behind the competitors, Ford’s SYNC and the like, however now it is making an enormous step ahead with Entune, and it selected this yr’s CES to do it. Toyota was type sufficient to allow us to run a really early demo unit by means of its paces. Carry on studying for our impressions.
First, the small print: Entune is Toyota’s subsequent-era infotainment system, integrating elements of navigation and media and different enjoyable stuff too. Like a lot of the competitors it is providing smartphone integration, hitting all the key bases with help for BlackBerry, Android, and iPhone. Customers might want to obtain and set up an app to their telephone, which can then present all the info the automotive wants — the automotive itself does not have an onboard modem or a separate knowledge plan you will have to pay for.
One other nicety is that the system is claimed to be simply upgradeable by way of software program replace, offering a point of future-proofing — one thing that’s, at this level, pretty uncommon within the infotainment enterprise and a slightly good factor. Nevertheless, not the whole lot is so good.
There are a selection of apps that work with Entune, largest being Bing, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable, and Pandora. Nevertheless, we’re advised that the usual apps won’t be upgraded so as to add Entune help — you will want separate variations. This probably means having two copies of Pandora put in in your telephone, which in case you’re tight on storage is a decidedly unlucky deal.
However, for that penalty you get a well-known interface within the apps, with Toyota making certain the feel and appear of every one will stay according to their non-Entune variations, relatively than taking the strategy of making an attempt to make all of them slot in with the automotive’s interface design aesthetic.
It is value noting that a lot of a person app’s performance shall be disabled whereas driving, one thing we weren’t capable of expertise in our decidedly stationary demo, however reassuring for these involved about driver distraction. Nonetheless, we did not really feel the contact-based mostly interface to be notably driver pleasant regardless, which large expanses of wasted area that would as an alternative be become greater buttons.
Entune is due out on “choose fashions” someday this yr, however Toyota is not saying which fashions nor whether or not we’ll need to pay additional for the privilege. Given it integrates properly into the corporate’s contact-based mostly navigation system we might guess that may be a requirement, but in addition hoping the added value is low (or null). Provided that the Prius is among the most techie automobiles from the Firm we might be moderately stunned if it did not seem there — maybe in that new MPV mannequin arising.
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