Highlights from CES 2015 in Car Stereo
CES is always fun, but it is always a lot of work. Yesterday was a long day of traveling for me and today was a long day of walking, talking, learning, testing, trying, questioning, note taking and photo taking. SO this will be a brief post summarizing all the cool stuff I will be delving into and writing about over the next couple days. LOTS of photos will come shortly, and a couple videos – one on Pioneer Android Auto and another on Alpine’s new Jeep Stereo. I apologize I can’t post it all now, but the internet speed (wired) at the Monte Carlo is atrocious and my 5 minute you tube video still has 375 minutes remaining to upload!
Android Auto – finally!
This is pretty exciting. Both Kenwood and Pioneer are offering Android Auto compatible radios this year (which are also CarPlay compatible too). Both operate by connecting through USB to micro USB and require Android 5.0 Lollipop. Kenwood offers 1.5 amp charging and Pioneer is 1 amp. Both companies had no charging issues and their phones had full charges and had been connected and operating on these stereos alone for the past couple days. Pioneer was using a Nexus 5 and I actually forgot to ask Kenwood which phone they were using, but plan to follow up on that tomorrow. My concern is there may still be charging issues for Samsung users as this has been an issue I’ve seen in the past using the most popular Samsung phones (S4, S5, Note 3) with App Radio Mode.
Couple key things about Android Auto to know:
- It locks the phone out – Once connected, you have to do everything through the stereo which is largely voice activated. Personally, I think this is a great thing and I think it will seriously help stop people from looking down and playing with their phone with one hand when they should have both hands on the wheel and eyes ahead on the road.
- You can have audio from another source playing (such as SiriusXM, HD Radio or even a CD) while using Android Auto for navigation purposes.
- Android Auto currently uses Google Maps with traffic information fed by Waze.
Alpine – New 9″ Navigation models for Dodge Ram, Ford F150, GM, and Jeep
I had to see it to believe it. I didn’t see how they fit a 9″ touch screen in the OEM Jeep Wrangler stereo location. Yet Alpine has done it and has fabricated a beautiful OEM fit and finish dash kit and packaged it along with an iDatalink Maestro integration module to retain select OEM features, steering wheel control functions and vehicle information details.
They are also expected to start shipping a new 9″ model for Dodge Ram 2013 – up (without 8.4″ UConnect radio) this month, that’s the X009-RAM. Additionally they will be releasing a new model for Ford F-150 with the 4.2″ MyFord Touch radio, the X009-FD2.
Additional detailed posts will come shortly including full write ups, photos and videos on all the new products from Alpine, Kenwood, Pioneer and JL Audio for 2015. Check back soon for more information.