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GM to equip 2014 cars with 4G mobile

Monday, February 25, 2013 - 12:00pm

General Motors, a pioneer in car-connectivity with its OnStar system, has fallen behind other automakers in the category (like Ford and its Sync system).

Now GM hopes to leapfrog other car makers by wiring 2014 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel, and Vauxhall brands in the U.S. and Canada with 4G mobile broadband technology.

This will not only give drivers and passengers connection at ten times the speed of current offerings, but makes the car itself a "virtual smartphone" (most competitors' systems, as well as GM's current MyLink system, pictured, require an actual smartphone be connected to the dash).  The Wall Street Journal reports GM will use AT&T as its 4G provider.

We can't wait to hear more about this and other matters related to in-dash delivery of Internet radio at RAIN Summit West, April 7 in Las Vegas. We'll feature a panel called "Dashboard Discussions" to tackle these issues. Get more info on RAIN Summit West here.

Read more from The Journal here.

Ford Sync helped bring Net radio to cars, but consumer response still "tepid" to system in general

Friday, November 9, 2012 - 1:35pm

Ford and Microsoft are celebrating 5 years of the Ford Sync in-car connectivity platform, and its installation on 5 million vehicles. SYNC was first announced on Jan. 7, 2007 at the International CES. It was one of the very first of this technology that's now offered by nearly every car manufacturer.

But as the Verge writes, "A tepid response from drivers could be why it's taken Ford five years to install Sync in five million vehicles, but the fact that the system doesn't come as a standard option in the manufacturer's full range — Ford claims that Sync is installed of 70% of its cars 'in general' — no doubt contributed to that sluggish growth."

Ford Sync enables in-car connectivity to content sources like iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Pandora, and Stitcher (among very many others).

Read the press release here, and the Verge here.

MLB mobile app update includes Ford SYNC integration

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 12:50pm

MLBA new update for the MLB At Bat 2012 iPhone app includes support for Ford's SYNC AppLink dashboards. That makes it much easier for Ford drivers to stream radio MLB coverage from around the country to their car stereos.

The Next Web reports the app has been downloaded more than 5 million times this year. Read more coverage here.

Craft a wireless in-car receiver out of Bluetooth headphones

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 - 9:35am

Bluetooth headphone hackLifehacker today features a DIY project that converts a pair of Bluetooth headphones into a wireless audio receiver for your car.

That would enable you to stream any audio content -- including tunes from Internet radio apps -- from a smartphone to your car stereo. Perfect if a new Ford model with SYNC is a little beyond your budget.

That said, "it's certainly a lot of work," warns Lifehacker. But if you're up to the challenge, you can find everything you need from Scrapyard Electronic here. Lifehacker's article is here.

New Sony car stereos pack web radio-friendly features

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 1:00pm

Sony stereoA new line-up of car stereo units from Sony include App Remote -- a feature that lets users stream music (like web radio stations) from mobile devices via Bluetooth. Sony specifically mentions that the new stereos can control playback of Pandora.

A connected iPhone, Android, or Blackberry device is required. The stereos also include USB jacks for wired connections to mobile devices. If you forget your smartphone, Sony's stereos also include a CD player, AM/FM radio and (if you shell out for an add-on antenna) SiriusXM. Engadget has more coverage here.

Sprint to provide wireless connectivity for Chrysler in-car Uconnect service

Wednesday, August 8, 2012 - 1:30pm

Chrysler UconnectChrysler has announced its in-car connectivity service Uconnect will use Sprint's network. That means the car can connect to the web and perform certain functions without the aid of a smartphone -- including offering a Wi-Fi hotspot to other devices (streaming web radio is not specifically mentioned in the companies' press release).

That said, Chrsyler points out its in-car system will play nice with users' smartphones and offer voice controls (to help the driver pay attention to, you know, driving).

Sprint-powered Uconnect will initially be available in the 2013 RAM 1500, SRT Viper and Dodge Dart R/T models. Engadget has more coverage here.

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