in-car

Aha widens its in-car footprint with new Ford, Subaru, Chrysler, Porsche, and Alpine deals

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

More from the world of in-car Internet radio that's been announced at this week's CES... Harman's Aha Radio service (see today's story on Chrysler Uconnect) connects drivers with web-based entertainment and information via its Cloud Platform in a radio-like format.

As the result of some newly-announced deals, by the end of the year, Harman says "Aha will be installed into vehicles by more than 10 auto manufacturers which in total represent more than 50% of all cars sold in the USA/Canada and up to 30% in Europe."

Those new deals: In addition to joining Chrysler's new Uconnect system, this week Aha announced its app was added by Ford to its SYNC Applink platform, by Porsche for its Online Services system, and by Subaru in its brand new STARLINK connectivity system. Additionally, Alpine Electronics will become Aha's third major aftermarket partner with new in-dash units. Kenwood is launching 12 cloud-connected head units featuring Aha, with more to follow throughout 2013. Pioneer was the first company to ship an Aha-enabled product back in 2011.

Aha Radio makes more than 30-thousand stations of audio programming available to customers, including new media partners AccuRadio, Deezer, Rdio, and SomaFM. Aha listeners can also tune in to content from OK!, Men's Fitness, Popular Science, Parenting, Shape, Star, TV Guide, Men's Health and more. (That image is from Car and Driver.)

New 'Uconnect' system brings Pandora, iHeartRadio, Aha, and Slacker to Chryslers

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

There's more from this week's CES in Las Vegas involving in-car Internet radio access. Leading webcaster Pandora announced its app has been integrated into Chrysler's new "Uconnect Access via Mobile" system for in-car listening. The automaker is now Pandora's 20th automotive brand partner in the U.S. Add to that seven aftermarket manufacturers that now offer in-dash Pandora access.

"In addition to over 175 aftermarket devices, there are now more than 85 different car models that include Pandora with more scheduled to become available throughout 2013," Pandora announced. Perhaps even more impressive: the service is now accessible via more than 1,000 non-PC devices (including cars, automotive aftermarket devices, and consumer electronic devices).

Chrysler also added "Uconnect" access to webcaster Slacker Radio, web content aggregator for mobile Aha, and Clear Channel's digital platform iHeartRadio.

(Clear Channel concurrently announced iHeartRadio will also expand their auto integrations to select 2014 GM infotainment systems. The app is already available in Ford, Toyota and Lexus models.) 

Clear Channel also unveiled "iHeartAuto," a new made-for-driving radio app to allow seamless and satandardized access to the iHeartRadio, with support for select aftermarket auto entertainment products. For the launch it partnered with Clarion Smart Access cloud server products, Pioneer’s AppRadio platform of products, and a Kenwood connected receiver. The new app includes a new developer protocol that gives device manufacturers a standardized way to connect to iHeartRadio.

The image is from MotorTrend. You can read their coverage here.

jacAPPS says new deal with Ford will make sure b'dcasters don't get shut out of digital dashboard

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) runs today through Friday in Las Vegas, and we already have a torrent of announcements to report regarding in-car Internet radio.

The first is Ford Motor Company has named jacAPPS, the mobile app development division of radio consulting firm Jacobs Media, a "recommended mobile app development house" for its new Ford Developer Program. This means jacAPPS will develop, as well as work with other third-party developers, to create voice-activated smartphone apps for radio to work with Ford's SYNC AppLink.

The AppLink allows a driver to control digital apps from the steering wheel or using radio buttons. And while the audio entertainment available in such systems so far has been dominated by newer, digital services or apps that aggregate content, the new partnership "will allow AM/FM stations to have parity on the vehicle’s digital screen," says jacAPPS.

"Individual radio stations no longer have to be concerned about their place on the dashboards of 'connected cars' based on jacAPPS experience," read the jacAPPS announcement. "Beginning today, owners of Ford SYNC AppLink enabled vehicles will be able to access local radio station apps thanks to jacAPPS’ extensive experience working in radio to create mobile apps providing streaming capability and on-demand content services."

The company named broadcaster Greater Media its radio partner for the announcement. Sixteen of its station apps are now available with SYNC AppLink functionality.

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.

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