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Google Also Working With Smartphone Makers to Bring Wireless Capability to 8.0 Devices

LONG BEACH, CALIF., May 17, 2018 (MEDIAWIRE)– In our press release dated May 9, 2018, we indicated that future smartphones would require Android 9.0 OS to be compatible with KENWOOD multimedia receivers that feature Wireless Android Auto™. Google has informed us that, in addition to 9.0 devices, the company is working with several smartphone manufacturers to bring wireless compatibility to devices with Android 8.0 OS. According to Google, this compatibility will be available on select non-Google smartphones soon.

You can read our original press release here.

All KENWOOD multimedia receivers that support wireless Android Auto offer full compatibility and smartphone charging through a wired connection. For detailed information on the specific features of each receiver, please view their product pages at

JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JVCKENWOOD Corporation and is a leading developer of imaging, home and car entertainment, and navigation products for the consumer market, two-way radio communications systems for public safety, private industry and amateur users, and video equipment for the broadcast and professional markets. For detailed information, call JVCKENWOOD USA at 1-800-950-5005 or visit us at, and

The Verge -- For years, the center consoles of cars have been dominated by “infotainment” systems, which are designed to control everything from music, to navigation, to climate systems. Though they’ve gotten better over the years, these systems have been almost universally terrible, with confusing interfaces, slow response, and an overwhelming number of options. As a result, the best in-car navigation and entertainment system is often the smartphone in your pocket.

Google and Apple are well aware of this, and that’s why last year both companies announced new in-car systems — Android Auto and CarPlay, respectively — that use your smartphone for navigation and music, bypassing the car’s native user interface. The idea behind both systems is that if drivers are going to be using their phones for entertainment and navigation, they might as well use the displays and controls already built into their cars. And in doing so, Google and Apple can limit the dangers of distracted driving caused by focusing on a phone while behind the wheel.

Android Auto is finally rolling out to production cars, starting with the Hyundai Sonata. Android Auto does not fully replace the Sonata’s interface. Instead, it essentially runs as an app on top of it, launching when you plug in a compatible phone (Android 5.0 or newer) into the car’s built-in USB port. It turns the car’s infotainment system into the conduit for controlling Google Maps navigation, receiving messages, and playing music or listening to podcasts. It also lets you use Google’s voice search from behind the wheel, using the existing buttons and microphones already built into the car.

I spent two weeks behind the wheel of a Sonata equipped with Hyundai’s optional Tech Package and Android Auto to see if this is the future of driving (before the eventual takeover of self-driving robots, anyway). There were some bumps along the way, but for the most part, if you use an Android phone, you’re going to want Android Auto in your next car.

Firing up Android Auto is easy. Once you install the app on your phone, you plug it into the Sonata, pair it over Bluetooth (which happens automatically and is required for phone calls), and press the Android Auto icon on the Sonata’s 8-inch resistive touchscreen. Next, you’re presented with a familiar, but stripped down version of Android. At this point, the phone itself becomes rather useless — its interface is completely locked out in favor of an Android Auto splash screen. Google wants you to do everything through the car’s controls when you’re driving, so you might as well put the phone in a cubby hole and forget about it.

Read more here:

Mashable -- Sure, Google's in-car software for extending an Android phone to a dashboard has technically been out and proud since the first Android Auto aftermarket systems started shipping in March, but as of Tuesday it's in new cars, too. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is the first car to offer Android Auto built-in.

Already have a 2015 Sonata? You can update your dashboard software to make Android Auto compatible, although you'll need to take it to a dealership. Hyundai says it'll offer the upgrade as a software download that you can transfer to the car via USB, but it won't come until "later this summer." You'll also need a MyHyundai account to perform the upgrade.

Google formally introduced Android Auto about a year ago at Google I/O 2014. When connected to a compatible Android phone (one running Android 5.0 Lollipop or later) via USB cable, the system will extend certain apps to the dashboard so they're fully integrated with the car's built-in hardware. Google Maps, for instance, becomes the cars navigation software, and audio apps like Spotify play through the sound system.

Read the rest here:

August 7, 2019 -- Crux Interfacing Solutions has released a new line of Integration products made for adding Android Auto & Wireless CarPlay in Factory-installed infotainment systems. The current product releases are for Audi and BMW vehicles which are to be followed by Mercedes-Benz in early September. These new solutions are an ideal add-on for vehicles in which factory radios are either difficult to replace or are customarily not being replaced due to varying reasons.

Crux will be exhibiting at Knowledgefest in Dallas, August 9 -11.

12-21-2016 -- For the first time in its line-up, JVC will offering Android Auto compatibility with its flagship multimedia and digital media receivers. The receivers will debut at the 2017 CES in Las Vegas. 

The JVC exhibit will be located at Booth #4602 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition to the Android Auto feature, the 2017 line-up will also include:

• 20 new receivers for 2017: 15 are currently shipping; the remaining five will ship in the first quarter of 2017.
• New KW-M730BT Digital Media Receiver: Features include a double-DIN mech-less design with support for Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto ™.
• 2 new receivers (KD-R888BT and KD-R988BTS) featuring new flat-face design and 4-volt pre-outs with MSRPs of $100 and $130, respectively.
• Remote App: A free wireless phone app (available from the App Store or Google Play) that enables control of a compatible JVC receiver through the smartphone via Bluetooth®. Users can view source information and change audio settings in addition to source control, and use the app as a standalone music player when not connected to the receiver.
• JVC Streaming DJ: Allows streaming of content on a compatible receiver via Bluetooth from up to 5 simultaneously connected wireless devices.


6-3-20-16 -- Kenwood USA, manufacturer of advanced-technology driver entertainment systems, is now shipping its 2016 line of multimedia receivers. The receivers, which debuted at this year's CES, include both the Kenwood and Kenwood Excelon lineups, which feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The collection includes 15 new double-DIN multimedia receivers—12 of which supplant the previous year’s models—across the KENWOOD and KENWOOD eXcelon lines. Key improvements address consumers’ desire to seamlessly and safely access smartphone-centric apps through an intuitive interface, as well as performance enhancements to support onboard navigation and source selection.

The 2016 multimedia platform received a processor upgrade resulting in improved stability and faster startup. The additional power also supports a completely new graphic user interface that delivers album art, navigation instructions and source selection in vibrant color and clarity. To personalize the interface, users can add shortcuts to their most-used sources on the home screen, select from a variety of backgrounds and switch between information sources by swiping across the display. For models with built-in Guidance by Garmin®, navigation maps and icons are more informative, and routing and recalculating are faster, thanks to new solid-state memory and a doubling of data transfer speeds.

The number of models embedded with Apple CarPlay™ has increased from four to eight, encompassing the four new topline models across KENWOOD and KENWOOD eXcelon. When a compatible iPhone® is connected to the receiver via USB, the Apple CarPlay interface lets the user access select entertainment and information smartphone apps on the receiver’s display, as well as use Siri® to make selections, provide navigation directions and deliver search results by voice.

As well, the number of units equipped with Android Auto™ has doubled to four models in 2016. Created to extend the Android experience into the vehicle environment, Android Auto provides useful information at the right time, in addition to turn-by-turn navigation, music selection and more. A combination of voice and simplified touch menus lets the driver access Android Auto’s features with minimal distraction. Phones connected through the USB port now benefit from new rapid-charging technology that delivers up to 1.5 amps.

Sound quality was enhanced in the 2016 line. Available on select KENWOOD eXcelon receivers, High-Resolution Audio Playback decodes up to 192KHz, 24-bit FLAC- or WAV-embedded files from media connected through the USB port, which now supports more types of storage media. For all 2016 receivers, a built-in 13-band equalizer enables precise audio adjustments. To further tailor audio to the vehicle environment, the user can access new features to adjust digital time alignment, sound stage height, ambiance and volume based on ambient road noise, powering the built-in amplifier or external amplifiers through three sets of RCA outputs.

Previously featured only on key models, all 2016 receivers now support the ability to have two phones actively connected via Bluetooth at the same time, letting the driver and passenger select which phone will be broadcast through the audio system. All models also receive the latest Hands-Free profile, supporting high-quality calls at twice the bandwidth of the previous profile.

In addition to audio and the user interface, all 2016 multimedia units can now better interface with the larger vehicle world. Each supports connection of two cameras (front and rear view) to help avoid obstacles while parking and maneuvering. Most new units also support connection with iDataLink® Maestro, an add-on vehicle gateway device that enables the receiver to read vehicle information, control specific factory features and connect to factory installed entertainment and safety peripherals.

For more details, please visit the KENWOOD website at

Wi-Fi–capable multimedia receivers bring more informative, visual experience to traditional radio.

LONG BEACH, CALIF., April 16, 2018 (MEDIAWIRE) – KENWOOD USA announced it is shipping its 2018 flagship multimedia receivers introduced during the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The KENWOOD eXcelon Reference Series DNX995S (MSRP $1500.00) and DDX9905S (MSRP $1100.00) feature high-end build materials and specialized tuning. Also shipping are the mechless KENWOOD eXcelon DMX905S (MSRP $850.00), as well as the KENWOOD DNX875S (MSRP $1400.00) and DDX9705S (MSRP $950.00).

The five receivers share an enhanced entertainment and information offering highlighted by Google Assistant™, wireless Android Auto™ and access to an array of popular smartphone apps via the WebLink portal. WebLink is a technology developed by Abalta Technologies that enables the safe use of popular smartphone apps through the receiver's touch screen controls when the phone is connected to the receiver. Currently available apps include YouTube™, Waze™ navigation, enhanced weather and Yelp™.

Also offered through WebLink is NextRadio, a popular smartphone app that lets users enjoy their favorite broadcast radio stations with enhanced visual and informational content. With the NextRadio app on a connected smartphone, users can touch the radio screen to easily browse in-area radio stations and see station logos as well as what's playing through the app's Live Guide™ feature. Individual station displays show album art as well as artist and song information. NextRadio works with AM, FM and HD Radio® stations.

In addition to these entertainment features, each receiver supports SiriusXM® Satellite Radio though the separately sold SXV300 tuner, as well as wired Apple CarPlay™.

“This model year has been one of our most dynamic in terms of the entertainment features we've included in our new multimedia receivers," said Dave Hoag, executive vice president, car electronics for JVCKENWOOD. "We've been able to maximize the relationship between our radios and consumers' smartphones to let users experience even more of their favorite apps through the safety of our larger displays and enjoy their content with immersive, high-fidelity audio. We are pleased to make these receivers available to consumers through our authorized retailers."

All five multimedia receivers are available at authorized KENWOOD retailers. For detailed information on the specific features of each receiver, please view their product pages at

JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JVCKENWOOD Corporation and is a leading developer of imaging, home and car entertainment, and navigation products for the consumer market, two-way radio communications systems for public safety, private industry and amateur users, and video equipment for the broadcast and professional markets. For detailed information, call JVCKENWOOD USA at 1-800-950-5005 or visit us at, and

Kia Motors America has unveiled the 2017 Forte5 alongside its similarly refreshed sedan sibling at the North American International Auto Show. 

Along with visual enhancements to the front and rear, the new Forte5 also adds a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and newly available convenience and driver-assistance features previously introduced on the all-new Optima. Pricing for the 2017 Forte5 will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date in the first half of 2016.

While the new Forte5 maintains its European-inspired hatchback design, it appears bolder than ever for 2017. Like the sedan, the Forte5’s front clip is highlighted by a wider version of the signature “tiger nose” grille, similar to the one found on the all-new 2016 Optima.  The grille connects redesigned headlights that sweep back around the front fenders, giving the new Forte5 more road presence than the outgoing model.  Around back, revised taillights complete the exterior redesign, and higher trim levels go one step further with standard LED daytime running lights and taillights.

Three trim levels remain - LX, EX, and SX – and each one brings something new to the table for 2017.  The entry-level LX is handsomely equipped with features such as projector beam headlights and remote keyless entry with trunk opener and is now available with Blind Spot Detection3 with Lane Change Assist and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, as these advanced driver-assistance systems are optional across the entire range.  The EX sees the most changes as previous options – including LED taillights, leather seats, heated front seats, push-button start with Smart Key, and perimeter approach lighting with front-door pocket lighting – are now standard along with UVO eServices4. Kia’s UVO infotainment system offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlayTM (late availability) compatibility, and is displayed on a 7-inch color touchscreen4. Both platforms allow drivers to stay connected by replicating key smartphone apps and functionality on the touchscreen, enabling them to send text messages, access music, or look up driving directions while behind the wheel.  The sporty SX trim comes with all that and more, including 18-inch alloy wheels, unique front and rear fascias with red accents, and dual exhaust tip finishers.  Also new for the SX is an Orange Color Pack, which further signifies the SX’s sporty nature with orange leather seat inserts and contrasting stitching on the seats and shifter. 

Underneath the hood, the 2017 Forte5 comes standard with a 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or an available second-generation six-speed automatic transmission.  Maintaining the sport theme in the SX is a zippy 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine, which is now available with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power ratings and fuel economy figures will be released closer to launch, while 2017 Koup details will be released at a later date.

LONG BEACH, CALIF., August 3, 2020JVC Mobile Entertainment is pleased to announce the shipment of 2 new Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ ready multimedia receivers; the KW-V660BT (MAP $369.95), and KW-V66BT (MAP $369.95).

The CD/DVD playback equipped KW-V660BT and KW-V66BT extend JVC’s already impressive offerings of multimedia receivers to a current total of 12 to date for 2020. They provide a simple step-up solution from the KW-M560BT and KW-M56BT CD/DVD-less digital multimedia receivers, which began shipping earlier this Summer.

“Although we’ve seen a trend in consumers moving towards digital media entertainment options, there is still a significant demand for CD/DVD playback equipped models,” said Steve Cote, JVC Eastern Regional Sales Manager. “By featuring an immense value combination of driver safety options, sound quality, various media type support, and unique features such as Gesture Touch Control, these models are ready to impress!”

Some of the most notable features on both the KW-V660BT and KW-V66BT include:

• 6.8” WVGA Capacitive Touch Monitor

• Apple CarPlay™ Via USB

• Android Auto™ Via USB

• SiriusXM® Ready

• USB Mirroring for Android Phones*

*App Required (Mirroring OA for JVC App)

• DVD and CD Playback

• Built-in Bluetooth®

• Rear USB Port with 1.5A Rapid Charging

• Digital Time Alignment

• 13-Band Graphic EQ

• Rear View Camera Ready

• Mounting Sleeve and Trim Plate Included

For more information on JVC Mobile Entertainment, visit

JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of JVCKENWOOD Corporation and is a leading developer of car entertainment products for the consumer market, two-way radio communications systems for public safety, private industry and amateur users, and video equipment for the broadcast and professional markets. For detailed information, call JVCKENWOOD USA at 1-800-252-5722 or visit us at, and

Jalopnik, May 17, 2016 -- Google announced a huge wave of updates with practical new features and plans for its Android Auto car interface system, including the ultimate dystopian future-reality fear of your phone completely encompassing your car.

That last part actually isn’t that bad. At today’s Google I/O conference, Android Auto got a few big updates as well as a chance to preview the future of the automotive interface in the form of a Qualcomm-modified Maserati Ghibli.

The modified Maserati included a new vertical-layout 4K screen, pictured above like you’d find in Tesla’s offerings, with a digital readout running a specialized interface model called Android Auto N. Also synced up to the Android phone was an HD instrument panel screen, displaying instructions alongside speed directly in front of the driver. The benefits of a more-integrated interface like this opens the doors to vehicle controls like temperature and technical readouts like speed, gas mileage, fuel levels, etc. The best part is that the Qualcomm system would be open-source, so if you wanted to boot up Apple CarPlay instead (and it had the functionality for it) you’d be able to.

Now, that’s the future. The present updates and new features for Android Auto honestly have me finally sold on the feature. Before you had to own an Android Auto compatible car to plug your phone into and use the interface, but the updates fix that.

First up, you can now use Android Auto without actually connecting it to the car’s interface. Many people were surprised to learn that they couldn’t run Android Auto’s simpler interface design while driving just using the phone. Why not making the benefits of a minimal-interaction interface available at all times? Well now it is! 

The second major update is wireless connectivity for Android Auto. The current system requires the phone to be physically plugged into the car, taking up that coveted charging port. Later this year Android Auto users should be able to connect to the car’s interface via WiFi, as long as your car offers a hotspot to connect to.

Read the rest here:

Technology Review -- “Where would you like to go?” Siri asked.

It was a sunny, slightly dreamy morning in the heart of Silicon Valley, and I was sitting in the passenger seat of what seemed like a perfectly ordinary new car. There was something strangely Apple-like about it, though. There was no mistaking the apps arranged across the console screen, nor the deadpan voice of Apple’s virtual assistant, who, as backseat drivers go, was pretty helpful. Summoned via a button on the steering wheel and asked to find sushi nearby, Siri read off the names of a few restaurants in the area, waited for me to pick one, and then showed the way on a map that appeared on the screen.

The vehicle was, in fact, a Hyundai Sonata. The Apple-like interface was coming from an iPhone connected by a cable. Most carmakers have agreed to support software from Apple called CarPlay, as well as a competing product from Google, called Android Auto, in part to address a troubling trend: according to research from the National Safety Council, a nonprofit group, more than 25 percent of road accidents are a result of a driver’s fiddling with a phone. Hyundai’s car, which goes on sale this summer, will be one of the first to support CarPlay, and the carmaker had made the Sonata available so I could see how the software works.

CarPlay certainly seemed more intuitive and less distracting than fiddling with a smartphone behind the wheel. Siri felt like a better way to send texts, place calls, or find directions. The system has obvious limitations: if a phone loses the signal or its battery dies, for example, it will stop working fully. And Siri can’t always be relied upon to hear you correctly. Still, I would’ve gladly used CarPlay in the rental car I’d picked up at the San Francisco airport: a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. There was little inside besides an air-conditioning unit and a radio. The one technological luxury, ironically, was a 30-pin cable for an outdated iPhone. To use my smartphone for navigation, I needed a suction mount, an adapter for charging through the cigarette lighter, and good eyesight. More than once as I drove around, my iPhone came unstuck from the windshield and bounced under the passenger seat.

Android Auto also seemed like a huge improvement. When a Google product manager, Daniel Holle, took me for a ride in another Hyundai Sonata, he plugged his Nexus smartphone into the car and the touch screen was immediately taken over by Google Now, a kind of super-app that provides recommendations based on your location, your Web searches, your Gmail messages, and so on. In our case it was showing directions to a Starbucks because Holle had searched for coffee just before leaving his office. Had a ticket for an upcoming flight been in his in-box, Holle explained, Google Now would’ve automatically shown directions to the airport. “A big part of why we’re doing it is driver safety,” he said. “But there’s also this huge opportunity for digital experience in the car. This is a smart driving assistant.”

CarPlay and Android Auto not only give Apple and Google a foothold in the automobile but may signal the start of a more significant effort by these companies to reinvent the car. If they could tap into the many different computers that control car systems, they could use their software expertise to reimagine functions such as steering or collision avoidance. They could create operating systems for cars.

Google has already built its own self-driving cars, using a combination of advanced sensors, mapping data, and clever navigation and control software. There are indications that Apple is now working on a car too: though the company won’t comment on what it terms “rumors and speculation,” it is hiring dozens of people with expertise in automotive design, engineering, and strategy. Vans that belong to Apple, fitted with sensors that might be useful for automated driving, have been spotted cruising around California.

Read the rest of the story here:

11-9-2016, The Verge -- During Google’s annual developers conference this past spring, the company teased a version of its Android Auto software that would run entirely on an Android phone and not require a new car or aftermarket dashboard display. Now the company is starting to roll this software out to Android phone owners.

The new Android Auto app, which is an updated version of the existing app, offers a completely streamlined, easy-to-navigate phone interface for when you’re driving in a car. It also limits the amount of notification alerts you see, and includes the options to have your text messages read aloud to you and to respond to them using voice.

The new app shows just four icons at the bottom of the screen for Maps, phone calls, audio listening, and an enlarged home button — which maps back to Android Auto when running, instead of to the main home screen. At the top of the interface there’s a menu tap, and a microphone icon. Even without actively tapping the icons at the bottom, Android Auto will automatically show a series of cards once you’ve launched the app: right now as I write (not from a car), the main screen of Android Auto is showing music controls for Spotify, the weather in my current location, a missed phone call, and directions to a place I recently looked up in Google Maps.

Google says that any of the apps that have been previously supported in Android Auto — and there are more than 500 of them — will work within this application interface, too. That means popular apps like WhatsApp, Spotify, Pandora, and Pocket Casts will all work in there.

The new Android Auto is free to download, and will work on any Android device running Lollipop (OS version 5.0) or newer. It will be available in 30 countries.

One of the downsides of the Android Auto mobile app is that its "always-on" mode drains your smartphone’s battery life, although Mickey Kataria, director of product management for Maps and Android Auto, insists that using Android Auto would only drain battery life a "tiny bit more" than, say, running Maps in standard mode for an extended period of time. (The app also suggests that you tether your smartphone to a power source during the initial setup process.)

And while you’ll eventually be able to say "OK Google" to trigger voice control within Android Auto, that’s not something that is available at app launch. It’s an odd exclusion from an app that is, essentially, designed to have you tap and swipe less while you’re driving, but Google has indicated that "OK Google" will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

The new Android Auto also doesn’t include support for Google-owned maps app Waze, something else that was shown off at Google I/O back in May. Google didn’t share a timeline for when this would be coming.

But based on my experience with a beta version of Android Auto on the new Pixel phone over the past few days, the app still offers a much better experience than trying to unlock and swipe and tap through tiny app icons or small text within apps while also trying to safely operate a car. When I received text messages in Android Auto mode, I’ve been able to respond with an "I’m driving right now" text with one tap. It even has a smart activation feature: in the settings section of the app you can set the app to autolaunch when your phone wirelessly connects to your car’s Bluetooth.

Android Auto has shipped on more than 200 car models this year so far, and is available on a multitude of aftermarket display units as well. Apple’s own software for a smarter in-car experience, Apple CarPlay, is available in nearly 180 car models (according to the company’s website) as well as in aftermarket devices. But Apple hasn’t announced any plans to turn CarPlay into a mobile-only app on iOS. After using Android Auto, I can firmly say that it’s something Apple should consider offering consumers, even if it’s viewed as only an interim solution until all newer vehicles have more intuitive interfaces, or until more drivers upgrade to those newer vehicles.

Read the rest of the story HERE. 

September 10, 2020 -- ZZ-2 Has released the IT-AUDI line of interfaces. Rich DeSclafani stated, “These interfaces provide a complete all in one solution for supported vehicles. They offer connectivity, safety, convenience and are easy to use. This is the technology most consumers are looking for and we offer it as a complete all in one solution. These products are backed with a three-year warranty for authorized dealers. The IT-AUDI line and all of our products can be viewed on our website”


• Wireless CarPlay

• Wireless Android Auto

• AirPlay

• Backup Camera Input (w/Dynamic Moving Lines)

• Front Camera Input (w/ Parking Mode)

• Uses OEM Microphone

• Smartphone Mirroring/Mirror Link

• USB A/V Playback

• HDMI Input

• Plug n’ Play


Select Audi Vehicles from 2009 to 2019 Supported Radio Types:

• Concert/Symphony Radio (NON MMi – CONTROLS ON DASH BOARD)



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