Toyota launched a new telematics service at CES 2011. This service works through an Entune app loaded onto a driver's smartphone. The Entune app integrates with select navigation-equipped Toyota models, showing its apps on the car's LCD. The driver can control the apps with the touch screen or voice command.
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The main app screen in the car will show five apps initially, although Toyota will add more as it develops them. These apps use the phone's data connection. Some apps, such as Bing's local search, integrate with the navigation system, setting addresses as a new destination.
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Bing search is the only app on launch to offer voice command, indicated by the microphone icon at the top of the screen. This voice command parses natural speech, looking for keywords to generate its search. Users will be able to perform searches for local businesses using fairly vague terms, for example finding hardware stores by saying the word hammer.
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The OpenTable app lets users search for restaurants by location and whether tables are available. A user could make a reservation, then have Entune send the restaurant address to the navigation system.
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Pandora has proven a popular app for in-car systems. Toyota offers it in Entune with this touch-screen interface. Although voice command does not work with Pandora, steering wheel controls will let the user skip tracks.
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The iheartradio app gives users a choice from hundreds of Clear Channel radio stations from around the country. The radio station is streamed over the Internet to the phone, then through the car's speakers.
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