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What Does That Button Do? Vol 1

 
When I sit with customers and talk them through the different technology that comes with their vehicle, often times customers are confused about what a specific button does. It's completely understandable since most of them are just pictures and don't say what they are on the button. Often times it's just easier for people to leave these buttons alone rather than find them in their owners manual or call a Technology Specialist…
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Good News 2016 Ford Owners: You're Getting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

 
I've written before about how awesome and helpful Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are to drivers, especially those who don't have navigation built-in their vehicle. When Ford released their Sync 3 system on their 2016 vehicles they assured their customers they would eventually be getting an update to make the infotainment systems compatible with these cutting edge "phone projection" systems. Well, at long last that time has come.

With this new update you…
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Who's Calling? Getting Your Phone's Contacts to Your Vehicle

 
I know I've already written a lot about your phone's relationship to your vehicle, but seeing that Americans spend 10 hours a day looking at screens, mostly our phones, it seems like a topic worth revisiting often. Vehicles now are just as much cell phone accessories as they are transportation. Our phones can power our music, navigation, text messages, and of course our calls. With every new model year our phones are taking…
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Your iPhone and Your Vehicle: A (Complicated) Love Story

 
Let’s think about your Apple iPhone and your vehicle as a love story.  (I keep this metaphor going throughout the post, but there’s some real content here, I promise.) They meet and of course have to be introduced, so you pair them up. It might not always be love and first sight, and sometimes that first pairing connection doesn’t hold; and you have to pair the iPhone a second, and maybe even…
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The Future of In-Vehicle Navigation: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

 
I have a prediction, one that I don’t think is that much of a leap. My prediction is this: Full navigation systems that come built into cars by the manufacturers will soon either be very rare or a thing of the past completely. The reasons for this are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two pieces of technology that allow you to “project” specific apps from your smartphone onto your vehicle’s infotainment screen. The…
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No CD Player? No Problem!

 
A growing trend in the automotive industry is the phasing out of CD players in vehicles. I suppose the idea makes sense. Larger more sophisticated radios badly need the space taken up by traditional CD players. Couple this with the fact that more and more people are using XM radio, smart phones, and streaming Bluetooth audio to play their own music on their vehicles and you’ve got a recipe for the demise of the…
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The Curious Case of the TomTom Eclipse

 
I received a call from a customer, Mark, who had a very unusual and very specific question for me regarding his radio. But before I can tell you about his question, I have to tell you about his radio.

At some point in the last 15 years or so, the GPS company TomTom and Toyota got together to build a radio for a select few vehicles. It was a radio system that let you snap…
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Charging Your Phone from Your Car's USB Port: Why It's Slow and How to Go Faster

 

More and more modern vehicles are including USB ports as an audio input option. Some vehicles have only one or two, and some larger vehicles can have six or eight ports scattered throughout the cabin. It's a handy way to give everyone in the car access to a power source for their electronic devices, and in some cases these ports can even provide music, pictures, and videos to the vehicle's infotainment system. (Typically only the…
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