It seems that everyday, we have another Android Auto announcement. Just yesterday, Buick and GMC announced plans for Android Auto as well as CarPlay coming to their 2016 lineup of cars and trucks. Now, Kenwood is joining Pioneer with having after-market head units available that run Android Auto as well as Apple’s CarPlay. Kenwood is in the process of shipping the DDX9902S and the DDX9702S to retailers to start selling. They are both available right now from Best Buy.
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One of the features that Kenwood has over Pioneer here is that you can switch from Android Auto to Apple CarPlay without messing around with the settings:
“The DDX9902S and DDX9702S are currently the only aftermarket receivers equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that allow users to switch between connecting an iPhone® or Androidâ„¢-based phone without having to manually change settings or reset the unit. This enables multiple drivers of the same vehicle to plug in the phone of their choice and enjoy their entertainment options and driver-centric apps.”
We have Pioneer’s AVH4100NEX here, and if you plug in an iPhone, you do need to change the input. it’s not hard, takes about two taps. But to have it done automagically by Kenwood’s software is pretty nice. Makes it even simpler to use. Both of these units from Kenwood have built-in HD Radio, as well as an HDMI Input that does do MHL support and DVD playback. They are both compatible with SiriusXM. Of course you do need a subscription for SiriusXM.
So now, if you don’t want to buy a new car soon, but you do want Android Auto, well you have a choice. A choice between five different after-market head units from Kenwood and Pioneer. Kenwood’s DDX9702S is currently on Best Buy selling for about $700, and after having it installed with other parts you may need to have installed correctly, you’re looking at close to a grand. So it’s not cheap, but these head units are pretty darn good. And still a whole lot cheaper than buying a 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Or picking up one of GM’s 2016 models that will have Android Auto at some point in 2016.