Back at CES, we saw Kenwood, Pioneer and a few others come out with after market systems that use Android Auto. One of the ones that caught my eye was the Kenwood DDX9902S. Why did it catch my eye? Well because it uses both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Most of you might be thinking "who cares about CarPlay?" Well imagine this, you and your wife drive the same car. You have a Galaxy S5, she has an iPhone 6. With the Kenwood DDX9902S, you can plug in your Android smartphone and get the Android Auto experience while she can plug in her iPhone 6 and get the CarPlay experience. Make sense?
My stance on these infotainment systems from Google and Apple has always been that we need both. Sometimes you switch from one platform to another. And if your car only has Android Auto or only has CarPlay, then you're kinda stuck. Having both, gives you the freedom of choice. We like choice.
While Android Auto is mostly all we care about, the DDX9902S is also a premium Kenwood multimedia center. It has Bluetooth integration, which enables safe phone calls and wireless music from a paired smartphone. Yes Android Auto and CarPlay both do this, but this will work on feature phones as well as Windows Phones and the couple of Blackberries still laying around. There's also a built in charger to charge your device while on the road, which is a big deal to a lot of people. Kenwood has also built-in Pandora and iHeart Radio, which is a nice change.
Currently, Kenwood hasn't put out a price or ship date on the Kenwood DDX9902S, but we should hear more a bit later on. Hopefully it's not too pricey, as it'll be a good way to get Android Auto into more cars sooner. Rather than having to wait to buy a new car that will have Android Auto inside it.