It was reported this week that Toyota would be revamping their Infotainment system for the 2018 Camry, which is due to be announced later this year. This new infotainment system should be available for their entire fleet of vehicles starting with the 2018 model year, although that is not yet confirmed. Toyota has been a big hold out on Android Auto, as well as Apple CarPlay, as they don’t like the idea of letting the two big tech companies into its most precious space in its vehicles, and that’s infotainment. That’s where car makers really make money. Mostly through partnerships for maps and such. And it’s something that Toyota doesn’t want to hand over to Google nor Apple.
Now with the revamped infotainment system coming later this year, many are hoping that Toyota has changed their tune, but that’s not happening. The new system still has no support for Android Auto nor Apple CarPlay. Again, that’s not a huge surprise, but it’s still not a good idea, when basically everyone else is adding support. Toyota is using AGL, which is open source (a lot like Android), and allows Toyota to really customize it to their liking – this really sounds a lot like Android for the car. It’s going to offer up better connectivity, as well as better functionality, which is what Toyota is aiming for here. It’ll debut first in the 2018 Camry.
Luckily, for those Toyota owners that want to use Android Auto in the car, Google has made a workaround of sorts. Last year, they launched a huge update to the Android Auto app, which allows you to dock the phone in your car and use it for Android Auto. So all you need is a car mount and then your phone and you’ll have Android Auto in the car. It’s still a better experience to have it built into the car, then having to mount your phone in the car, but it is an option that is available. And that’s really Android as a whole, giving customers more and more options for different things. And Android Auto is no different here.