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Toyota joins in-car app bandwagon

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Toyota is working to steal some thunder from Ford’s Sync effort. The grand plan for these automakers—you can expect others to follow—is to use car technology to create app ecosystems.

In the never-ending race to turn your car cabin into a smart, mobile entertainment mecca, Toyota on Tuesday unveiled Entune, a system that will integrate mobile apps and music services with in-vehicle controls.

Toyota is working to steal some thunder from Ford’s Sync effort. The grand plan for these automakers—you can expect others to follow—is to use car technology to create app ecosystems. The idea is that you will be able to plug in apps and access the Internet via voice commands.

According to Toyota, Entune will simplify interaction between voice recognition and in-vehicle controls. Users will download the Toyota Entune app, pair it with Bluetooth and access content. Entune will debut with Bing, OpenTable and MovieTickets.com. On the music front, Entune will feature iheartradio and personalized stations via Pandora.

Entune will be available on select models later this year.

Key technology partners include Nuance, which provides the voice recognition software; QNX, the Research in Motion subsidiary that provides the embedded multimedia system; Microsoft and Harman.

Source: CES: Toyota launches Entune, plans to take on Ford for in-car entertainment

More: Ford’s AppLink to be compatible with Apple’s iPhone

Larry Dignan

Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Larry Dignan is editor-in-chief of SmartPlanet and ZDNet. He is also editorial director of TechRepublic. Previously, he was an editor at eWeek, Baseline and CNET News. He has written for WallStreetWeek.com, Inter@ctive Week, New York Times and Financial Planning. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Delaware. He is based in New York but resides in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure