Car News

2018 Toyota Camry to use Xevo over Apple Carplay and Android Auto

Toyota’s new Camry will rely on older phone-mirroring technology as it continues to shun Apple and Google for mobile connectivity.

XEVO HAS ANNOUNCED its in-car infotainment app will help power the 2018 Toyota Camry which is slated to go on sale in the US this month and launch here in November. The company produces car technologies including infotainment and phone connectivity software.

The partnership marks Toyota’s commitment to be independent of relying on the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity found in many new cars that spruce up basic infotainment systems and provide seamless phone connectivity to Apple and Android phones. (Suggested reading: What is Apple Carplay? and What is Android Auto?)

Steering away from Apple and Google infotainment based software, the Japanese manufacturer has been helping develop what it hopes will be an industry-standard Linux-based infotainment system. Currently 10 manufacturers, including Mazda and Suzuki, are working on the open-source infotainment project.

The Linux-based infotainment in the new eighth-generation Camry is made up of 70 per cent open-source and 30 per cent proprietary software code. Xevo is providing the mobile phone connectivity interface and access to mobile apps.

Instead of using Apple CarPlay or Auto to connect mobile phones and their apps, Xevo’s third-party middleware Entune 3.0 software will provide connectivity to mobile phone handsets via the Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect app. With the app installed, Entune provides access to popular mobile apps (such as Pandora) that can be used via the Entune based infotainment.

However, unlike CarPlay and Android Auto that provide access to the phone’s native maps apps, Entune requires using the Telenav Scout GPS Link app. The third party connectivity may also mean no access to native music streaming services such as Apple Music and Google Music, although Spotify is supported.

Of course Toyota isn’t the only manufacturer to avoid using Apple and Google in-car technology. BMW has proven that the integration of Carplay/Auto isn’t entirely necessary but its infotainment is far more polished than what Toyota has produced so far. Adapting to the technology also requires providing access to some of the cars computer systems, which some manufacturers are reluctant to do.

Alex Rae

Alex Rae

Alex Rae grew up among some of the great stages of Targa Tasmania, an event that sparked his passion for all things mechanical. Currently living across Bass Strait in Melbourne, Alex has worked for the last decade in the automotive world as both a photographer and journalist, and is now a freelancer for various publications. When not driving for work Alex can be found tinkering in the shed on of one his project Zeds or planning his next gravel rally car.