Ford, GM Encourage App Development – Toyota?

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Ford and GM have developed software kits for third-party developers to create apps for their in-car “infotainment” systems. Should Toyota follow suit and open app development? Is the bigger question: does anyone really care about these systems?

Ford, GM Encourage App Development

Is it time for Toyota to fully open up their Entune system for third-party app development? Or does anybody really care?

At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, NV, Ford and GM both said that they had developed programmer kits to encourage development. The plan is to provide a technology development kit to facilitate mobile app development. Basically, coders and programmers will finally have the tools they need to develop mobile car apps.

While this might open up a hornet’s nest of problems (can you say Angry Birds), Ford and GM both say they will have a review process prior to releasing the app. The idea is really to focus on three primary categories: news and information, music and entertainment and navigation and location, according to Pretty much any app that leads to distracted driving is a no-go.

The release of these kits seems to go along with another article that recently suggested drivers rely more on smartphones than in-car navigation anyway. With both smartphones and in-car navigation systems essentially providing the same services, it does seem redundant. However, using your smartphone for navigation, it can be argued, creates more distracted driving issues.

What does all this mean for Toyota’s Entune system? Probably a whole lot of nothing. Toyota came to the in-car entertainment market rather late and is really hoping to make up for lost time. While there system has always been a somewhat open platform, there isn’t word of a developer kit coming soon.

“We’re not at a place where it’s a completely open platform, but it’s not completely closed either,” said Jon Bucci, vice president of Toyota’s Advanced Technology Department, told “We first want to make sure that the applications we develop are exactly what our customers are asking for, and parallel with that, making sure they can be delivered appropriately in a vehicle.”

Even though you can download the Entune app to your smartphone, it doesn’t seem likely that you will be able to sync all your favorite apps to your car either. Although, why would you?

All of this discussion does lead to one big question, do you care about your in-car “infotainment” system? Or do you simply want a radio?

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Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. Mickey says:

    Personally I don’t care for it. I have only a non camera cell phone without text. Plain jane. If I need anything that’s what the computer is for. Can’t justify the cost.

  2. mk says:

    Mickey is 110% correct cannot justify the expense. I got a 2012 highlander to drive and had the touch screen to change and set radio, etc. I hated it, give me a push button or turn know anyday. Anything more than a simple CD player and somewhat decents speakers is overkill. Ford sync system my neighbors has sucks and has caused him to crash his vehicle into someone else hoarsing around with it while driving and will happen 100’s of more times if this crap comes into vehicles, especially for the techy person or younger kids.

  3. mendonsy says:

    Don’t have one, don’t want one, don’t care!!
    It’s just one more thing to distract drivers who should be paying attention to what they are doing!!

  4. Mickey says:

    It may look pretty but we know pretty things come with a price. As mention before the distraction can’t jusitfy the actions by people. If texting is against the law while driving this should also fit that category. I know in the wife’s Prius it doesn’t allow you to go through all the programming if the vehicle is in drive. Maybe the same for these apps. In park only.

  5. Rick says:

    Just improve the navigation system. It’s stuck in the stone age.

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