The Internet almost split today under the duress of a billion users clicking around for the latest and greatest news from Apple's "Let's talk iPhone" keynote. But as the dust settles on the iPhone 4S reveal and the announcement of iOS 5, users are also finding themselves of split opinion about what they saw. Like most who tuned in to CNET's obsessive coverage, I'm slightly disappointed at what I saw. Not because it wasn't amazing (it wasn't) but because of all of the missed opportunities for Apple to gain ground in the … Read more
For a driving enthusiast, there's nothing like the throaty roar of a well-tuned engine. However, as vehicle noise regulations, technological advances, and general increases in build quality have continued to make vehicles ever quieter both outside and inside, some automakers have been seeking ways to preserve and enhance the visceral sound of an angry engine for their performance-oriented models. For example, Ford includes a sort of sound pipe that channels induction noise into the Mustang's cabin. BMW, on the other hand, has taken a different approach with the new M5's Active Sound Design technology, which artificially replicates … Read more
A month after BMW added text-to-speech capability to its ConnectedDrive app, Mini drivers get the same feature. A new version of the Mini Connected iPhone app released this week reads out Facebook status and Twitter updates in the car.
The new feature makes it easier for drivers to stay connected to their social lives while in the car, and, theoretically, will curb the urge to check Facebook and Twitter on their mobile devices while waiting at traffic lights. However, drivers will still need to use the vehicle's controls to access the app and tell the system to read the … Read more
I know a little about under-dash record players from the late 1960s, but I was totally clueless about 1950s car turntables, until I heard writer Paul Collins talking about them on WNYC's "Soundcheck" radio show a few weeks ago. I chatted with Collins to learn more about these groovy hi-fis.
Columbia Records developed the proprietary Highway Hi-Fi format: a thick 7-inch, 16 2/3rpm record that had up to one hour playing time per side. Chrysler executives jumped on the idea, and offered the turntable as an option in their 1956 models, and were hoping one out … Read more
It all started with a dream. An enterprising Motorola Droid Bionic owner on the DroidForums message board wanted to be able to watch the Netflix videos streamed to his Bionic on the rear-seat entertainment (RSE) system in his 2003 Lexus GS 300. The user (who goes by the handle InspiredGS) went to work modding and, after a bit of careful hackery and a careful application of epoxy, his Droid Bionic Car Kit had been upgraded to allow the handset's display to be mirrored on the Lexus' screens.
What the modder basically did was add an HDMI connection to the … Read more
iHeartRadio hasn't forgotten about the 19 million smartphone users still rocking BlackBerries--the Internet radio service integrated its BlackBerry app with Ford's infotainment system to give listeners access to their favorite stations while on the go.
The new BlackBerry iHeartRadio app, available for download, seamlessly integrates features with the vehicle steering wheel controls. For hands-free control, Sync AppLink users can use voice commands, such as "Genre," "City," or "Personality," to search for a station by type of music, location of station, or host.
This is the third BlackBerry app that has been integrated … Read more
Sirius XM plans to unveil two next-generation satellite radio tuners next month. The portable devices will give subscribers access to 30 new stations, enhanced time-shifting capability, and a slew of on-demand programming, but unless you plan on taping the new radio to your dash, you can't get these new features in your car until next year.
According to an article in Twice, a universal tuner designed to be installed in vehicles won't be released until some time in 2012. The entertainment company has also indicated that an automotive manufacturer will launch a 2013 model year vehicle with the new platform, … Read more
We shoot a lot of in-car video for the Car Tech Blog and Car Tech Live podcast, but even we're wowed by the amount of hardware that graces the dash and boot of the Smart Studio, the smallest mobile TV studio ever.
The Smart Studio is a rolling video rig that Smart is using to produce and promote a fashion and lifestyle video series that takes place inside and around the vehicle. There are six camera mounting points around the vehicle's cabin (we counted four across the dashboard, one in the footwell, and one in the rear backlight), … Read more
At the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Harman International demonstrated Aha app integration it developed for Ferrari. It's a big-name client for a little-known product, and may herald future Aha implementation with other automakers.
Aha gave CNET an exclusive look at the implementation ahead of the Frankfurt auto show.
Using an iPhone running the Aha app and connected to the Ferrari head unit, a number of cloud-based services became available, such as Slacker, Yelp, Twitter, and traffic reports. If you touch the Aha tab on the head unit's audio screen, the list of services appears in a vertical … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Ford wants developers to create a broad array of connectivity applications that can be used in conjunction with its cars, and it launched its OpenXC platform Monday to promote that effort.
In an announcement at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference here, Ford and its partner Bug Labs unveiled OpenXC, a platform designed to allow third-party developers to create any number of open-source hardware or software products that will interact with Ford's Sync system.
The idea, said K. Venkatesh Prasad, the senior technical leader of Infotronics at Ford Research and Innovation, is to make it possible for outside developers to … Read more