Apple’s CarPlay has historically been something that has been available as part of a new car configuration, but with a handful of aftermarket head units available, those who do not want to buy a new car just to get CarPlay can also join in with the fun.
Today, Sony announced a new in-car entertainment system that incorporates the CarPlay capabilities that many lust after, with the XAV-AX200 being the model number CarPlay fans need to look out for.
Featuring a double-DIN configuration in order to make room for the 6.4-inch touch-screen (which is not yet clear whether it’s resistive or capacitive) display, the XAV-AX200 also supports Android Auto as well as Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility, a built-in four-channel amplifier, three external camera inputs, and a built-in DVD player. Expected to be released to market by the end of the year, no pricing has yet been announced for the new system, although a previously available product from Sony cost anywhere between $499 and $549 in the United States.
Sony also unveiled a MEX-GS820BT receiver that can interestingly pair with two smartphones at once via Bluetooth. There is no CarPlay support here, although there is support for Siri Eyes Free, which aims to keep a driver’s eyes on the road by making everything accessible via voice commands and interaction. Again, no price has been made available as yet with a similar end-of-year release timeframe having been provided for this. Photos haven’t yet been made available for the two new products.
Sony’s XAV-AX100 in-dash car audio system
Support for Apple’s CarPlay has been hit and miss since its introduction, although Google’s Android Auto alternative is not fairing any better. Keeping drivers safe while still offering the apps, entertainment and navigation they need is no mean feat, with both Google and Apple seeking to be the ones to get it right. Arguably, as of right now, neither has cracked it.
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