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Old 09-01-2011, 10:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Serious concerns about Entune

Based on the videos and text I've seen on Entune, I'm not terribly impressed by it. What are your thoughts?

These are my concerns:

1. Bing maps: Are they 100 percent dependent on a smart phone with a working data connection? I frequently go places without cell phone coverage. On the same token, what if your phone breaks, the battery dies, your phone is stolen, you lose your phone, etc. I don't want to be lost in the middle of nowhere because Entune has no maps stored on internal memory. So if the answer to this question is yes, it's a definite deal breaker for me.

2. Cost: They say Entune is free for 3 years, but are suspiciously quiet about the cost beyond that point. Will the price remain fixed or will Toyota gouge us on the subscription fees whenever they feel like it?

3. Data Usage: Not everybody has unlimited data packages or the money to pay an extra $10 per gigabyte per month. With average usage (maps, music) what is a reasonable expectation for data usage per hour of driving time?

4. Security: Does Entune store any personal information, such as the emails or phonebook data it retrieves from your phone? Can it be hacked into by somebody else with a Bluetooth-enabled smart phone, or over the internet when your smart phone is connected? I'd rather not have any creeps stalking the women in my family.

5. Future: I'm sure the hardware in Entune will be obsolete in another 10 years. How long will Toyota continue to support the hardware and software?

Nos. 1, 2, 3 are my biggest concerns. Perhaps it's nothing to worry about but Toyota refuses to tell me anything.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobythedog View Post
Based on the videos and text I've seen on Entune, I'm not terribly impressed by it. What are your thoughts?

These are my concerns:

1. Bing maps: Are they 100 percent dependent on a smart phone with a working data connection? I frequently go places without cell phone coverage. On the same token, what if your phone breaks, the battery dies, your phone is stolen, you lose your phone, etc. I don't want to be lost in the middle of nowhere because Entune has no maps stored on internal memory. So if the answer to this question is yes, it's a definite deal breaker for me.

2. Cost: They say Entune is free for 3 years, but are suspiciously quiet about the cost beyond that point. Will the price remain fixed or will Toyota gouge us on the subscription fees whenever they feel like it?

3. Data Usage: Not everybody has unlimited data packages or the money to pay an extra $10 per gigabyte per month. With average usage (maps, music) what is a reasonable expectation for data usage per hour of driving time?

4. Security: Does Entune store any personal information, such as the emails or phonebook data it retrieves from your phone? Can it be hacked into by somebody else with a Bluetooth-enabled smart phone, or over the internet when your smart phone is connected? I'd rather not have any creeps stalking the women in my family.

5. Future: I'm sure the hardware in Entune will be obsolete in another 10 years. How long will Toyota continue to support the hardware and software?

Nos. 1, 2, 3 are my biggest concerns. Perhaps it's nothing to worry about but Toyota refuses to tell me anything.
1. Bing Maps - from what I understand the entune unit is a traditional nav but uses your phones data to access POI's and give you real time updated info. which means that you will always be able to set up your routes but you won't be able to access any real-time info.

2. Cost - I don't believe entune is a subscription. Where did you read that it would be? I don't see why they would charge you a fee when all it's doing is access the internet through your data plan that's already paid for.

3. Data usage - if you're not on an unlimited plan you're setting yourself up to get screwed on overage charges. don't know how to get around that unless you can get on a carrier that still offers unlimited data without throttling.

4. Security - i'm sure there will be holes. there always is.

5. Future - this is the very beginning of this sort of this tech so I don't see it becoming obsolete anytime soon. if your expectation is that entune lasts 10 years then that's good because 10 years is a very long time in the tech world.

Last edited by pnificense; 09-01-2011 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 09-01-2011, 11:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Here's where it says Entune is a paid subscription after three years. I can't figure out what we'd be paying for.

http://www.toyota.com/entune/what-is-entune/

Getting started with Entune™ is easy: Register your Entune™ account and link your existing apps to Entune™, then download the Entune™ app from your favorite App Store, such as iTunes®, Android™ Market or Blackberry® Appworld™. Once the phone app is launched and the phone is paired and connected to the vehicle using Bluetooth® [3] wireless technology or a USB cable, Entune's™ apps are accessed using the vehicle’s controls or, for some services, voice recognition. Entune™ includes three years of complimentary access to apps and services (After three years, an access charge will apply; excludes Pandora®).
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tobythedog View Post
Here's where it says Entune is a paid subscription after three years. I can't figure out what we'd be paying for.

http://www.toyota.com/entune/what-is-entune/

Getting started with Entune™ is easy: Register your Entune™ account and link your existing apps to Entune™, then download the Entune™ app from your favorite App Store, such as iTunes®, Android™ Market or Blackberry® Appworld™. Once the phone app is launched and the phone is paired and connected to the vehicle using Bluetooth® [3] wireless technology or a USB cable, Entune's™ apps are accessed using the vehicle’s controls or, for some services, voice recognition. Entune™ includes three years of complimentary access to apps and services (After three years, an access charge will apply; excludes Pandora®).
it does sound like a subscription. i'm hoping it's a charge to buy the app and not a monthly or annual thing cause that would suck. this news would make me reconsider springing for that unit.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The app is free to download from the iTunes store as of 9/1. There is no plan to begin charging for the app. Toyota has not yet released the subscription pricing for Entune once the 3 year complimentary service runs out. Expect the cost to rival the $60/year Ford charges for Sync when their 3 year complimentary service expires. We should know the pricing by mid September.

If you have multiple vehicles in your household and link them to the same account, your free period may extend. (Buy a Camry this fall and get another Toyota with Entune 2 years later, and you will then have 5 years...)
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TOYOTALIFER View Post
The app is free to download from the iTunes store as of 9/1. There is no plan to begin charging for the app. Toyota has not yet released the subscription pricing for Entune once the 3 year complimentary service runs out. Expect the cost to rival the $60/year Ford charges for Sync when their 3 year complimentary service expires. We should know the pricing by mid September.

If you have multiple vehicles in your household and link them to the same account, your free period may extend. (Buy a Camry this fall and get another Toyota with Entune 2 years later, and you will then have 5 years...)
Thanks, I appreciate it.

Any info on the other questions I asked?
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Unlike the current navi systems, the contact data is retrieved from your phone as it is synced, and is not stored. You will be able to sync 4 or 5 phones, depending on your Entune system.

There is a Hard drive unit navi that will have the data stored on it, as opposed to current systems that require a map DVD. This will be considered the premium audio package in most vehicles with Entune, and will include the new JBL Green Edge audio. This sytem will include 3 years of data services from XM(still 90 days on radio). You will have XM Navtraffic, NavWeather, stocks, sports, etc. We haven't heard what the cost will be to extend this service yet either. This option will most definitely help keep your mobile data plans in check, but will be the most expensive audio option to purchase.

As far as being outdated technology down the road, the Entune system will have periodic software and app updates that will need to be saved to a USB drive and uploaded directly through the vehicle's USB connection. In some cases, you may see that ability to update Entune using your wireless data plan. The initial launch of the system this fall will include the apps you already see at toyota.com/entune, and expect more to be available the first half of 2012.

Data usage will be the same as what your phone currently uses. Entune receives data from your phone via Bluetooth, so it will not use more data than what you already use, with the exception of Bing, since you probably don't use that on your smartphone now. Streaming iHeart Radio or Pandora will not cost you more than it already does. Also, Bluetooth will auto reconnect each time you enter the vehicle(as it does now), but you will have to select internet connection each time you get in the vehicle. This way, you have more control over your data usage.

Bluetooth is pretty secure and you now will have a 6 digit pin to enter reather than the 4 digit currently used. This will make it more difficult for someone to guess your security code.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobythedog View Post
Based on the videos and text I've seen on Entune, I'm not terribly impressed by it. What are your thoughts?

These are my concerns:

1. Bing maps: Are they 100 percent dependent on a smart phone with a working data connection? I frequently go places without cell phone coverage. On the same token, what if your phone breaks, the battery dies, your phone is stolen, you lose your phone, etc. I don't want to be lost in the middle of nowhere because Entune has no maps stored on internal memory. So if the answer to this question is yes, it's a definite deal breaker for me.
This video might be the solution to your first question (1:44 mark) :

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Old 09-02-2011, 04:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks again for the reply! I have a few questions based on what you said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOYOTALIFER View Post
Unlike the current navi systems, the contact data is retrieved from your phone as it is synced, and is not stored. You will be able to sync 4 or 5 phones, depending on your Entune system.
What do you mean by contact data? The POI's such as business names and phone numbers, or that info plus the entire mapped route to the destination you choose?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TOYOTALIFER View Post
There is a Hard drive unit navi that will have the data stored on it, as opposed to current systems that require a map DVD. This will be considered the premium audio package in most vehicles with Entune, and will include the new JBL Green Edge audio.
This is what I'm confused about. The only form of Bing that I'm familiar with is a live, internet-based version. Are they taking the basic Bing maps and turning them into a non-live (static) type that uses the internet just for POI's?

In other words, can I use the basic Bing maps without cell phone reception?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TOYOTALIFER View Post
This sytem will include 3 years of data services from XM(still 90 days on radio). You will have XM Navtraffic, NavWeather, stocks, sports, etc. We haven't heard what the cost will be to extend this service yet either. This option will most definitely help keep your mobile data plans in check, but will be the most expensive audio option to purchase.
I think you mean that the information is delivered via XM instead of your phone's data plan, thereby cutting down on your phone's data usage? Correct?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TOYOTALIFER View Post
Data usage will be the same as what your phone currently uses. Entune receives data from your phone via Bluetooth, so it will not use more data than what you already use, with the exception of Bing, since you probably don't use that on your smartphone now. Streaming iHeart Radio or Pandora will not cost you more than it already does. Also, Bluetooth will auto reconnect each time you enter the vehicle(as it does now), but you will have to select internet connection each time you get in the vehicle. This way, you have more control over your data usage.
That's good to know. The data usage is pretty painful as it is. A little internet research says that Pandora uses about 30 MB per hour. Let's just say you average 90 minutes per day driving. That's 45 MB per day times 30 days = 1.35 GB just for Pandora alone. Ouch. Like I was saying, for those who don't have unlimited data plans, this is pretty hard to swallow. And the big question remains on how much data Bing is going to use.

Take Verizon's data plans for example. These are the basic tiers, with $10 for every extra GB.

2GB = $30/month
5GB = $50/month
10GB = $80/month

Depending on your cell phone plan and usage habits, it's very possible Entune is going to cost the average person $10-30 more per month than they already pay. I assume XM Radio is not included, so for those who want it, add $12.95/month. Then, after the three years are up, an undetermined subscription fee to Toyota, possibly $5 per month (or $60/year).

With the exception of Toyota's subscription fee, I do realize the other costs, while discretionary, are simply unaffordable for many people.
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i am not sure what the problem is - it is internet connected and to use apps, you need internet connection. I would assume most people who ill get it will do so because they already have internet on their phone (for instance I will).

Compared to previous navigations, where you have so limited features, and could never get an update at any price, this is huge step up in every way.

And yes of course, you will be able to use EVERYTHING BUT APPS without internet connection.

This is the future of navigation and huge departure from stone age devices of before.
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Old 09-03-2011, 03:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i am not sure what the problem is - it is internet connected and to use apps, you need internet connection. I would assume most people who ill get it will do so because they already have internet on their phone (for instance I will).

Compared to previous navigations, where you have so limited features, and could never get an update at any price, this is huge step up in every way.

And yes of course, you will be able to use EVERYTHING BUT APPS without internet connection.

This is the future of navigation and huge departure from stone age devices of before.
You obviously didn't read my first post very well. Of course it's internet connected and of course an internet connection is needed for the apps. I touched on that several places in my list of concerns.

This is all about making an informed decision. I suspect when Toyota (and other manufacturers) first went to design this, they didn't anticipate unlimited data plans disappearing like they have. That poses a problem for many consumers, myself included.

At least one source is claiming Entune will cost $1,050. That's a steep price to pay, and even worse with Toyota's subscription fees. Average data usage could add $10-30 to a person's cell phone bill per month.
http://www.dailytech.com/First+Impre...ticle22532.htm

Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to get sucked in not realizing they can't afford this, or else Entune doesn't work like they want it to. I'm still not clear if the Bing maps will function without cell phone reception.
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This video might be the solution to your first question (1:44 mark) :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D08qUirYMM0
You know what, I overlooked the YouTube video you provided. Sorry about that! This video does provide some answers.

Unfortunately, what the Toyota engineer said isn't good news. Although there are two databases, one is internal and the other is Bing [via internet connection]. Listen beginning at the 1:55 mark, they confirm that the internal database contains only 1 million POI's. The Toyota guy is quick to point out that Bing offers 15 million points of interest but that is beside the point.

More than 3 years ago, I paid $99 at Costco for this entry level Magellan 1412 GPS. This unit came with 6 million POI's pre-installed !!!!

Where is Toyota's brain?
No, seriously. Entune is going to cost $1050 and it only has 1/6th the POI's that a cheap $99 unit comes with. Totally unacceptable.




http://www.magellangps.com/Products/RoadMate/Magellan-RoadMate-1412-North-America
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tobythedog View Post
You know what, I overlooked the YouTube video you provided. Sorry about that! This video does provide some answers.

Unfortunately, what the Toyota engineer said isn't good news. Although there are two databases, one is internal and the other is Bing [via internet connection]. Listen beginning at the 1:55 mark, they confirm that the internal database contains only 1 million POI's. The Toyota guy is quick to point out that Bing offers 15 million points of interest but that is beside the point.

More than 3 years ago, I paid $99 at Costco for this entry level Magellan 1412 GPS. This unit came with 6 million POI's pre-installed !!!!

Where is Toyota's brain?
No, seriously. Entune is going to cost $1050 and it only has 1/6th the POI's that a cheap $99 unit comes with. Totally unacceptable.




http://www.magellangps.com/Products/RoadMate/Magellan-RoadMate-1412-North-America
I totally agree. And how about having the BING POI's saved and stored for later after every search so that one doesn't tax their data plan downloading the same information over and over again. for example, i want to be able to search once for coffee or gas in my area and all the info gets downloaded and stored one time so that every time I search for coffee or gas I'm not downloading the same info over again. Or here's a more novel idea, have maps software that get "delta updates" meaning that when you do a search it compares what you have stored to what's newly available on the Internet and only download and stores what's new. If they don't implement something like this no one is going to use the data intenseive features/services because of fear of going over their cell phone plan.
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tobythedog View Post
You obviously didn't read my first post very well. Of course it's internet connected and of course an internet connection is needed for the apps. I touched on that several places in my list of concerns.

This is all about making an informed decision. I suspect when Toyota (and other manufacturers) first went to design this, they didn't anticipate unlimited data plans disappearing like they have. That poses a problem for many consumers, myself included.

At least one source is claiming Entune will cost $1,050. That's a steep price to pay, and even worse with Toyota's subscription fees. Average data usage could add $10-30 to a person's cell phone bill per month.
http://www.dailytech.com/First+Impre...ticle22532.htm

Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to get sucked in not realizing they can't afford this, or else Entune doesn't work like they want it to. I'm still not clear if the Bing maps will function without cell phone reception.
ugh, i just wrote in the post you quoted that maps will work offline.

Without internet connection, you get normal navigation and free 3 year sub to XM stuff (bar the radio). So you will be able to use XM Navtraffic, NavWeather, stocks, sports, etc, without internet connection.

Searching for Bing poi's will be very light for your data plan, whatever it is, it wont spend much of the connection.

I dont see how paying $1k for Entune isnt a lot better deal than paying $2k for old nav units which didnt have apps at all.
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have seen Entune at media events. Hopefully I can clarify some of this.

First of all bandwidth is not an issue due to Entune. It's an issue in any case. If you're streaming Pandora or other music sources on your phone it's the same issue with or without Entune. For example if you got a car with Bluetooth music streaming and you were streaming Pandora from your phone, it's the same issue. You have to watch your data usage in any case. All other Entune uses of your phone are negligible compared to music streaming.

Bing -- they are only using Bing business search, not maps. Just textual information, no significant data transmitted. All mapping is done within the gps system onboard.

1 million POIs -- I wouldn't take that comment as gospel. The guy probably doesn't know the true count off the top of his head.

One thing nobody mentioned yet but is sure to cause some confusion is there there are two Entune-capable systems -- "Display Audio" and "Premium HDD Navigation." See toyota.com/entune. Probably your best bet is to look at your options in the showroom.
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