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Entune - what is it, is it worth it, what do you want see it evolves to?
I could not find a global Entune thread.. too bad as its not only specific to the 2012 Camry (maybe my friend arabianobsession can help here...? :-), so here it goes..
At first, I thought the basic Entune addition over the XLE Hybrid display audio, is not worth it. At $1050 MSRP cost, having Ford's Sync at much cheaper, I thought its way inflated. But then went to look deeper (and I still do not have all the details, this is not just a voice command interface or such like with Ford's it is much more).
1) you get basic navigation (OK, I heard not fancy looking as with the HDD Premium Navigation) or perhaps compared with a GPS stand alone cheap device, relatively to the car included Entune, but you get something
2) you get HD Radio - that wont be subscription based. It allows you to listen to digital music (AM/FM like) and radio broadcasts at much better quality (like Digital TV vs. analog TV).
3) you get (subscription based) traffic and other news - I think this will be what you get for 3 years then need to renew - different than the XM Radio initial trial which is for 3 months - Can someone verify?
4) you get an expandable platform that can add applications and updates latter on (any details on the OS and such?)
5) you pay for a cell data plan or you need to have an unlimited one (such as I have.. :-)
It has a lot of growth potential, not as with Ford's Sync. It has flexibility and ability to do some very useful types of applications. For example, Toyota could get real time information from the car's computers on various systems and error codes, such can be datamined for important insights to adjust their manufaturing or to find faults in some components that need fixing, at a much faster pace than normal dealer repairs data! Applications types and number can grow more latter (we shall see... ), and allow various things.. cars communicating with other such cars, toll pricing based on traffic and so on. Initial applications are not to be seen as fixed and never growing. I am sure there will be more in the future. So I am quite excited to experiment with this technology. Ford has recently decided to collaborate with Toyota on some infomatics standard maybe they will create something to at least have a common information exchange for certain applications and for apps developers.
The sound and speakers: not the JBL, just the base 6 speakers, but I think they should be fine. I could not get the JBL as such an option kicks in the need for the moonroof package (which I hate) nor could I get the premium HDD based navigation. But the HDD Nav is an old technology, even though it looks nice. It has a mechnical disk, source of possible faults latter on, and a mechanical complex door that moves the display to reveal the CD slot. Base Entune should be more reliable mechnically - all solid state.
But.. I do expect problems with some of the features, such as voice recognition etc. same as with initial Ford Sync problems. So take it into consideration, but for now I think the $1050 cost for all the other features included with Entune may worth it at even more than getting the $2600 HDD Nav/Entune option.
Comments, more info, subscription price after 3 years, etc is most appreciated.
Last edited by CamryHybrid2011; 10-27-2011 at 04:27 PM.