Kenwood will ship this month two car radios that work with Android phones. It joins Sony as one of the few suppliers to give Android phone users the ability control their music from the car radio.
Android users can plug in their phones into the Kenwood car radio which will then recognize it as a mass storage device. If the user also downloads a Kenwood app, he can then use the car radio’s seek, play and pause keys to control music on the phone.
The app will be available in January from Android Market, and will most likely be called Kenwood Music Control.
The Android-ready car CD/radios are the Kenwood KDC-252U CD receiver and KDC-202U.
The KDC-252U has a $120 suggested retail price. In addition to Android music playback and control you also get built-in Pandora control over an iPhone including thumbs up/down. The CD/radio has a front USB for connecting an iPod and mass storage devices. The radio will also charge an iPhone. It comes with a front AUX input and one set of pre-outs to allow system building, including the addition of a subwoofer through an optional signal output and a built-in low frequency crossover. You also get remote control.
The step down model KDC-202U has a suggested retail price of $110. You get the same Android control but you lose iPhone and built-in Pandora control. You also get front USB for mass storage devices, front aux in, one set of pre-outs, and remote control.
With most car radios, Android users can plug the phone to hear their music (through the aux in jack) but there’s no control over the music so you must keep picking up your phone to change songs while driving.
A third Kenwood basic CD/radio will also ship this month (without Android control) at a $100 suggested retail price. The KDC-152 has a front aux input, and is MP3 capability with one set of pre-outs and remote control.