Parrot’s Asteroid, the first Android aftermarket car radio, has received a firmware update for several new features including more ways to access the Internet.
In addition, the in-dash radio can now work with steering wheel controls.
Previously, the Asteroid could not access the Internet through an Android phone connection. With the new firmware version 1.5, it can now use an Android phone to light up the built-in apps in the radio including apps for Google Maps, TuneIn Radio and an app for sending texts and emails.
Previously, to get a 3G connection, users were limited to an iPhone or a USB air card. Now both Android and iPhone devices may now be connected to the radio either by Bluetooth or USB cable.
The free update became available April 4.
Parrot says the unit has won placement in many hundreds of store outlets in the U.S. and distribution is growing each month.
It also claims the product is meeting or exceeding expectations, although it says the single DIN size of the product has been a limiting factor (a double DIN version is due later this year).
“For a single DIN unit—it’s not at the high end—it’s been selling very well for us. We’re very happy with the results so far. We have three new products due later in the year. I think it will really take another turn upward for us, once we have the double DIN units and other products in the category,” said Peter George, VP Sales & Marketing.
An Android based in-car Bluetooth kit, GPS unit and Double DIN version of the Asteroid were first announced at CES in January.
The original Asteroid, at $349 began shipping last November. It uses voice for ‘reading’ and composing text messages and comes with a GPS dongle for navigation. Another of its built in apps is called Wikango, which warns of speed cameras in real time.