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Kenwood Heads Combine CarPlay, Android Auto

Las Vegas – Kenwood is coming to International CES with what will be among the first aftermarket in-dash head units incorporating both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

With Android Auto and CarPlay, head-unit touchscreens display a driver-friendly UI that lets drivers control key smartphone apps on USB-connected Apple and Android smartphones. Apps include a phone’s music library, navigation apps, and select music-streaming apps.

Kenwood’s products are the eXcelon-series DDX9902S and Kenwood DDX9702S double-DIN CD/DVD multimedia receivers, both with 7-inch touchscreens. They’re targeted to ship in May. Both will be the top-end multimedia receivers in their respective series, but pricing hasn’t been announced.

Both models also feature HDMI/MHL input, enabling the touchscreens to mirror the display of an iPhone or MHL- and HDMI-enabled Android smartphone. Drivers also gain in-dash touchscreen control over all Android apps and select iPhone apps running on the HDMI-connected phones.

Both models also feature HD Radio, stereo Bluetooth, control of Pandora and iHeart Radio on a USB-connected iPhone and Bluetooth-connected Android phone, iPhone voice control via Siri, Made for iPod/iPhone USB, control of an outboard SiriusXM satellite-radio tuner, backup-camera input with adjustable parking-guide lines, three 4-volt preouts, and port to accept an iDataLink Maestro RR module. The module connects to select vehicles’ databus networks to retain factory-system features when the heads are installed. The modules also enables such features as displaying the turn icons of an aftermarket in-dash navigation system on factory secondary displays in select vehicles.