During the Chicago Auto Show this year, I was on a social media panel, and they asked me what I thought the future of social and autos would be. My answer: Apps. Being able to automatically check in on foursquare or Facebook while driving. Being able to have tweets read to you over the speakers. That kind of thing. And while we aren't quite there yet, there are some automakers like Toyota who are taking a stab at the app thing.
And I applaud the stab. But, I gotta say: Can you please make it a little easier to use?
Unlike Chevrolet's suite of in-car apps, in addition having to download the actual app (such as Pandora or Open Table), you have to download Toyota's Entune app to connect everything. Why can't Pandora or Open Table just sync to the car once it's on your phone? Why do I need the Entune app as well?
OK. I've got time, I decided. I'll download the Entune app on my iPhone. So, I created an account, registered the Toyota Venza test vehicle and tried to play Pandora over the speakers. No go. I got a message saying that I had to log onto a computer (not through a mobile device) and sync my apps to the Entune app before I could use them.
So, I tried the fuel app instead. Then I got an error message saying that I needed to make sure the Entune app is running on my device. Um. It was. And I could actually pull up the fuel prices on my phone via the app. Just not the car. I thought maybe I needed to log on to a computer to get any of it to work.
When I got home, I logged in via my Mac, synced up my Pandora app and Open Table app. Hit a few buttons and saw that it appeared to be working. I excitedly hopped in the car and decided to try to book a reservation at Salpicon for next week via Open Table in the car, and I got the same need-to-have-Entune-app-running error. Hmm. I tried Pandora, nothing. Fuel prices, nothing.
So, I give. What am I missing?
I think I'm pretty good with gadgets, and I did what the instructions said. But I clearly missed a key step in the process. If you know what it is, I'd love to hear it.
But still, why does it have to be that difficult? I loved the easy use of Chevrolet's app suite. BringGo was pretty amazing. And Pandora worked fine just by having my phone synced to the car. No specialized Chevrolet go-between app needed. Just saying.
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