Ever heard of MirrorLink? A bunch of really big names in the car and tech world — Honda, GM, Toyota, Panasonic and pretty much all the big Android handset makers (that’s right, no Apple) — got together, called themselves the Car Connectivity Consortium and created a standardized communication format so that smartphones could easily communicate with car audio head units and the like. The format is called MirrorLink, and today Sony has unleashed no less than five
MirrorLink-equipped units head units out onto U.S. roads, two of which are equipped with MirrorLink.
Most of us will only be able to get our hands on three of the new units, as the final two are reserved for car audio specialty shops. Of the widely available three, the $150 CDX-GT710HD is the only unit with a CD player; the $189 MEX-BT4100P and $159 MEX-BT3100P are both Bluetooth-euipped. A cool feature with most of these units is that they’ll allow two-way control; for instance, the head unit’s FM radio can be controlled from your smartphone.
Despite the fact that Apple’s name is nowhere to be seen in this consortium, the units all connect just fine with the iPhone, though it must be through the supplied 30-dongle (Android phones will connect via Bluetooth). Also exclusive to Android: Some units will include text-to-speech for reading text messages.
Here’s the press release for the full skinny.