Android Central

When your car stereo is an Android tablet, you need a good way to type on it

Android Central @ CES

Android is on everything here at CES. And while the Clarion AX1 doesn't break a lot of new ground insofar as head units running Android go, it does bring one new feature that we've yet to see in the car.

The Clarion AX1 has the SwiftKey keyboard built in.

That is, you've got a high-quality Android keyboard on a double-DIN head unit, with a fairly stock Android experience. There's no Google Play, of course, so you'll be downloading other apps through Clarion's own app store. Maps are handled by iGO. And of course there's all the music (it outputs at 24x4, by the way) and video (while stationary, or piped out to external displays) the AX1 can muster.

It's not the sexiest or quickest interface we've seen — and it's not announced for North America just yet — so consider this a teaser, straight from the floor of the biggest toy show of the year.


Reader comments

Hands-on with the Clarion AX1 car stereo with SwiftKey


And with all the Android this or that on their site ... it says in bold "MADE FOR IPOD AND IPHONE" WTF?


Seriously. About the only thing holding me back from seriously considering that Sony is waiting to see if one of their competitors copycats them creatively, such as adding in Wireless Qi.


Which gives you one more thing to distract a driver. It's one thing to reach down and give quick button press. It's a completely different animal when you're trying to Swype to find your favorite song while driving. I think that's his point, a very valid one at that.

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Extremely valid point. Same thing I thought when seeing all of this hype regarding the auto industry embracing Android. Hey, let's make it illegal to text while driving, wear google glass, let's figure out a way to auto-disable certain device functions once in a moving vehicle, etc....WAIT....LET'S HAVE A FULLY INTEGRATED ANDROID LAPTOP IN EVERY VEHICLE!!! WTF kind of sense does this all make?

This does not let a drivers do anything more than what they can already do while driving. With the ways that voice inputs are maturing you will probably be able to just talk to the radio while you drive. I for one would love to have access to play music and Google maps in my car.

I promise not to treat you like the usual asshole on a bike if you can try to do the same

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Bikes are 1 to 300 (cars) ... so seriously .. any bike that comes near a cager is an asshole in that cagers eyes.

But it's cool .. eat that bagel while smoking a cigarette and texting your BFF all the while you are doing 80+ mph. Oh! You don't do these things? I see quite a few doing this and more while trying to control a vehicle ranging from 3k lbs to 10k lbs. So yeah. heh.

I'm shading a tear for that anecdotal evidence. Biker riders and car drivers both do dumb stuff all the time

Dumb bikers only kill themselves and thereby demonstrate evolution in action.

Dangerous drivers tends to kill innocent bystanders.

Yeah. One more thing for the college asshats to get distracted by. And they wonder why I smack their windows with a baton I keep on a holster on my saddlebag

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Nope! As a biker can you please stop driving like a jerk. I'm just assuming you do because you are assuming everyone in cars drive poorly and you are perfect.

The retards are also the bikers swinging in and out of traffic with drivers not having the time to react. Both should be aware of each other and drive accordingly but, at the end of the day, bikers are the ones flying off into the sunset if they get hit so they should take care regardless. Being aggressive doesn't help.

Until car stereos improve voice recognition and commands the only thing I touch on my dash is the presets for the radio that I can hit without looking. My navigation and phone calls are handled by my cell phone. I have car home ultra installed (thanks Jerry) and a car mount on my dash so my eyes don't leave the road. My Moto X also reads off texts and I can respond by voice. While I love SwiftKey, there is no place for it in a car stereo. If it's there people will use it when they shouldn't

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Bam! Said it straight up. If its there....people will use it and people are already incompetent enough in a moving vehicle. This shouldn't pass the FCC or automakers union policies or practices whatsoever. I love my gadgets (Total Geek) but we don't need more shit in the vehicle to distract us.

I can't believe any of you would think that this unit would allow you to use the SwiftKey keyboard while the vehicle is in motion, and if it does, it should be banned by the NHTSA!

And, Mr Biker, if you're "smacking car windows with your baton", someone SHOULD run your ignorant ass over!

I would rather see a car dock for the asus padfone, so you have a core device (phone) that morphs into an in-car media center.

If it doesn't have play store access, then why, in the picture of the Swiftkey settings, does it offer to upgrade from the trial version through Android Market (which doesn't exist anymore...)? Looks very poorly implemented.