In keeping with their promise to make more apps available for their Android-based line of Asteroid car audio head units, Parrot has added four new apps to the Asteroid’s library: Three navigation apps — including a TomTom app — and a Facebook app.
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LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – What do a four-rotor, remotely-piloted vehicle, touch-screen car audio and a little, Bluetooth-armed facsimile of a plant stem have in common? Not much. Yet they’re all concoctions from French-based Parrot; the latter is their newest gadget, a sensor-laden gardening device they’ve named the Flower Power.
This is the original Parrot Asteroid Classic car stereo head-unit ($349), and it made quite a splash when it launched last year. The single-DIN, 4×55 watt receiver boasts a formidable array of features: Bluetooth connectivity, powerfully accurate voice recognition for both calls and music, a GPS receiver, a bright, 3.2-inch LED screen and a quiver of apps that run off its customized, upgradeable, early-vintage Android 1.5 OS (all of which require a data connection via a dongle).
Though this model was originally called the the Asteroid (no Classic), the Classic nomen was added to lessen confusion as three new models were announced a few months ago. However, the Asteroid Classic still very much in play; in fact, as this review goes live, the Classic is the only member of the Asteroid family currently available, as its new siblings haven’t shipped yet.
With its Android-based OS, you’d be forgiven if you thought the Asteroid Classic was more friendly to Android phones than the iPhone. In fact, the opposite is true, as I’ll explain later. And while it suffers from something that can probably be described as teething trouble, it’s still a lust-worthy system.
We’re going to see a lot of automotive electronics at CES this year, and we fully expect Android to be running on a few of these next gen infotainment systems. Parrot, who isn’t a stranger to Android powered automotive electronics, had a few of their latest on display. Their lineup of Android infotainment systems included the compact Asteroid CK, a 3.2-inch device that can be mounted to your windshield or dashboard; the Asteroid NAV, with a 5-inch display; and the Asteroid 2DIN, a 6.2’ in-dash multitouch-capable infotainment system.