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Toyota Adds Pandora Option to 2012 Models

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer October 2011

It's one of the most popular smartphone apps as well as an increasingly common way to listen to a wide variety of music - and soon, Pandora's online radio service will be offered as an option on several new 2012 Toyotas.

The automaker recently announced that it's now offering an embedded version of Pandora on 2012 versions of the popular Camry and Tacoma, which are already arriving in dealerships nationwide. Toyota says its optional Entune infotainment system features a Pandora interface that allows drivers to select stations, skip songs and give tracks "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" rankings entirely from the vehicle's controls. That gives Entune a big advantage over several automotive infotainment systems, which force drivers to navigate Pandora through menus on their cell phones.

"Incorporating Pandora into the native environment of the car makes turning on personalized radio as easy as traditional radio," said Jessica Steel, Pandora's executive vice president of business and corporate development. "We're thrilled that Toyota is offering our service to their drivers."

According to Toyota, drivers must have a smartphone to be able to use Pandora on the Entune system. By connecting a phone with Entune and utilizing the Pandora app, drivers can listen to their favorite stations on the popular Internet radio system just as they'd listen to traditional AM and FM stations on a normal car radio.

While Toyota has not confirmed if the system will be spreading to more models in the future, we expect the automaker will continue making it available as new models are released. We also wouldn't be surprised to see Toyota add the embedded Pandora system to its youth-oriented Scion brand and upscale Lexus models within the next few years.

But for now, the 2012 Camry, Prius V and Tacoma are logical choices for the new feature. With more than 8,000 sales last month, the Tacoma is America's most popular midsize pickup, while the 2012 Camry represents the latest generation of the most popular car sold in the United States. That means Toyota will undoubtedly receive ample feedback about the system, allowing it to be fine-tuned before appearing in other models.

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Toyota Adds Pandora Option to 2012 Models - Autotrader