2012 Toyota Camry Long Term Road Test

2012 Toyota Camry SE: Easier Entune in the XLE

January 02, 2012

2012 Toyota Camry SE: Easier Entune in the XLE

Erin detailed the steps necessary for pairing an iPhone with our Camry SE's Entune system, and noted that the device needs to be connected via a USB cable. I recently tested a 2012 XLE model with the $1,550 Premium HDD Navigation system and found it much easier to get Entune up and running with my iPhone 4. And I didn't have to attach the phone to the car with a cable to get the system to work, as in our SE with the $1,050 Display Audio option.

Premium HDD Nav also adds a 10-speaker JBL audio system. But besides letting you go wireless via Bluetooth, it doesn't add a lot to the Entune experience.

I had to go through a set-up similar to Erin's, but was a few steps ahead since Toyota had already established an account for the car. All I needed to do was create a username and password for my own sub account. And I already had the Entune app on my iPhone from a previous test in a pre-production car that was a fail didn't go so well since the system couldn't communicate with my phone. I previously had linked my Pandora account and set up and linked OpenTable.com and MovieTickets.com accounts in order to test Entune.

The setup and learning curve were simple enough. And I liked certain features of Entune. Pandora is much easier to use on the Camry's 7-inch screen than my iPhone's small one, and having Bing search onboard is pretty cool, although the voice recognition feature is hit or miss (see videos below).

But after using Entune for a few days I really didn't see the point. Most of these apps are available for a smartphone anyway and, except for Pandora and I Heart Radio, you can't use them while the car is in motion. The Entune system just gives you a convenient in-dash interface for its five apps.

Toyota needs to provide more apps to make Entune essential. And automakers need to loosen their death-grip on the dash so that third-party developers can create cool apps.

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Toyota Camry in VA is:

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