Toyota the the US is joining the in-car computer adventure with "Entune", their own take on the apps and smartphone integration game a la Ford Sync. The first apps look solid, but will they be the first to allow user-installed apps?
The first set of apps look like pretty standard (if welcome) fare: Pandora, Bing search, MoveTickets.com. There's even Open Table support to let you book a reservation at a local restaurant as you're driving there.
There's even voice recognition, although that's a feature that's been available to some degree in Toyota's for several years. It also sounds like Toyota will be pulling data for the system via your smartphone's data plan, much like Ford has done with Sync, negating the need for a car-only data plan like some upscale marques have required.
All in all it's a welcome addition for the world's largest car maker—or one-of...I can never keep track of who's on top these days—but the key to any of these sort of systems is how easy they are to operate when you're on the go. Initial screenshots are clean and simple, but it will be impossible to pass judgement until we get a chance to actually try Entune in action.