How Toyota Entune Works

Toyota Entune Features

Entune debuted in 2011 with six core apps: Bing, iHeart Radio,, OpenTable, Pandora and a catch-all category called "data services." Here's a quick overview of each:

Bing: The Microsoft-backed search engine is tuned to work with Entune as a point of interest (POI, in industry lingo) finder. When the vehicle is parked, a touch-screen keypad lets you type in search terms -- if you don't know the name of a specific place, you can enter a generic term, like "food," and Bing will retrieve the names of restaurants, delis, even grocery stores, along with their locations and directions if you need them. A natural voice recognition feature kicks in for you to give voice commands if you're driving.

iHeart Radio: This service gives you access to more than 700 local radio stations that are part of Clear Channel's network across the country -- no matter what city you're in. Ever gone out and only had a vague idea of what you and your date wanted to do -- maybe a movie, but not sure which one and where? Now your poor planning doesn't have to provide ammunition for dirty looks or a scolding -- you can see what's playing, and where, on the fly, with this service. It's even possible to buy the tickets from your car, for participating theaters.

OpenTable: Similar to the app (above), but applies to lunch and dinner reservations instead.

Pandora: In case you've just woken up from a lengthy cryogenic slumber, Pandora is the algorithm-based online music service that tailors playlists based on other songs you like -- you listen to it at your PC. With Entune, you can get it in the car as well.

Data services: So far, these services include gas station price comparisons (and directions); current stock prices; sports scores (with the ability to specifically track your favorite teams); traffic incidents (so you know what routes to avoid), and weather, including extended forecasts, current temperatures and radar maps.

Naturally, there's a CD player; but you can also get it with a DVD player (set to play only in "Park"), Sirius XM satellite radio and the completely digital HD Radio.

As high-tech as the Entune unit is, the real technological heavy lifting is done by other devices. But don't worry about additional hardware purchases -- in fact, you probably already own exactly what you'll need.