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Toyota Offers Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa Retrofits on 2018 Camry & Sienna

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2018 Toyota Camry LE
Photo: Toyota

Toyota vehicles have a strange relationship with connectivity technologies. While the automaker was one of the latest to offer Apple CarPlay support, it was the first to offer Amazon Alexa, and now Toyota has announced both technologies will be available for retrofitting on the 2018 Camry midsize sedan and the 2018 Sienna minivan.

In January, Toyota launched the 2019 Avalon with CarPlay and Alexa, and announced the two connectivity technologies would be part of the Entune 3.0 infotainment system rolling out in the 2019 C-HR and Corolla Hatchback. However, customers who had purchased 2018 or older models were out of luck.

Related: Explore the Toyota vehicle lineup

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are two popular features that allow drivers to project many of their smartphone’s apps onto the vehicle touchscreen by plugging the phone into a USB port. However, Toyota was slow to adopt CarPlay technology and continues to be reluctant to include Android Auto, which it believes does not meet an acceptable level of security and privacy.

Instead, Toyota has turned to offering Alexa, Amazon’s AI assistant, which can do a lot of the things Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can do, but without the need for a smartphone. It can play music and audiobooks, place calls, find directions, and even control your home assistant.

“We are always striving to bring highly desirable services to our vehicles. This new program enables CarPlay and Amazon Alexa on some of our most popular vehicles already on the road.” said Steve Basra, vice president of Connected Technologies for Toyota Motor North America. “It’s a great opportunity to surprise and delight our existing customers.”

Related: 2019 Toyota Camry features overview