NEWBERG, Ore. — Buyers of the 2018 Camry will be the first to try out Toyota's new Entune 3.0 multimedia system, which adds standard cloud-based navigation through a third-party app and other goodies as you move up to the Audio Plus and Premium grades.
Toyota is the only major automaker that doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and so it's stepping up its game with some new tricks to keep buyers from pining too much for the smartphone-driven systems and interfaces.
The most significant addition is the free app-based navigation that projects Scout GPS Link maps from a smartphone onto the standard 7-inch or optional 8-inch touch screen. It requires a Bluetooth connection and wireless service, but otherwise works like Google's or Apple's maps, using open-source mapping rather than a proprietary system.
Embedded navigation comes on the Premium infotainment system that is optional on V-6 models. The Premium system also uses cloud-based maps to integrate real-time navigation info into the embedded maps.
The standard Entune apps suite offers Pandora, Slacker and iHeartRadio for music, NPR One for news and other programming, along with Yelp, sports scores, weather, stocks and information on traffic accidents. Toyota says more apps are in the works.
All of the Entune systems except the lowest rung offer subscription services such as roadside service and maintenance reminders.
One other bright spot is the JBL audio system that is standard on the V-6 models and optional on all XLE and XSE grades. JBL's Clari-Fi technology beefs up compressed digital audio by filling in the gaps where part of the dynamic range was removed, and the audio upgrade can be ordered a la carte rather than part of a bigger options package.