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Friday March 4, 2011 1:55 pm

Saab reveals IQon, the first Android infotainment system

Saab has announced the first Android-based, in-dash "infotainment" system for a car.

Called 'IQon,' the platform was demoed in a Saab Phoenix concept car at the 2011 Geneva motor show.

The Wi-Fi enabled, 8-inch touch screen lets drivers access thousands of Android apps. Apart from the usual productivity apps, like e-mail, navigation, entertainment, and music streaming, drivers can expect to see more auto-specific apps; for example, an app that controls your car's air-conditioner, one reviewer suggested. Furthermore the platform has built-in remote communication to and from Saab dealerships, which could be useful for carrying out diagnostics and uploading vehicle data.



"With Saab IQon, there are no limits to the potential for innovation," Johan Formgren, head of Saab Aftersales and commercial project leader for IQon, said in a statement. "We will be inviting the global Android developer community to use their imagination and ingenuity."

But unlike the Android Marketplace, Saab's app store will require the automaker's approval before being uploaded, for "safety, security, and malware" issues. However Saab said the IQon API will allow developers to access driver data from 500 vehicle sensors, gathering stats like like speed, temperature, steering angle, and yaw rate.

According to reports, IQon is being tested in beta fleets and will launch sometime in 2012.

Similar infotainment systems, like Toyota Entune and Chevrolet's MyLink, adopt Research in Motion's QNX mobile operating system. Ford has an app for iOS, Blackberry, and Android users that let's drivers send directions and traffic information from phone to car.

This article, written by Sara Yin, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc..

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