Smart cars have been a central theme of International CES 2014, with the big announcement of Google’s Open Automotive Alliance and demos of Android-based infotainment systems from automakers like Audi.
It’s inevitable, Android is coming to the car, and with it, many of the apps that we love so much on our mobile devices. One such app making the jump to automotive is SwiftKey. The developers of the popular predictive keyboard announced today a partnership with Clarion to put SwiftKey on the new Android-powered Clarion AX1 infotainment system.
AX1, standing for Android Experience 1, is Clarion’s first Android powered head unit, packing a “user-friendly Android interface similar to a smartphone interface – complete with touchscreen, upgradable software and apps – and an Internet browser app that allows Internet surfing, access to email and YouTube browsing”. The unit features a 6.5-inch display and runs a modified version of Android 2.3.7 on an 800MHz processor and 1GB of RAM.
SwiftKey will be the default keyboard across the system, allowing for fast text entry in everything from the navigation app, to email, to the music app. The app’s swipe-based input and word prediction system should prove very useful in the relatively unstable, vibrating environment of a moving vehicle.
SwiftKey recently unified its tablet and smartphone versions into one flexible layout that adapts to the screen and lets users resize and relocate the keyboard dock around the screen.
For now, the Clarion AX1 is available in countries in South East Asia, but the stereo system should make it to Europe and North America later this year. The device is currently available for pre-order for $800.