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RAIN 12/20: Consumers to experience new in-car Net radio devices at CES 2011

Posted on: 12/20/2010

TWICE: MORE OPTIONS, LOWER PRICES COMING FOR IN-CAR NET RADIO

In-car Internet radio will go mainstream at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 — the biggest annual showcase of new gadgets and electronics technology. Many suppliers will display in-dash gadgets at prices well below the devices from Pioneer and Alpine we saw at last year’s CES (RAIN coverage here).

That’s according to Twice.com, which reports the selection of Pandora-friendly in-dash radios will “expand dramatically” in 2011. Suppliers will also expand compatibility beyond Pandora, allowing for in-dash control of other apps on other devices besides iPhones. All these gadgets are expected to start around $179. You can find out more about what to expect from CES 2011 from Twice.com here. CES 2011 takes place January 6-9.

This is of course great news for webcasters. On one side, you have car manufacturers from Ford to GM to BMW racing to include Internet radio support in 2011 models. On the other, you have third-party suppliers offering Net radio-friendly add-ons at increasingly low prices. In-car Internet radio is indeed taking another big step toward mainstream availability. — MS

WSJ: PANDORA AND OTHER MOBILE APPS MAY BREACH USER PRIVACY

A new investigation by the Wall Street Journal found that many iPhone and Android apps — including Pandora — share information “without users’ awareness or consent.”

“Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks,” reports WSJ (more info in WSJ‘s chart below). The article says this behavior — and other more nefarious practices from other apps — may raise privacy concerns among consumers. You read the full article here.

RAIN ANALYSIS: To be fair, Pandora is pretty up-front about the fact that they utilize user-provided information (email, ZIP, gender) to “personalize your Pandora experience through ads and social networking features.” That’s right up top in the service’s Privacy Policy (here). In fact, when creating a new account via the iPhone app, users must check a box that states, “Pandora may use my device model, ID and system version to personalize listening and advertising.” — MS

PANDORA UPDATES ANDROID APP WITH FORD SYNC COMPATIBILITY

Pandora has updated its Android app with compatibility for Ford’s Sync AppLink system. That means owners of Ford’s new Fiesta can control Pandora playback via their dashboard controls. Engadget has more coverage here.

CHUMBY LANDS ON ANDROID

Remember Chumby? That lovable widget-toting and streaming radio beanbag (RAIN coverage here). Well now you can install the Chumby OS on your Android smartphone and enable it to run when you dock your phone. The $5 app basically turns your phone into the best nightstand clock ever (even boasting Internet radio). CNet has more coverage here.



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