Sony's in-car entertainment system supports Android Auto and CarPlay and costs just $499
Both Google and Apple have solutions for interacting with your phone while in the car - Android Auto and CarPlay. As helpful and useful as these platforms are, actually integrating them into your automobile can prove to be quite difficult. Numerous car manufacturers are working with Apple and Google to implement this tech directly into their vehicles, but if you have an older car and want to get that added functionality, you can choose to purchase an in-car entertainment system as well. While this route certainly costs a great deal less than buying a brand-new car, having to shell out between $800 or even $1,500 for one of these units is still a bit of the higher side of the price spectrum for a lot of people out there.
Sony has just released the XAV-AX100, and while the name may not be the sexiest around, it's one of the cheapest in-car systems currently available for adding either Android Auto or CarPlay functionality to your ride with a price of just $499. While that certainly is a great price to pay for a brand-new in-car entertainment system, do take note of the fact that the XAV-AX100 uses a resistive touchscreen as opposed to a capacitive one. Resistive screens certainly aren't as responsive as capacitive ones, but for such a steep price difference between the XAV-AX100 and competing models, this seems like a rather justifiable trade-off. And hey, if you really don't want to put up with the touchscreen, you can make use of the physical rotary dial to control various menus on the display as well.
In addition to support for Android Auto and CarPlay, the XAV-AX100's screen measures in at 6.4-inches to provide you with a fairly large canvas for viewing all of your content and controls. There's also a 4 x 55-watt Dynamic Reality Amp, and Sony says that this allows the XAV-AX100 to reproduce high-quality tunes even when listening to music at max volume settings.
You can currently purchase the XAV-AX100 from Amazon now for the exact price of $499.99, and although a current ship date isn't available just yet, Amazon does mention that it should arrive sometime before Christmas.