A car infotainment system's ability to utilize Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa has become a major commodity in recent years, as customers continue to blend and connect various aspects of their 'smart' lives. Until now, none of Toyota's 2018-and-earlier products were compatible with smartphone integrations, but that's changing. Toyota announced a surprise upgrade for the 2018 Camry and Sienna, a retrofitting to include CarPlay and Alexa capabilities.
Toyota was pretty late to the game in introducing Apple CarPlay to its vehicles. Toyota launched the integration with the 2019 Avalon, and now offers the feature standard on most of its 2020 vehicles. That it took so long for the Japanese company to include the technology irked some customers, and now Toyota is trying to make good.
All 2018 Camry and Sienna owners will receive a notification that the new feature is available. If they choose, owners can schedule an appointment at a Toyota dealership, and the sedans and minivans will be retrofitted with CarPlay and Alexa compatibility.
One might notice the lack of Android Auto in this retrofit, likely because Toyota has been even slower to adopt the Android technology. Standard Android Auto debuted on 2020 Toyota vehicles, some of which are not even for sale yet.
There is no mention of a price, but similar retrofits for other manufacturers have previously come with a small service fee. We'd expect that to be the case here, as well. For more information on the upgrade, customers should contact a local Toyota dealership.