More and more, automakers are coming to the realization that most drivers aren't interested in having a separate collection of music on their phones than in the car. That's why dedicated in-car hard drives gave way to iPhone cables in recent years, and now moving forward they're looking to utilize those cables in a more serious manner.
Following in the footsteps of Ford's Sync and GM's MyLink, Honda is jumping on the connectivity bandwagon with their own HondaLink. The system is designed to work with both Android and iPhone devices, both over Bluetooth and only the iPhone via a wired connection. Honda's partnered with Harman to use their Aha Radio service (acquired in 2010) via a dedicated iPhone app to stream music, podcasts, your Twitter and Facebook feeds, and more. This is all done hands free, either with voice control or by using the controls integrated into the dashboard and the steering wheel. HondaLink will also support Pandora Radio and voice-to-text SMS services.
The 2013 Accord is the first vehicle to support HondaLink, though that's just the start - Honda plans to roll the service out to their full line of vehicles. Aha by Harmon for Honda's Acura luxury division (likely to be rebranded AcuraLink or something like that) was unveiled back in April. Honda also has plans for an electric vehicle version of HondaLink for the upcoming Fit EV and Accord Plug-in Hybrid, adding in remote power management and climate control options - not unlike what Ford's done for the Focus Electric and GM's OnStar RemoteLink with the Chevy Volt.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.