Internet Connectivity And Apps
The DA6 infotainment system features Toyota’s Entune application suite, which is able to take advantage of iPhone- and Android-based devices with data connections to stream music. During our evaluation, Entune only supported Bing and Pandora on the DA6. However, Toyota recently sent out USB flash drives with a system update that added iHeartRadio, MovieTickets.com, and OpenTable apps.
Before you can take advantage of the Entune software suite and data services, you need an account on myentune.com. Toyota requires that you link the accounts of supported apps through its Web portal. Unlike the Pandora support you see on aftermarket radios, Entune does not simply use the phone's apps. Rather, its includes the software natively and uses the phones exclusively as a data connection via tethering.
Once you’re set the MyEntune portal up, you need to download the Entune app for iOS or Android and log in. This allows Entune to exploit your phone's data package. If you're using an iPhone, you have to hook it up to the dock connector every time. This might seem cumbersome, but it's the only way Toyota could get tethering to work with Entune for iOS. Android users can achieve the same functionality via Bluetooth, though it's probably a good idea to keep the phone plugged in and charging.
The Pandora app sports a familiar interface that resembles the mobile player in a landscape format. Toyota enables full Pandora functionality, including the ability to thumb-up or -down tracks, skip over songs you don't like, and even create new stations from the touchscreen. Full track information and album cover art are displayed, rounding out the experience.
In our opinion, sound quality is a little better than SiriusXM, but no match for HD Radio or your own high-bitrate files piped in from a flash drive. The app does support a high-quality streaming mode, but we were unimpressed with its output.
Bing support is a welcome addition to Toyota’s Entune software suite. Instead of searching through a likely-outdated list of points-of-interest, the DA6 system can take the search online through Bing to find restaurants, gas stations, and shopping areas, among other POIs. Of course, the only downside is that Bing requires cell service.
The Other Apps
App on infotainment systems are pretty popular nowadays, and Toyota's DA6 doesn't disappoint in its support of this trend. If you want access to weather, sports scores, stock information, fuel prices, or traffic, the DA6 can put all of that directly onto the touchscreen. So long as you have cellular reception, the data you ask for shows up quickly.
Toyota provides three years of complimentary Entune access with a new car purchase. After that, you have to pay $5 a month to continue the subscription. Although we're not necessarily fans of recurring bills, this is an excellent value compared to SiriusXM at $15 a month (just music), plus another $9 if you want the same weather, stock, sports score, movie listing, and traffic information.