The app that’s bringing FM radio to Android-powered smartphones will soon be available across select vehicle platforms on in-vehicle “infotainment” systems (IVI) powered by the Weblink software platform from tech firm Abalta Technologies.
The first iteration of what is being branded as NextRadio for WebLink will be available in select aftermarket head units from JVCKENWOOD and will begin shipping in early 2018.
NextRadio for WebLink enables drivers in any vehicle to have an in-dash AM/FM radio listening experience by connecting a smartphone to a compatible WebLink-enabled car head unit, which requires minimal smartphone data and battery usage.
“NextRadio represents the evolution of radio that consumers expect, and the NextRadio app provides an in-dash visual experience on par with those expectations,” said Abalta Technologies founder and CEO Michael O’Shea. “As we continue to build out all aspects of the connected car experience within our WebLink platform, we are prioritizing those apps that generate the greatest mobile experiences for everyday drivers.”
NextRadio President Paul Brenner added, “The ability to provide an interactive, in-car experience is a huge victory for the radio industry and offers a great experience for radio listeners.”
JVCKENWOOD chose to work with Abalta “because our goal is always to deliver a more informative, entertaining experience,” noted Rick Noetzli, GM of Product and R&D for Consumer Product Planning at the entity that combines the JVC and Kenwood brands. “With a connected iPhone or Android-powered smartphone, WebLink lets us offer more of the apps consumers trust and use daily, in a way that’s safer in the car. NextRadio enriches radio listening with relevant content. With Abalta as a content aggregator, we can focus on creating a premium, safe interface through our receivers.”
The WebLink for JVC and WebLink for Kenwood application will be available for download in the Android Marketplace and Apple App Store. Once the app is downloaded, users can connect to select WebLink-enabled car head-unit to enjoy NextRadio and other apps, including popular traffic and navigation app Waze.