Toyota infotainment woes grow.
John Goreham's picture

Toyota's Infotainment Woes Mount - Drops Pandora Integration Along With Other Popular Apps

Toyota has been struggling to keep up in the ever-changing infotainment landscape. A new development should be concerning to anyone who enjoys Pandora.

Toyota owners have been notified by Toyota that, as of November, their Entune infotainment system will stop supporting Pandora. What that means is the app will no longer integrate directly. Functions such as the thumbs up and thumbs down and the station listing will no longer be part of the on-screen menus.

Pandora is neck an neck with Spotify as the most popular online music provider in America. The app has over 73 million active monthly listeners and about 2.5 million active sessions on average according to Statista. Amazingly, 23% of the population of the United States reports using Pandora in the past week. To say that Pandora is one of the most popular in-vehicle apps in America is a huge understatement.

This is not Toyota's stumble with regards to infotainment. The company has only just started to roll out Apple CarPlay on select 2019 models, and Android Auto is not available on any. That excludes the fully 43% of users who own and use Android devices.

entune ratings

Entune, Toyota's native app that organizes the third-party apps in an owners Toyota has a terrible 1.4 stars rating on the Google Play Store and about a thousand reviews. In many Toyotas, Entune works with Scout Navigation. Scout GPS Link has a 2 out of 5 rating with just a couple thousand reviews. By contrast, Pandora has 4.5 rating and about three million reviews. Android Auto has a rating of 4 and about 300,000 reviews.

Any vehicle with a USB interface or Bluetooth can connect to Pandora and simply stream the music from your smart device. However, as Pandora users all know, the beauty of Pandora is the ability of the user to switch channels and modify their playlist on the go. Starting in November some Toyota owners will lose that ability, which came with the car they purchased.

Torque News reached out to Toyota for confirmation of the letter above and received it. We also asked for any updates on Android Auto. A spokesperson for Toyota Told Torque News, "We do understand there is demand for Android Auto and have not forgotten our Android customers. We have taken steps to support them, including enhancing Entune 3.0 to allow third-party app developers, like Glympse, to become directly compatible."

Image Note: Top of page image of Toyota letter courtesy of Eric Roper, Facebook Tacoma World member.

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What kills me is that when I got the email from Toyota/Entune, I thought it was going to be good news like they were adding apps or upgrading Entune or something..... In this case they are removing apps with no replacements of any kind. Not surprising I guess, Toyota just doesn't care. To be honest I have abandoned the whole system anyway. I just use the Bluetooth function and have android auto running on my phone. Everything just works better coming from the phone.
entune is the worst. totally useless. makes me rethink reuppping the lease ones it's up. get with it toyota!
Toyota’s Entune app is useless. The only app I’ve used on it is Pandora so now that will be taken away. Also, Toyota’s voice recognition for both navigation and making phone calls is terrible. I have a friend with the same problem. We do not have accents and have done the voice training multiple times. Had I known the infotainment was this bad, I would not have purchased my 2017 Avalon.
Cant believe Toyota is getting rid of Pandora in their app suite - its the only useful app as far as I am concerned. I have been a loyal Toyota RAV4 owner for my past 4 vehicles. I will have to reconsider purchasing a Toyota in the future. It was bad enough that Entune works 1 out of 3 times its launched, I have to reboot my phone every time I get into my vehicle for it to work properly - I even got used to dealing with that stupidity but now, the 1 App I use wont be available? Have to say that I also own a Mazda and using Pandora in that car is seamless. In 3 or 4 years, a new Mazda sounds about right. (I have no cd player and never uses the radio so Pandora as all I have in the car for music.)
Toyota is taking a step backwards in safety. Entune allowed users to use Pandora and change music hands free. Now, the user will need to control the phone to change Pandora music. With new hands free laws being rolled out, this is a major step backwards.
Agreed, In Texas we have handsfree law. Now I’m being forced to use my phone to change songs if I want to listen to my music. I guess if I get in a wreck due to this, Toyota will be held responsible for the downgrade in the audio system that forces us all to use our phone. They charged me to upgrade to the premium audio system in my truck. The way I see it, they owe me a refund.... then I can use that to get a new head unit.
This is the dumbest thing I've ever read. Seriously! The dumbest. "I guess Toyota will be held responsible for the actions I take because I'm too lazy to pull over and change a station, or just live with shuffle while I drive..." The absolute dumbest response ever! Congratulations!
Actually, your reply is lame as the original message is dead on. We pay a premium price for features which enable us to comply with the laws only to have them removed by Toyota and now we're forced to use our phones. Seriously, your judgement of the issue is really warped. Toyota marketed their system as something special so we bought in and now it's just devolving into a techno pile of trash. Toyota have the ability to move forward but now realize that their OS isn't up to par and that they really don't wish to put the money into supporting and evolving it. What's more, they've now jumped ship to CarPlay leaving 2018 users with virtually identical hardware behind. Was this done because the hardware cannot support CarPlay or merely as a means as differentiating the new 2019 model from the 2018? My hypothesis is that it was simply for marketing purposes. They even added an App for Alexa but didn't provide it to 2018 users. It appears that Toyota is now marketing software (not hardware) as being the differentiating feature between yearly models. I've purchased three Toyota vehicles in the past 9 years but I can say that this will be my last Toyota unless Toyota changes this marketing ploy where software technology is concerned.
Unbelievable! The only app on that is worth having and they are doing away with it! Update is normally to make the app better or to add features not to make the app worse and take features away...way to go Toyota! Not a good look! Bring back Pandora!
I wonder if this is why the app hasn't worked well the last few months. I've done every update I can think of to my phone, deleting and reinstalling software - everything!- and 85% of the time I get some sort of error message from the Pandora app. ONLY the Pandora app. I'm conflicted about the fact that it will just be gone now, but it hasn't worked for me and has been very frustrating the last few months - especially on longer rides.
My guess, too many folks using Pandora and not buying XM...
Sirius-XM just bought Pandora...if you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em! May be the beginning of the end of the free Pandora services we all love...
I cannot believe the only useful thing [Pandora] on this horrible informant system is going away....Tech should improve over time not go downhill. l thought Toyota would have more pride. Don't they realize unsatisfied buyers equates to people abandoning their brand. Not smart business at all.
Cannot believe they are dropping support for Pandora but not exactly surprised either. About 2 years ago, I noticed that I dont get advertisements when I use Pandora on the Entune system but I do anywhere else. Could this be the REAL reason it was dropped? A mandate from Pandora since its obviously losing money because of this 'blunder'?
I love my Avalon, but I also love Pandora. There are a lot of good car companies out there and I will look elsewhere when I'm in the market for a new car.
Music is a very large selling point. I was going to buy a new Prius but not now. Hey Toyota you are no longer the only hybrid. All the other manufacturers are adding apps, and their system works. Entune stinks, it does not sink well with your phone. My other cars all have Pandora, and i hate the other music apps, never use stacker., that is what you should have removed. Please, for your future of existence rethink this. I don't use the movie app, open table and all others. The only one we used was Pandora. Also it stinks that you removed it at Christmas time. I have all my holiday channels saved. No more Toyota cars for me. Pandora was the selling point.
The Achilles heal of my Toyota vehicle just pulled a ham string. I am amazed by the level of lack of concern or carrying by Toyota for its customer base. I'm afraid this will cost the company much more in dollars lost than it would have taken to keep/modify their Entune system to be better. :-(
Like all corporations Toyota doesn't care because they all ready sold the car and got paid. So they dump on their current customer base and only care about gaining new customers. Mark my words, when you dont take care of current base, they will get fed up and leave you eventually. It's not like Toyota can monopolize and prolong the sh*$tty business model like cable and wireless companies can. Like someone else here said, the only usuable/decent thing in Entune was its gone. Thanks for the support Toyota!
I am totally disappointed in Toyota! I agree with the many other comments that Pandora was the only Entune app that I 'used'... I own a late model 1796 Tundra and a late model Highlander Limited... Both are high-end trims and also have Navigation... That's over a hundred thousand dollars I spent with them in the past two years... When it comes time to replace them, I will definitely be looking at other brands... It is really bad in this era for a company to go backward with technology, as well as not accommodating Android, which leads the market with 74% of the market globally, and 54% of the market in the USA (and which btw I am part of)... I hope Toyota is paying attention :(
Would having Pandora Premium on my phone make a difference as far as control of the thumbs up,down, fast forward, etc?
Not as far as I have seen. I have Pandora Premium and those functions don't appear on the vehicle's screen except when I use the app with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. More importantly, no station listing (upper left corner).
Slacker is gone now also. Is there anyway to clear the infotainment screen, and stream my Waze GPS, spotify, etc? I'm not happy with entune, and am concerned about the hesitation, and jerking when steppin on the gas at low speeds. Will check on the lemon law.