Ford CTO: Google auto alliance a step forward, even if we're not joining

Paul Mascarenas has been CTO at Ford for over three years now. Compared to the long history of the automobile that's barely a blip, yet these past three years have seen major advancements in the sorts of technology installed and offered inside a modern car. Many manufacturers have added more intelligence to their cars since 2010 than they did in the 10 years previous.

Not Ford. That isn't to say that the company hasn't made huge progress over the past three years, as it surely has, but the company was well ahead of the curve when it … Read more

Ford races to create standard for connected cars

In the 31 years Paul Mascarenas has spent at Ford, the last three as chief technical officer, the company has made some drastic strides forward when it comes to technology. SYNC launched in 2007 and, since then, has gone on to span the entire Ford range, installed in over 10 million vehicles. In 2011 it gained ever-better support for smartphone connectivity, AppLink allowing popular apps like Pandora and Rhapsody to control the car's infotainment system.

The original goal was to make Ford cars among the smartest on the road, but not at the cost of safety. "The original … Read more

Ford acquires in-car connectivity startup Livio in sub-$10M deal

At the 2013 International CES, Ford brazenly offered Sync, its in-car infotainment platform, up to anybody who wanted it. As of September, nobody has taken the company up on the offer, but that isn't stopping it from moving forward. The Blue Oval has just announced the successful acquisition of Detroit-based startup Livio.

Livio, which formerly made its own line of hardware accessories under the Livio Radio brand, offers a solution called Livio Connect, designed to make smartphone interaction (the art of pairing your handset with your car) simpler for developers and easier for users.

Connectivity is an increasingly important … Read more

Livio demonstrates FM Connect Web-connected FM radio tech

LAS VEGAS--Livio, a company that has made a name making it easier and safer to interface with the apps on your phone, is now working to make it easier and safer for drivers to interact with your favorite terrestrial radio stations, and has announced that it is developing a new technology called FM Connect.

While listening to a Livio Connect-enabled FM radio that is paired via Bluetooth to a smartphone running the Livio app, users gain the ability to communicate with the broadcaster or access rich data at the touch of a connect button.

For example, if an advertisement for … Read more

Less is more with the new-generation Chevrolet MyLink system

You may already be familiar with the maxim, "Less is more." Clearly the infotainment engineers over at General Motors are, because it seems that they've taken this approach to designing the dashboard of the 2013 Chevrolet Spark LT.

There are only four buttons for volume up and down, power, and home below the 7-inch touch screen. There are only three knobs for the basic climate control system. There isn't even a CD player -- GM's betting that you probably won't even notice that last bit, because its target market carries music around on phones … Read more

Livio and Dice add Internet radio to almost any car

Livio Radio, developer of a free car Internet radio app for iPhone and Android, and Dice, developer of audio integration kits for OEM car stereos, have teamed up to provide a solution for streaming Internet radio to your car without ripping out the stock receiver. It starts with an app on your iPhone and ends with hardware that takes over your car's satellite radio input.

Livio's app delivers more than 45,000 Internet radio stations and Internet streaming AM and FM radio stations via your smartphone's data connection. (The app's free version steps down to 300 … Read more

Is Livio's Kit a cheap SiriusXM replacement?

Livio, which used to be known for its tabletop Internet radios, is going to be taking a bigger plunge into the Internet car radio market this summer with its upcoming $99 Kit, a Bluetooth wireless "head unit" that plugs into your cigarette lighter adapter and includes a mic and speakerphone, as well as a built-in USB port for charging your phone.

Basically, it works like this: Upon entering your car, you pair your iPhone or Android smartphone with the Kit (via Bluetooth), and the Livio Car Internet Radio app automatically launches. You then stream the Internet radio station … Read more

Livio and NPR team up on new Wi-Fi radio

Livio broke onto the Wi-Fi radio scene with the Livio Radio, featuring a "less is more" design philosophy that focused on Pandora's streaming music service. Today the company has announced a new Wi-Fi radio in the same vein, The NPR Radio ($200), which puts the focus on easily finding NPR content.

The backbone of The NPR Radio is the NPR menu, which is programmed by NPR and aggregates all of the company's content into a single menu, so you can easily find the NPR station you're looking for without having to know the station's … Read more

Crave giveaway of the week: Livio Wi-Fi radio

Update: This week's winner is Ray V. of Carmel, CA.

For this week's Crave giveaway, we have the Livio Radio, a Wi-Fi Internet radio optimized for listening to Pandora without a PC. Our reviewer Matthew Moskovciak said this about the product: "The Livio Radio is the first Wi-Fi radio we've tested that is designed completely around the Pandora service, offering all the standard functions--like 'thumbs up/down'--right on the front panel. The gorgeous design is outstanding for the price; it's easy to use and you won't find anything that looks this good until … Read more

Livio Radio review: Pandora streaming, with a high-end look

The iPod may have killed AM/FM radio for the latest generation of music fans, but the classic version of Apple's ubergadget only lets you listen to your own music collection--there's no hipster DJ introducing you to your new favorite band. Music fans still crave new sounds, and personalized Internet radio services such as Pandora and have filled the "music discovery" gap by taking note of your music preferences and playing songs they'll think you'll like. Pandora's a great service, but--portable devices notwithstanding--it's not easy to listen to away from … Read more