Toyota announced that it is working with Clear Channel to integrate the latter's mobile app, iheart radio, into some of its vehicles next year.
The iheart radio app is currently available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and Windows Phone 7. It lets you listen to more than 750 Clear Channel radio stations, the majority from specific cities with a few genre-oriented stations not tied to a particular market. Music streams over the phone's data connection.
Toyota offered no details on exactly how it will integrate the app. If it takes a similar route as Ford's Sync Applink, an interface in the car will let you control the app on a phone. This model opens up the possibility for Toyota to include interfaces or other apps.
If the app will be installed in the car, it will require a data connection. This route could point toward a strategy by Toyota to build data modems into its cars. Or the app could rely on a data connection provided by a phone brought into the car.
Toyota will reveal further details in January during CES 2011.