When a new car lists "iPod Jack" in its feature list, you never know just how much of a feature that really is. Sometimes it just means your iPod will play and charge while plugged in to the car stereo, but forget about changing artists or choosing a new playlist unless you fish it out of whatever oddly-shaped hole that's been left for it. And retrofitting for a lot of cars means an expensive stay at the electronics store, or wires that cross from here to there.

Toyota has just released an iPod integration retrofit kit that will make your new auxiliary input look like it came straight from the factory. And it will give you full control of all iPod functions from either the head unit or the steering wheel. Click Read to check out the full press release.

[Source: Toyota]

Press Release: Toyota iPod Integration Kit

No more earpieces, no more fiddling with the clickwheel as you drive, no more fumbling on the floor to search for your wayward player: Toyota has come up with a perfect integration system that links Apple's iPod directly to your car's audio system. The iPod Integration Kit, available now, provides a simple and discreet connection in the glovebox. Simply plug in the iPod and a direct link is formed between the player and the audio system, letting you select and play tracks using the controls on the audio head unit or (where fitted) the controls on the steering wheel. Functions such as random play, scan, fast-forward, rewind and song or playlist repeat are all made possible.

On systems with CD text read-out, the playlist and selected track titles are shown, while on all units, the play list, track number and elapsed time are displayed. And there's no risk of the music being cut short by a failing battery, as the adapter will charge up the iPod if the level runs low.

The unit is simple to install and has been developed with approval from Apple, earning it the Made for iPod certification of quality. Its location in the glovebox also keeps your iPod out of sight from prying eyes.

The iPod Integration Kit is compatible with all current generation iPod models that have an Apple dock connector. It will also work with many earlier generation versions, although in a few cases some functions may not be accessible. It can be used in any current Toyota or Lexus model, apart from Aygo. It is not currently available for LCVs.

The cost is £150, including owner's manual and VAT, but not including fitting (approximately one hour).

Source: Toyota