Most Android phones offer a Car Mode app, either built-in or at least through the Market. Going into this Mode, however, can often take additional steps that slows you down if you're trying to get on the road in a hurry. Cobra Electronics has announced a way to get around this hurdle: a car charger. More specifically, it's the Cobra JoyRide, and should be available in Q2 of this year for $40. Here's how it works: as soon as you climb into your car and plug your Android phone into the JoyRide, it automatically triggers a companion app that pulls up your own customized Car Mode with several options you can switch around yourself. We're hoping to have some hands-on time with the JoyRide next week at CES, so stay tuned. In the meantime, feel free to check out the press release below.

Update: Check out our hands-on here.
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Cobra Electronics Previews Award-Winning Cobra JoyRide™ for Android™ at 2012 International CES

Automotive Smart Charging System Automatically Reconfigures and Personalizes Smartphones for Optimal Convenience, Safety and Efficiency When Entering and Exiting Your Vehicle

CHICAGO, IL-January 9, 2012: Cobra Electronics Corporation (NASDAQ: COBR), a leading designer and marketer of award-winning automotive, mobile and consumer electronics, today announced it will preview the new Cobra JoyRide to an expected audience of 140,000 attendees from more than 140 countries around the world at the 2012 International CES. Cobra is showcasing Cobra JoyRide and the rest of its 2012 product lineup throughout the duration of the CES conference at Booth #9839 in the Central Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center. The 2012 International CES event runs January 10-13, 2012.

Cobra JoyRide™ – Personalizing Automotive Smartphone Usage
Nobody wants to spend extra time adjusting their phone before getting on the road. The Cobra JoyRide for Android smartphones is a car charger designed to intelligently customize the way the owner's smartphone behaves when entering and exiting their vehicle by automatically reconfiguring the phone for in-car usage. This breakthrough advancement in automotive safety and convenience leverages the power of the new Android Open Accessory framework to trigger phone events and settings automatically by simply connecting the Android smartphone via micro-USB to the Cobra JoyRide charger.

The companion Android app communicates with the JoyRide Charger and opens up a whole new world of automotive convenience and personalization. Pushing a single button on the mobile app can initiate phone calls, launch voice commands, share information about road hazards and live police, pause and play music, and even launch GPS navigation apps or other favorite in-car applications. The streamlined and intuitive interface also gives users control over power settings for Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth. The Cobra JoyRide application can also save the GPS position of the owner's vehicle on the Android phone and help them navigate back to their parking spot.

Cobra JoyRide was recently recognized by the CEA with a prestigious International CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Award.

Pricing & Availability:
The new Cobra JoyRide is expected to be available nationwide in Q2 with a MSRP of $39.95.

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