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2011 rx 350 - navigation update and reading text messages in car


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Hello everyone!

We are so excited as we purchased a used 2011 Lexus rx 350. It's a beautiful baby blue colour and I just love it. I have a few questions:

  1. Is it worth for me to pay and have a navigation update? And do I do this at the dealer and approx how much$$
  2. I have an android phone and can't figure out how to see text messages in my card. Does the 2011 provide this service?

Thank you very much,

From Canada

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The 2011 RX has a generation 6 navigation system that has its data stored on a hard drive.  It can be updated only by a Lexus dealer with proprietary software ("Navigation Update Tool") through the vehicle USB port from a master DVD that only the dealer can get.  If you ask a Lexus dealership parts department, I think you will find that navigation updates for your RX were discontinued some years ago - maybe in 2017 or 2018.  If nav updates have been discontinued and if the Lexus dealer has or can obtain the software and master DVD for the final map update, it will be up to you to decide if it's worth spending the money to get maps that won't be current.  

You should be able to see what map version you currently have by going into your navigation settings.  If you're lucky, a previous owner updated the maps at some point.  This particular navigation system can be pretty expensive to update.  The retail price of the update itself was around $170 and dealers usually charged that much or more for labor.  It wasn't unusual for the total cost of an update to exceed $350 which was probably why not many people got their navigation systems updated.

I am not certain that the 2011 RX with navigation can read text and email messages.  I do remember that the function was added to some vehicles for the 2012 model year.    Do you have the navigation manual and is this function described in it?   Or can you see the function on the phone screen?

If your RX does have the text/email reading and response function, it's pretty easy to set up for an Android phone.  Not that you're interested but iPhone iOS didn't fully support this function until recently.

I'm providing most of this from memory so you might have to do some reading and investigation for yourself.  

After you pair your Android phone with your RX, go into your Android phone's Bluetooth settings for your RX and give your RX access to your contacts and messages.  It should be a matter of toggling the settings from off to on if they aren't on by default.  Then go into your RX navigation system's phone menu and find and enable the reading of text messages and/or emails.

If your 2011 RX does not support the reading of text and email messages, all is not lost.  There are apps on Google Play for Android phones that can do it.  I use the Android app "A2DP Volume" to read text messages to me in one of our vehicles that doesn't have the built-in function but it doesn't allow me to respond with "canned" replies like the Lexus and Toyota systems do.

If you want to experience additional "trauma", then install Lexus Enform on your phone from the Google Play store.  I originally had great hope for Lexus Enform and its Toyota Entune sibling but both were plagued by stability issues.  The operating system was from a subsidiary of Research In Motion (the Blackberry phone company) and we know where Blackberry went.  Still, you might find an app or two in Enform that you might appreciate but I'm not sure what apps are left for the original Enform.

If you don't have manuals for your RX, you can order hard copies and view them online in the Owners section of the Lexus website.  

Edit:  Whoa!  I just saw that you are in Canada - Alberta no less.  That means that your 2011 RX may not have Enform and other functions that were on U.S. market vehicles.  I do know that, later on, some of the Enform apps weren't available in Canada due to copyright restrictions.   Some functions weren't even available on U.S. market vehicles when they were driven in Canada since the restrictions were based on IP address. 





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