Pioneer shows off their slick CarPlay integration for aftermarket car stereos

Pioneer shows off their slick CarPlay integration for aftermarket car stereos

Pioneer has demoed Apple CarPlay integration with its NEX dash systems as we draw closer to the final iteration of the experience. It's simple to get started: you just plug in an iPhone and the software opens automatically and takes over the car's display with CarPlay Pioneer will be loading Apple's in-car suite to both new and current hardware already available on the market.

Once the iPhone is connected to the dash system, CarPlay makes it possible to access contacts, multimedia and other data stored on the smartphone through the car display – it's worth noting that CarPlay only works with the iPhone 5 or higher, running at least iOS 7.1. While not everyone has enough cash hidden away in the home for a brand new Mercedes-Benz just to try out CarPlay, Pioneer's NEX aftermarket systems will be a viable option.

The AVH-8000NEX, which was demonstrated with CarPlay, has a capacitive touch screen, making the experience seamless once the iPhone was plugged in. The display also showed a home button – similar to that on the iPhone – as well as Siri integration, just in case you required yet more functionality. The personal assistant would be able to read or send an SMS message to a contact, or even place a voice call.

As well as the 8000NEX above, the following Pioneer aftermarket solutions will also be updated for CarPlay:

Pioneer has said that CarPlay will be tweaked so Siri will be able to acclimate to the sound of the vehicle it is operating within, blocking out sounds from the engine, air conditioner and other systems. Sounds good? Expect to see the update go live "early summer". Those of you that aren't yet in the market for a new car, does something like this Pioneer system appeal to you?

Source: MacWorld

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Rich Edmonds

Heads up the Mobile Nations Newsroom UK shift. An avid gamer, lover of all things technology and enjoys flying.

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Reader comments

Pioneer shows off their slick CarPlay integration for aftermarket car stereos

6 Comments

I'm thinking pretty seriously about adding one of these to my vehicle, but I'm going to wait to see how well CarPlay works on them before making a decision.

I've been wanting to add a new system that had decent iPhone integration. I'm hoping this is it.

I just installed the avh-4000nex 3 day ago. The reason I went with this unit is because of carplay. Can't wait for the firmware update. Head unit looks very nice in my truck.

I wish I could afford to upgrade my head unit, but I can't.

I'm mainly interested in being able to listen to music from my iPhone in the car and I found an app that is a pretty good alternative.

The developer states on the App Store page that he designed it with in-car use in mind, so you can quickly start playing an album, and easily control playback without even having to look at the screen, unlike the standard music app which has small buttons that are hard to press accurately when your phone is mounted in a dock at arm's length. It gets regular updates, and one feature I particularly like is that I can listen to podcasts and music within the one app.

Oh, it's called Harken For iPhone. http://bit.ly/HarkenForiPhone

He's also got an iPad version.

(TLDR- experience leads me to believe this will suck)

I followed the link to MacWorld, and watched the video. What a terrible demo; she barely shows any features. (And according to Miss Minivan, every car except the Mercedes, Ferraris etc that will come with carplay units is an old beater. Thanks ya jerk! lol)

When AppRadio 3 came out I bought it, without being able to test drive it at the store (thanks Best Buy!) and I found that it is completely abysmal. First, you have to buy at least $70 worth of clunky cables just to get the iPhone 5 to connect to the piece of junk. Then it didn't even have an app that could interface the music in the iPhone without downloading / running a specific, equally crappy, music app. No Apple or Google Maps, only Waze so no voice control even from the iPhone. And (I could be wrong here) while it was running the music app I couldn't do anything else, switching to another app would cause the AppRadio to exit "connected-to-iPhone-mode". I also would have had to buy (order and wait for delivery) wiring harnesses totaling more than $200 in order to connect it to my car's speaker wiring, antenna and steering wheel buttons. However, there was no way to get my car's built in BT mic to work with the unit. And the "Geeks" at Best Buy had no idea how the steering wheel buttons would work with the AppRadio, if at all. They assumed I would get volume control, but not much else, no menu navigation like I already have (clever use of the Up/Down buttons: tap up to scroll the three line monochrome menu UP, hold up for ENTER. Tap down for DOWN and hold down for RETURN) I know that they can't manufacture a solution for every car in the world, but the factory radio in my car is a pioneer. I guess I was hoping they had some sort of standard practice in their connections and programming departments, then again, it could be GM's fault.

(Sorry for the rant)
My point is that I'm just afraid this is going to be a repeat of that trash. >$1000 for a (predicted) 50% functional unit that only interfaces 3-4 native apps seems like another fail to me. We'll see how it turns out. I'm still hoping for the best, and I'll probably still buy one of the stupid things. But I'll be sure to test it on my work bench prior to installation, just like I did with the AppRadio.

I haven't researched this, but I hope they have built-in voice control for the Pioneer side of things, which will hopefully be reasonably seamless with Siri. I would hate to find out that I have to take my hands off the wheel to tune the radio, change EQ presets, etc (not that ill use it that often, but still)

And it better have decent processor running the show. I know there are multiple models that will get the magic firmware, I'll have to see if they have low-mid-high options for the processors. My wife's car has an "info-tainment" touch screen from GM, "MyLink", it's pretty bad compared to phones and tablets we are all now used too. She leaves the iPod plugged in inside the glove box, but usually listens to pandora via Bluetooth... Every time she turns on the car, it starts in radio mode, then about a minute later the iPod fires up, the unit switches to iPod source, but it takes about 2 minutes before it starts to play anything, it has to "index" the iPod EVERY SINGLE TIME. She usually taps a radio preset button to cancel. Annoying. No pride in programming, and the last GM I'll buy without spending an entire day testing every last possible permutation of button presses.

However, to Pioneer's credit, at least they are doing SOMETHING to bring our "dreams" to reality.