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Pioneer's NEX stereos are much more than just CarPlay

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For years there's been this growing sentiment among smartphone users who have to drive on a regular basis, and that sentiment usually involved being able to just dock your phone in the car and use the larger screen in the dash to use the things your phone already does very well. As cool as it would be for the infotainment center in the car to just be the receptacle for our phones, many of these in-dash systems do a lot more than what we've seen from CarPlay so far. As a result, at CES this year, we saw several systems where the smartphone bits are treated like an app on a larger system.

A perfect example of this is the new Pioneer systems, much like the one we have a hands on with, which have their own UI and features independent of a connected smartphone. Who knows, maybe in future versions of CarPlay we'll see separate apps that control all of the car functions and there is no underlying system to speak of.

Russell is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He's a passionate futurist whose trusty iPad mini is never far from reach. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Reach out on Twitter!

  • Tried to update my pioneer from their official website and it bricked the unit! Lucky my car is only 6 months old and under warranty! Sent from the iMore App
  • Must be a slow news day for Russ.
  • I want this to work well so badly. I just have little faith. I can't even try out the display units at best buy, they won't let me connect a USB into the back. And I don't feel like buying everything to bench test at home (again). AppRadios prior to this year were abysmal. This year's looks good now that it supports CarPlay, but I'm still hesitant. Also, a $600 deck turns into a $1000 install with all the parts, so I'm not really interested in the $1800 deck that has a few, likely non-upgradable, baked in features. And the chances are the processor is underpowered so everything is slow out of the box, with a buggy UI. We are spoiled by Apples snappy interface in iOS. I would rather stick with an Aux cable and my factory deck than spend $1000+ on something painfully slow & not as intuitive as iOS. Someday it will be good enough & worth the $. Sent from the iMore App
  • Save your money from buying the Pioneer. I've had the 4000NEX for almost 7 months and never even use Carplay anymore because of the issues. On that unit, having Carplay enabled will disable the Bluetooth audio (including calls). If you do anything else on the phone while it's plugged in, you lose the Carplay screen on the unit. Pioneer's support is borderline nonexistent. Check out Kenwood's DDX9902S just announced at CES, it looked like it had the most promise out of the new offerings.
  • Just put an ipad in the dash with velcro, magnets or screwed in case. Then connect it to your existing stereo thru bluetooth. Then you can make facetime calls, listen to spotify, watch netflix and listen to internet radio from a 10 inch screen. Pioneer is going in the wrong direction. Why buy a second device (pioneer) that does less than the ipad on a smaller screen. Best install is the ipad installed straight in the dash (replacing your old stereo) with an amplifier behind. No need for a stereo at all. Ask your installer. Sent from the iMore App
  • I did some research on the in-dash ipad mini idea and found They make ipad, ipad mini, and iphone integration kits for cars. They have a list of installers too. Unfortunately for me, the nearest installer is 3 hours away.