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Pioneer demos Apple CarPlay solutions for older cars set to launch in 'a few weeks'

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
With Pioneer set to update its existing NEX car infotainment systems with support for CarPlay in the coming weeks, the company has been offering advance hands-on previews of how Apple's in-car system will work.




Hands-on demonstrations with Pioneer NEX systems running CarPlay were provided to Macworld, CNBC, and Digital Trends this week, as the head unit maker builds hype for its forthcoming software update. In a new and sooner-than-expected release schedule, the company revealed that CarPlay support will come to its NEX lineup in "a few weeks."

Support will be coming to existing NEX infotainment systems from Pioneer in the form of a software update. Apple already launched CarPlay support in the iPhone with iOS 7.1, but head units compatible with CarPlay have yet to hit the market.



With this week's demonstrations and news of an impending launch, Pioneer appears poised to become the first on the market to offer CarPlay support.

Apple's native apps for Phone, Music, Maps, and Messages will all sport out-of-the-box compatibility via CarPlay. Apple has also added a "Now Playing" application for content, while users will be able to get back to the NEX system's main menu with a Pioneer-created app button.

CarPlay also boasts Siri support, allowing users to dictate text messages, get directions, have information read to them, or initiate a phone call with Apple's voice-driven personal assistant.



Hands-on impressions with CarPlay were generally positive, citing ease of use, safety and quality. In particular, MacWorld highlighted the responsiveness of the high-end AVH-8000NEX model's capacitive touchscreen, which is a rare feature in an in-car dash setup.

Once the update becomes available, users will be able to download a firmware file from Pioneer's website and transfer it to a USB drive. From there, it can be plugged into the unit and the update can be installed.

Pioneer announced its first aftermarket CarPlay systems last month, with the NEX lineup starting at $700 for the entry-level AVH-4000NEX.

Cheaper options are scheduled to arrive later in the year from Alpine, which has said its CarPlay compatible units will be priced between $500 and $700.

CarPlay was officially announced by Apple at the Geneva Motor Show in April as a rebranding of the "iOS in the Car" functionality unveiled by the company at last year's Worldwide Developers Conference. In addition to aftermarket units, CarPlay support will be built in to new select 2014 vehicles from Volvo, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Hyundai, and Ferrari. Future partners include Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, Kia, Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi.
post #2 of 39
From the video..."to bring your beater into the 21st century." Wow Pioneer, great way to encourage me to purchase your technology. Nothing like hearing you are driving a piece of junk to make you want new tech for it.
post #3 of 39
way too expensive. just give me a touch screen and an amp in it for $250 and ill buy it.
post #4 of 39

For people using iPads.  

Can't believe AI does not test their pages with iPads.

 

post #5 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorbran View Post

From the video..."to bring your beater into the 21st century." Wow Pioneer, great way to encourage me to purchase your technology. Nothing like hearing you are driving a piece of junk to make you want new tech for it.

 

I support their use of beater. It was well played.

post #6 of 39
I'm surprised this (CarPlay) isn't supported using Bluetooth.

Also, since most cars don't have CarPlay, all of them are beaters? Bad marketing.
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

For people using iPads.  

Can't believe AI does not test their pages with iPads.

 

Thank you.

(seriously; what's A.I.'s problem? Get with it guys!)

post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

I'm surprised this (CarPlay) isn't supported using Bluetooth.

As noted in the video the iPhone supplies the all the data to the dash display. Bluetooth simply can't handle the data load of a secondary display.

Once this gets more established expect CarPlay with WiFi support to be included that will likely use BT to establish a connection and then WiFI to push to the external display.

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post #9 of 39
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Originally Posted by alphafox View Post

way too expensive. just give me a touch screen and an amp in it for $250 and ill buy it.

$250? Way too expensive. Sell it for $49.95. /s

post #10 of 39

No way in hell. That's more expensive than an iPad.

I bought one if these a year ago but returned it because the controls were too small, and I couldn't justify the cost.  Whatever unit you buy, expect to add $250 to the cost for the wiring  harness, iPhone adapter (no this does not come with the unit) and to keep your steering wheel controls.

 

Major firmware updates almost never go smoothly or work at all. I would wait unit the firmware is actually shipping in the unit.

post #11 of 39

I used to build high-end car systems as a hobby. This is what someone needs to do:

 

iOS supports multi-channel audio over USB (this is how audio companies are able to make interfaces that allow you to record 8, 16 or even 24 channels of audio at once). You can also output a large number of channels, though that's used less often.

 

The A7 processor is fast enough to do a good chunk of audio processing, and since the A7 is available in the iPhone 5S, you have a very small, yet extremely powerful audio processor available.

 

High-end audio systems typically have numerous amplifiers, drivers (speakers) and often electronic crossovers/preamps/EQ's to split up the audio and feed the appropriate amplifier/driver combination. The crossover/preamp/EQ is something that can be replaced with an iPhone 5S.

 

You feed your 2 channel source to your iPhone (or play music directly from your iPhone). You have an App that takes this 2 channel audio and splits it up into however many channels you have in your car. For a high-end system you could have 10 or 12 individual outputs, each one with it's own EQ, time delay (for phase), crossover settings and level adjustment. You have a Lightning equipped interface that had 16 channels that could be set up as inputs or outputs.

 

Using your existing iPhone and an interface you could have a system that would rival anything on the market (and be much more versatile).

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post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

No way in hell. That's more expensive than an iPad.

1) But how much for whatever kit is needed to make it fit in the display?

2) Most would probably miss out on a lot of features that they want, like a terrestrial radio, CD player, and even the ability to route voice calls from their iPhone to the in-dash system.

3) You still don't have CarPlay with the iPad setup.

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post #13 of 39

Nice, but way too expensive.

 

Although, getting a factory-installed screen in your car is also way too expensive.

 

Maybe instead of just a screen, someone should make a whole audio system that integrates the screen, like the days of yore when you'd buy like an Alpine audio system for your car.

 

Just a thought.

post #14 of 39
bring it. a shame the AppRadio doesn't have the hardware to support it, but Pioneer has gone on record that the next version will. likely around $400.
post #15 of 39
Audi and VW conspicuously absent. :/
post #16 of 39

I wish I had a had a double din display to fit this, $750 seems like a fair price compared to most manufacture installed options are a couple grand. I will be looking into this next year, when I'm car shopping if a dealer installed option isn't available.

post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastorbran View Post

From the video..."to bring your beater into the 21st century." Wow Pioneer, great way to encourage me to purchase your technology. Nothing like hearing you are driving a piece of junk to make you want new tech for it.

 

wow - how did you not understand that was a reporter from TechHive and not Pioneer's marketing department?

 

also, humor. 

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

I'm surprised this (CarPlay) isn't supported using Bluetooth.

Also, since most cars don't have CarPlay, all of them are beaters? Bad marketing.

 

how do you figure, when that was a TechHive video?

post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Once this gets more established expect CarPlay with WiFi support to be included that will likely use BT to establish a connection and then WiFI to push to the external display.

Agree, but don't really understand why this wasn't in there (at least as an option) from day one; between Apple TV and Airport stations Apple certainly has the know-how.

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post #20 of 39
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Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Agree, but don't really understand why this wasn't in there (at least as an option) from day one; between Apple TV and Airport stations Apple certainly has the know-how.

I think there are several reasons.

1) Apple has a tendency to start with something simple it can perfect before growing. Since this also involves dealing with partners it would also behoove them to make their end of setup as undaunting as possible until it becomes widespread.

2) The iPhone clearly has WiFi but I think only the iPhone 5, iPad 4, and G5 iPod Touch and newer devices support AirDrop which uses the BT+WiFi system which may be required for the foundation for this to work with an in-dash system. Still, that's plenty of devices and anyone buying a new head unit or vehicle with CarPlay is also very likely to have an iPhone newer than 2012. That said, you would still need a head unit that also included WiFi (which are very few) and had a setup that could talk to iOS via AirDrop or whatever wireless protocol Apple would make for supporting this sort of system.


PS: Once all that and the UI for it on both ends in place it could happen but with the iPhone pushing an entirely new UI that could include constantly updated mapping data you're using that WiFi a lot which means you'd probably want to plug in anyway to not only prevent the battery from draining but to also charge it.. Of course, it would be nice to have the option which I think will come but only Apple feels the system has a solid foundation. The initial CarPlay was announced almost a year ago and nearly all manufacturers are on board so maybe that will added to iOS 8 this year for cars hopefully shipping in 2015.

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post #21 of 39

Those are fairly good reasons, that, when added together, could be a valid case for holding back.  Still seems rather limited though, with the first reason I wouldn't have thought the wired/wireless distinction would be a killer clause in the system development, or in Apple's dealings with the car manufacturers since Apple have so much expertise in this area (and wireless could be an option, rather than a requirement), and for the second reason BT is a handshake option, but I can't comprehend a compelling case why a wi-fi only handshake (probably with an on-screen code to validate the pairing) wouldn't be sufficient.

 

But you're probably right, it's all an unnecessary complication for release 1.0.

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post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Those are fairly good reasons, that, when added together, could be a valid case for holding back.  Still seems rather limited though, with the first reason I wouldn't have thought the wired/wireless distinction would be a killer clause in the system development, or in Apple's dealings with the car manufacturers since Apple have so much expertise in this area (and wireless could be an option, rather than a requirement), and for the second reason BT is a handshake option, but I can't comprehend a compelling case why a wi-fi only handshake (probably with an on-screen code to validate the pairing) wouldn't be sufficient.

But you're probably right, it's all an unnecessary complication for release 1.0.

It's almost been exactly a year since iOS in the Car was first announced. This is slow going even with Pioneer, being try to their name, being the first to be releasing firmware updates to a few select systems. Even with the list of automative manufactures I have doubts most of them will be truly supporting CarPlay until 2015 and probably years before all their lines that have larger in-dash displays will have CarPlay as an option.

I think Audi and GM have announced some sort of WiFi in the car but how that's setup is probably not what Apple would need to tie that to in-dash display.

Quote:
...but I can't comprehend a compelling case why a wi-fi only handshake...

I don't understand this comment. My comment assumed a BT for the handshake and WiFi for the data, just like with AirDrop on iOS.

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post #23 of 39

I had a Pioneer AppRadio installed in my 1989 Mazda Miata last year. Superb sound, runs many of the Apps on my iPhone, including NavFree GPS, plays my music collection, and does handsfree phone calls. I was so very impressed that I recently had a Pioneer NEX installed in my 2000 Buick LeSabre. It's even better than the AppRadio, and I can't wait for the CarPlay firmware update.

 

Yes they are expensive, but the quality is superior. I am something of an audiophile, and getting early Joan Baez acoustic recordings, for example, to sound as natural and realistic in the car as they do on my home audio system is no mean feat. A car is the absolute worst possible listening room acoustically speaking that one could devise, but with the addition of a simple subwoofer, and some careful tweaking  of the EQ, listening position and speaker levels from the head unit, truly startling results are possible. The NEX has a very sophisticated range of acoustic adjustment. The OE Buick speaker system turned out to be extremely good. The original Miata speakers were marginal, and quite deteriorated with age and exposure, but there are several good custom-engineered aftermarket systems available. I chose the Clearwater set.

 

One feature of the NEX I particularly like is that it does not use the car's speakers to play the sound from the incoming caller on the iPhone, but instead has its own built-in speaker. So when you are parked and taking a call, you don't have everyone in the parking lot within 50 meters listening in on your call.

 

One more thing about price: As I said, these units are very expensive. But if price were my only consideration, I would never have bought Macs or iOS devices. And remember that if you pay little enough for things, you can sometimes end up getting nothing at all of any value for your money.

post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

No way in hell. That's more expensive than an iPad.

Seriously. Why not just build a nice mount for my iPad? What does this do that my iPad can't?
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph_went_south View Post

Seriously. Why not just build a nice mount for my iPad? What does this do that my iPad can't?

1oyvey.gif

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post #26 of 39
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Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

1oyvey.gif

LOL. I'm serious - walk me through this please. After I posted that I saw you mentioned terrestrial radio and routing calls through the speakers. Are you quite sure they can't add a radio chip to the iPad, and some software to route iPhone calls through iPad audio?

I love the idea of iOS in the car. I'm not clear that a 4th category of iOS device makes any sense.
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by joseph_went_south View Post

LOL. I'm serious - walk me through this please. After I posted that I saw you mentioned terrestrial radio and routing calls through the speakers. Are you quite sure they can't add a radio chip to the iPad, and some software to route iPhone calls through iPad audio?

I love the idea of iOS in the car. I'm not clear that a 4th category of iOS device makes any sense.

Sure, there is no technical reason Apple can't make an iPad have all the components of or a 3rd-party make a system that has all the parts of a double DIN in-dash system but that still means it's inherently different than the current iPad and would cost much more than what an iPad costs. Even then you're probably still not going to get a CD player in there.

But all that is beside the point because CarPlay is NOT the same UI as iOS on the iPad. It's a unique UI specifically designed for these systems. If the jailbreak community can copy the CarPlay UI and components from an iPhone to an iPad and then make them work on the primary display of the iPad, and if the owner wants no non-iPad options like terrestrial radio or a CD player then this custom job might be cheaper than the $680 for Pioneer's cheapest option.

If you bought a Retina iPad mini for $400 and did the JB yourself and that leaves you less than $300 for the installation which will include some sort of kit for this to tie to your car. How much is the kit? How much is the labour? How well does it tie into your car? Can you tether your phone to this iPad for hands-free calling or Siri Hands Free calling? This all sounds like a kludge that would be fine as an experiment but not as a recommended solution.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/16/14 at 9:44pm

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post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Sure, there is no technical reason Apple can't make an iPad have all the components of or a 3rd-party make a system that has all the parts of a double DIN in-dash system but that still means it's inherently different than the current iPad and would cost much more than what an iPad costs. Even then you're probably still not going to get a CD player in there.

But all that is beside the point because CarPlay is NOT the same UI as iOS on the iPad. It's a unique UI specifically designed for these systems. If the jailbreak community can copy the CarPlay UI and components from an iPhone to an iPad and then make them work on the primary display of the iPad, and if the owner wants no non-iPad options like terrestrial radio or a CD player then this custom job might be cheaper than the $680 for Pioneer's cheapest option.

If you bought a Retina iPad mini for $400 and did the JB yourself and that leaves you less than $300 for the installation which will include some sort of kit for this to tie to your car. How much is the kit? How much is the labour? How well does it tie into your car? Can you tether your phone to this iPad for hands-free calling or Siri Hands Free calling? This all sounds like a kludge that would be fine as an experiment but not as a recommended solution.

It's only $575 on amazon- further proving your point.

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post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I don't understand this comment. My comment assumed a BT for the handshake and WiFi for the data, just like with AirDrop on iOS.

Sure, and that would also mean restricting CarPlay to the most recent hardware, as AirDrop is (I think) iPhone 5 and newer?  As you said.

 

But if they didn't use the BT handshake element and just had a direct wi-fi connection (I said wi-fi handshake, which is probably the wrong phrasing), with the car acting as a host, then problem solved, any iOS7 device should be able to cope with that.  Airplay doesn't require the Bluetooth, so there's no obvious reason why CarPlay would need it either.

 

So I don't understand why you assumed BT handshake and restricted device compatibility, when I don't see why it would be particularly neccessary; what functionality does CarPlay share with AirDrop that would make that so?


Edited by Crowley - 5/17/14 at 10:04am

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post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Sure, and that would also mean restricting CarPlay to the most recent hardware, as AirDrop is (I think) iPhone 5 and newer?  As you said.

But if they didn't use the BT handshake element and just had a direct wi-fi connection (I said wi-fi handshake, which is probably the wrong phrasing), with the car acting as a host, then problem solved, any iOS7 device should be able to cope with that.  Airplay doesn't require the Bluetooth, so there's no obvious reason why CarPlay would need it either.

So I don't understand why you assumed BT handshake and restricted device compatibility, when I don't see it as particularly neccessary.

From what I understand the BT handshake with WiFi for the data transfer is simply a better system which is probably why AirDrop uses it. Not that that with AirPlay the connection is going through a wireless router. Unfortunately, there is no ad-hoc connection between an iDevice or Mac and the Apple TV, although it's been one desire I've had for the Apple TV since not requiring a router in-between would allow for office and school use without having to also set up a router for the connection. This could also work for Home use by allowing someone to share to your HDTV without necessarily giving them access to your private WiFI network.

Note that AirDrop on the Mac doesn't use BT for the handshake. So why are they different? What is the benefit of this? I wonder if the shorter range, more efficient packets and lower power allows for a better all around system over simply going in all WiFi but perhaps the WiFi HW on iDevices are less advanced to allow for this sort of setup. I don't know, all I know is that iOS-based devices use BT for the handshake for an ad-hoc conniption at this time which is why I used that in my example.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/17/14 at 10:07am

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post #31 of 39

Agree that the bluetooth system allows for simpler, quicker configuration, like how the current Apple TV allows you to touch a recent iOS device to it, in order to pair the bluetooth and share the wi-fi information.

 

Interesting trade-off, compatibility with more devices, or a slightly simpler config.  You're probably right, Apple would go for the latter.

 

 

Also agree about the Apple TV, I wish they'd make it a touch thicker and stick Airport Express functionality in there too.

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post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phone-UI-Guy View Post
 

 

I support their use of beater. It was well played.


I agree 100%! I for one would rather drive a pile of crap to leave in the parking lot at work then my good car anytime. This doesnt mean I dont want good tunes and comfort!

post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphafox View Post

way too expensive. just give me a touch screen and an amp in it for $250 and ill buy it.


Get real, were not talking Kraco crap or some other off branded junk. You have to pay for quality equipment, maybe youll figure that out someday....

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRUI View Post


I agree 100%! I for one would rather drive a pile of crap to leave in the parking lot at work then my good car anytime. This doesnt mean I dont want good tunes and comfort!

I have a couple old vettes in the garage, but I wouldn't call my daily driver lincoln a "beater". I'll be getting one for the lincoln which I opted for no touch screen/nav on because I didn't want MS Sync.
The word "beater" doesn't offend me. It was totally unnecessary though. 1smoking.gif

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post #35 of 39

Agree with the sync, though it seems to work "OK" the few times I get in my wifes Escape and see that Microsoft logo I want to vomit:-)

post #36 of 39

I'm hoping Car Play will have Skype because I get Skype calls all the time while I'm driving. I don't really understand how the retrofit program is going to wouk. I'm more interested in new BMWs and Tahoes

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post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ALRUI View Post

Agree with the sync, though it seems to work "OK" the few times I get in my wifes Escape and see that Microsoft logo I want to vomit:-)

I think in going to have to change my stance and agree with the use of "beater".

I noticed that driving today my climate control, vent speed, etc and outside temp gauge is displayed on my double din sized OEM radio dash. They have individual buttons and knobs at the bottom of the console, but the displays themselves are on that. I doubt it's going to be possible to upgrade there. 1frown.gif

Essentially only those cars whose radios are exclusively radios with nothing else on it will benefit.

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post #38 of 39

Thats going to be a problem going forward for lots of applications, my issue is if you have a car with a lot of electronics (which is most newer vehicles) when these modules fail there will be no fixing them unless an aftermarket steps in to repair these modules:-(

post #39 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

Audi and VW conspicuously absent. :/

Several reasons come to mind. For one thing, Apple has a low market share in VW/Audi primary markets. For another, Audi is already going with Google, and for a third, Audi does not want to get involved with a company like apple who will want to dictate too many details of the integration. Remember, Audi has a lot of experience and good existing partnerships that offer things that Apple is only hyping about.

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