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

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 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.
  • Reply 2 of 39
    alphafoxalphafox Posts: 115member
    way too expensive. just give me a touch screen and an amp in it for $250 and ill buy it.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,604member

    For people using iPads.  

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

     

    image

  • Reply 4 of 39
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,018member
    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.

  • Reply 5 of 39
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 330member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    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!)

  • Reply 7 of 39
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    kkerst wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    chabigchabig Posts: 623member
    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.

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

  • Reply 9 of 39
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member

    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.

  • Reply 10 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).

  • Reply 11 of 39
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 39
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member

    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.

  • Reply 13 of 39
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 39
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 803member
    Audi and VW conspicuously absent. :/
  • Reply 15 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.

  • Reply 16 of 39
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    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. 

  • Reply 17 of 39
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    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?

  • Reply 18 of 39
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,773member
    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.

  • Reply 19 of 39
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    crowley wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 39
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,773member

    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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