Review: Pioneer AVH-W4400NEX receiver proves wireless CarPlay is the way to go

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member
    cgWerks said:
    ihatescreennames said:
    I disagree. As I stated earlier my wife’s car doesn’t have a touch screen so everything in CarPlay is controlled by a knob on the console. It can be a real pain trying to switch between apps (although I should try having Siri do it).  ... Last month we were on vacation. Our rental was a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had CarPlay and a touch screen. It was the first chance I’ve had to use CarPlay with a touch screen and I found much nicer and less distracting to use than the knob in the car.
    I think we're talking - a bit - about two different things here, though. Yes, many of the 'knob' interfaces to try and control overly-complex stuff are pretty horrible. But, I'm more talking about the what is required in terms of distraction/focus to operate either type of interface.

    For example, turning a physical knob to increase the volume is much less distracting than identifying where some slider is on a screen, then getting ones finger on that precise point and doing something with it..... while driving.

    And... I'd argue that doing more complex lookup or selection of stuff is something you shouldn't be doing while driving, with either type of system! Yes, it's easier and less frustrating with a touch-screen, but both are going to take too much attention off the road.

    I find it silly that they are implementing laws about holding a phone up to your ear, or holding it at all while driving, yet this kind of stuff is allowed. A bit of common sense is necessary, but it seems that is utterly lost on the masses these days. So, they try to make rules to compensate and end up with an inconsistent mess.

    Maybe a better way of putting it, is that complex interfaces for anything, done in any manner, in cars (meant for the driver) are a bad thing if they are using them while driving.
    BTW... I should try to find it again, but there was an actual study done on this a year or two back, and if I remember the results were really, really bad.... like worse than drunk-driving bad, if I recall.
    My steering wheel controls control the Car Play volume, no knobs or sliders required. I rarely ever touch anything as I can ask Siri to do most things.
    edited April 12 escargot
  • Reply 22 of 52
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,504member
    Pioneer used to be one of my favourite brands, but your demo doesn't sell me on this product. I can see the lag (due to wireless), but the non-Apple interfaces it features also don't live up to my standards. I would not want to spend $500+ (CAD) on this product knowing that I'd be sponsoring this poor design by Pioneer. They really need to step it up to a whole new level.

    I think there's only been one aftermarket CarPlay-compatible display that has impressed me with its great design and performance. Can't remember which brand at the moment, but I do remember it was far more than I was willing to spend. :smile: 

  • Reply 23 of 52
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,352member
    Pioneer used to be one of my favourite brands, but your demo doesn't sell me on this product. I can see the lag (due to wireless), but the non-Apple interfaces it features also don't live up to my standards. I would not want to spend $500+ (CAD) on this product knowing that I'd be sponsoring this poor design by Pioneer. They really need to step it up to a whole new level.

    I think there's only been one aftermarket CarPlay-compatible display that has impressed me with its great design and performance. Can't remember which brand at the moment, but I do remember it was far more than I was willing to spend. :smile: 

    What lag?  I have one and there is no lag.
  • Reply 24 of 52
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 720editor
    big kc said:
    As resistive screens go, it's actually reasonably responsive.
    Responsiveness isn't the only issue. The requirement for pressure to make it work is a durability problem, and in your car is not where you want a durability issue. Resistive screens are an inferior, cost-saving choice, that's the bottom line. I would never put one in my car.  

    But they work great in the winter. As for durability, I've had the same resistive CarPlay units in cars for four years, and they've been as good as day one. I don't forsee a problem with these units.

    escargotMplsP
  • Reply 25 of 52
    big kc said:
    Resistive screen. BIG BIG bummer and a non-starter. You have to go up to the much more expensive model to get a proper capacitive screen. I'd stay 500 miles away from anything with a resistive screen.
    I was under the impression that CarPlay was supposed to require a touchscreen. At least, that’s something I seem to remember back when CarPlay was first announce, though I could be wrong. My wife’s car with CarPlay doesn’t have a touch screen at all, it’s all controlled through a dial on the console. I like using CarPlay but the dial being the only way to interface kinda sucks. A resistive touch screen would be much better than what we currently have.
    I'm guessing your wife's car is a Mazda and it is true the CarPlay disables the touch screen while in motion and relies on the dial. It has it's plusses and minuses, but it would be nice to be able to remove this restriction but Im not sure how.
  • Reply 26 of 52
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 720editor
    hodar said:
    MplsP said:
    For years now the audio systems of cars have been heavily integrated with the car systems - turn signal sounds play through the speakers, vehicle system controls and backup cameras use the same screen, etc.  I’m not that picky about my car’s sound system so getting an aftermarket system was never a concern for me but I’ve often wondered how it would work both aesthetically and functionally, and if you would end up losing functionality. 

    It’d be really nice to get car play in our odyssey, but not if we lose other functions. 
    Your points are very valid, with many higher end cars incorporating security not only into the audio system, but including the car's CANBUS communications into the audio system as well (blinkers through speakers, etc).  I haven't updated a "head unit" in years, and frankly I'm a bit intimidated about how much potential damage I may inflict in the goal to improve the audio experience -

    On the plus side, there are many cable harness adapters out there, that will plug directly into your car's harness and route the signals to the correct corresponding wire harness on your stereo.  Some are adapters that have naked wires and require soldering; some are end to end harness sets (depending upon popularity of your vehicle, and the brand of the stereo).  This is not for the faint hearted; I would suggest researching and buying the best cable adapters you can find - as sitting under the dash with a hot soldering iron is even less fun today, than it was in the late 1970's.

    The adapters for the radio into the car retain the original features (retained accessory power, door/seatbelt/turnsignal dings, etc.). Also: make up the harness adapter outside the car. No soldering irons under the dash, do it inside the house, and then carry it out and plug in. image is an image from my review of the Pioneer AppRadio 4 CarPlay unit in 2014. https://appleinsider.com/articles/14/11/15/review-pioneers-appradio-4-with-built-in-support-for-apple-carplay Notice the wiring harness with the blue adapter box for CANBUS / GMLAN that I've attached using crimp fast-on connectors. It worked great. No soldering. It was really just matching up like signals with like (connect back left speaker to back left speaker, etc.). 30 minutes inside the house, another 20 at the dashboard, job done. I strongly prefer using an ASMC-1 steering wheels control adapter, where it can learn the correct steering wheel controls via an app, than the old way of having to train the steering wheels control adapter through a convoluted series of button presses on the adapter and steering wheel.

  • Reply 27 of 52
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 720editor
    cgWerks said:
    zoetmb said:
    Back in the day, when car radios in many cars were standard DIN sized, I used to always buy an aftermarket radio, usually an Alpine.   But today, in most cars, even older cars without bit-mapped screens, since the entertainment system and the HVAC system are integrated, I don't see how an aftermarket system can work, although it obviously worked in the Chevy.   

    Are there any common standards for these units like there used to be?    
    Yeah, that's my problem too, even if I decided this was the way to go. It would be an EXPENSIVE project, not even including the quite expensive price of the unit itself.

    You have to research your particular vehicle, and sometimes even variation or option-set (as stereos and dash layouts can vary). And, unless you really like to dig in, it is probably something you're going to have to spend yet more to have a professional shop do (and hopefully do well... that shouldn't be assumed, either).

    And, same here, I always had an aftermarket car stereo up until maybe somewhere in the mid-2000s.

    karmadave said:
    Everything works great and I love the having CarPlay. It actually makes Siri useful ;-) 
    That's one thing I was just thinking about. What do you mean by that? I guess Apple actually does better with audio routing and such with CarPlay, right?

    But, you still have to reach up and touch that screen to do things, right? I have my phone mounted in front of my stereo anyway, so I can reach up and touch it, too. It's just that reaching up to touch screens isn't nearly as safe as using knobs. It's quite distracting to try and look at a screen, decide where you need to touch, and then try to do so while driving. I think this trend is bad, actually.

    What I'd really like, is for Siri to be able to answer the friggin' phone! Can that be done with Siri Shortcuts somehow? The ONE feature, which would actually make driving with a phone safer, Apple decides to exclude.

    If your steering wheel has call handing buttons on it, you can use those with CarPlay. You can also use them to prompt Siri. You get notifications (text, whatsapp, etc.) at the top of the screen, and so if a notification comes in, you can blindly tap at the top of the screen to have it read aloud, without having to look where to tap.

  • Reply 28 of 52
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,796member
    The Kenwood that are just being released also have a variety of wireless carplay units that look very nice, from Hi Res capacitive screens to resistive options like this pioneer.

    while cold climate isn’t an issue for me, I am glad to hear that a resistive screen is responsive, less glare, and of course, less price.

    if your car can take a double din, with or without a fascia modification kit, it would be a great choice.

    i just wish more car manufacturers start offering wireless carplay.

    On the console knob control for carplay, that is the Mazda solution for their OEM solutions. It would seem the company has a philosophical problem with a touch screen.

    on the lag you noticed for audio compared with the responsiveness of the touch screen, could it be because the interface is wifi, and the audio is Bluetooth do you think?
    .
    edited April 12
  • Reply 29 of 52
    puggsly said:
    big kc said:
    Resistive screen. BIG BIG bummer and a non-starter. You have to go up to the much more expensive model to get a proper capacitive screen. I'd stay 500 miles away from anything with a resistive screen.
    I was under the impression that CarPlay was supposed to require a touchscreen. At least, that’s something I seem to remember back when CarPlay was first announce, though I could be wrong. My wife’s car with CarPlay doesn’t have a touch screen at all, it’s all controlled through a dial on the console. I like using CarPlay but the dial being the only way to interface kinda sucks. A resistive touch screen would be much better than what we currently have.
    I'm guessing your wife's car is a Mazda and it is true the CarPlay disables the touch screen while in motion and relies on the dial. It has it's plusses and minuses, but it would be nice to be able to remove this restriction but Im not sure how.
    entropys said:
    On the console knob control for carplay, that is the Mazda solution for their OEM solutions. It would seem the company has a philosophical problem with a touch screen.
    Interesting about Mazda but my wife's car is an E300. Almost everything is controlled by the knob on the console, although there are also some buttons that offer, basically, shortcuts to certain menu items. For instance, there's a "NAV" button that goes directly to the built-in navigation but will also go to Maps if CarPlay is active, kinda handy. But that doesn't make up for having to deal with that knob for most everything we use on a regular basis.
  • Reply 30 of 52
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,549member
    Anilu_777 said:
    I have Apple Car Play in my 2019 RAV4 but only wired. My biggest complaint about it is that sometimes the car doesn’t even detect that the phone is connected (official Apple cable). I actually have to restart the car to make it read the phone. I don’t know how much better wireless connection will be. 
    I’ve had similar issues with CarPlay not connecting with my Audi A4. Sometimes it doesnt’ connect, but more frequently it will connect and the CarPlay screen will come up but the audio will play out of the phone’s speakers. It doesn’t matter which cable I use, so it’s either an issue with the car or with the phone. I was leaning towards the car, but now, since I got my Xs and use the Lightning-3.5mm adaptor for headphones I’ve had cases where it does the same thing. I can control the volume and pause from the headphones, but the audio comes out of the phone, so I’m inclined to think it’s an iOS software issue.

    For my car I found that waiting a minute or two after I start the car to plug in my phone makes it work reliably. 
  • Reply 31 of 52
    designrdesignr Posts: 524member
    ebernet said:
    I understand but am still hard pressed to see why I would want a wireless car play solution. I have a CarPlay solution in my car (aftermarket) and find that I cannot use navigation without power (as Apple has indicated). Having used Wireless charging at home and in other cars, I find it unreliable and unable to keep up with real power demands. To use Wireless CarPlay I would need to have my phone plugged in to charge unless I am driving for just a few moments and am willing to put up with gradual power loss (maybe slower, but still power loss - Wireless Charging simply cannot keep power draw neutral when using navigation). Given that limitation, and the higher speed and quality I can achieve with a wire that both charges AND connects to my Head Unit, why would I spend a few hundred more and put up with the lag? ESPECIALLY after market where I would most likely ALSO have to install the Wireless Charger?
    This is where I am too.

    Anything longer than the short trips to the stores, like my daily commute for example, and I prefer to make sure my phone is getting some juice by being plugged in. Of course using maps, you better have it plugged in. The plugging and unplugging isn't such a terrible inconvenience. So the wireless seems of more limited value, at least for me.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 32 of 52
    benji888benji888 Posts: 114member
    Going wireless does drain battery compared to being wired, but by coupling it with a Qi car charger you get the best of both worlds.



    This is what makes wireless pointless, I’m just fine with my wired connection, plug it in and it works better and charges at the same time...especially helpful since I often also use Maps app. ...this is also why it has not really caught on.
    edited April 12 StrangeDays
  • Reply 33 of 52
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,273member
    ihatescreennames said:
    Ah, yes. I'm with you. For the more complex stuff, like looking up a song, I use Siri. We actually use Siri quite a bit in the car for sending/reading texts, playing music, getting directions, arming and disarming our home security system, etc. I actually don't mind using the knob when I'm a passenger, but that's pretty rare.

    I remember when Myth Busters did a segment where they did a comparison to drunk driving and driving on a cell phone. I believe drunk driving won, but the test was really stupid. For instance, when the driver was on the cell phone they weren't just having a normal conversation. Instead they were required to do math problems in their head and were being timed on how quickly they could get through the course at the same time. Come on. The other thing that bugs me is that any test I've seen like that doesn't take into account something I do all the time when I'm talking and driving: when something happens in front of me that requires more attention I stop having the conversation immediately, whether I'm on the phone or talking to someone in the car.
    re: study - this was some actual study, not Myth Busters... but I can see how that criteria would be annoying. Kind of non-real-world type stuff.

    Aside from CarPlay though, I'm uneasy about the general trend of moving from simple knobs, sliders, buttons to touch-screen control panels in general. The worst offender that comes to mind is Tesla.

    I often just reach down to adjust the volume, or change the heater setting or such without taking hardly any attention off my driving. When you just have a rectangle panel where locations of things might change depending on the menu, or even if they don't change, hitting arbitrary screen targets... especially if having to manipulate them, takes a lot of focus (and a different kind, I think). 

    MacPro said:
    My steering wheel controls control the Car Play volume, no knobs or sliders required. I rarely ever touch anything as I can ask Siri to do most things.
    Yeah, I have steering wheel volume control as well (though no CarPlay). I wish Siri was more helpful, but I need to memorize some more commands and syntax. Every time I try, I just find it frustrating. But, my big one would be the ability to answer incoming phone calls via speaker-phone. Also, in general, I'm talking about the overall trend towards touch screens, not just CarPlay.

    vmarks said:
    If your steering wheel has call handing buttons on it, you can use those with CarPlay. You can also use them to prompt Siri. You get notifications (text, whatsapp, etc.) at the top of the screen, and so if a notification comes in, you can blindly tap at the top of the screen to have it read aloud, without having to look where to tap.
    My car has the buttons but didn't have the BT option so the call handling ones don't do anything currently. I wonder if they would work, or if I'd have to get some additional equipment? I can see that this would improve things, but I still don't understand why Siri can't just be told to answer a call on speakerphone, or stuff like that.

    designr said:
    Anything longer than the short trips to the stores, like my daily commute for example, and I prefer to make sure my phone is getting some juice by being plugged in. Of course using maps, you better have it plugged in. The plugging and unplugging isn't such a terrible inconvenience. So the wireless seems of more limited value, at least for me.
    Same here. It has just become part of my routine... plug the cables and snap into the holder. Then I'm getting full power and a great audio connection. I suppose it saves a few seconds, but the main advantages of wireless aren't there anyway unless the car is specifically equipped with a charging spot to put the phone (assuming my phone charged wirelessly, which it doesn't).

    If it weren't so pricy and difficult, I suppose CarPlay would solve some other issues, but the wireless aspect of it I don't care about too much.
  • Reply 34 of 52
    How did you retain vehicle information on the head unit?
    Which interface/adapter did you use for this Chevy Cruze?
  • Reply 35 of 52
    iceageiceage Posts: 1member
    I installed this unit on my 2012 Nissan Altima. Apple CarPlay just worked flawlessly out of the box. The screen is not the bad at all. We also have Android phone, but Android Auto is no where near as good as Car Play on this receiver.
  • Reply 36 of 52
    Pioneer used to be one of my favourite brands, but your demo doesn't sell me on this product. I can see the lag (due to wireless), but the non-Apple interfaces it features also don't live up to my standards. I would not want to spend $500+ (CAD) on this product knowing that I'd be sponsoring this poor design by Pioneer. They really need to step it up to a whole new level.

    I think there's only been one aftermarket CarPlay-compatible display that has impressed me with its great design and performance. Can't remember which brand at the moment, but I do remember it was far more than I was willing to spend. :smile: 

    Sadly there is not a single aftermarket model (almost none of the first party ones are much better either) that does not have a shoddy and tacky interface. The one you are thinking of is probably the Sony ones, but they are still pretty bad, just “less bad” than the rest
  • Reply 37 of 52
    Andrew, could you comment in more detail about the impact of battery life while using wireless CarPlay?  Especially while using GPS/Navigation?  I know that the GPS uses a lot of battery life, but having the screen off the whole time would probably also save a lot of battery life compared to when using navigation via the phone’s screen. 
  • Reply 38 of 52
    cgWerks said:
    zoetmb said:
    Back in the day, when car radios in many cars were standard DIN sized, I used to always buy an aftermarket radio, usually an Alpine.   But today, in most cars, even older cars without bit-mapped screens, since the entertainment system and the HVAC system are integrated, I don't see how an aftermarket system can work, although it obviously worked in the Chevy.   

    Are there any common standards for these units like there used to be?    
    Yeah, that's my problem too, even if I decided this was the way to go. It would be an EXPENSIVE project, not even including the quite expensive price of the unit itself.

    You have to research your particular vehicle, and sometimes even variation or option-set (as stereos and dash layouts can vary). And, unless you really like to dig in, it is probably something you're going to have to spend yet more to have a professional shop do (and hopefully do well... that shouldn't be assumed, either).

    And, same here, I always had an aftermarket car stereo up until maybe somewhere in the mid-2000s.

    karmadave said:
    Everything works great and I love the having CarPlay. It actually makes Siri useful ;-) 
    That's one thing I was just thinking about. What do you mean by that? I guess Apple actually does better with audio routing and such with CarPlay, right?

    But, you still have to reach up and touch that screen to do things, right? I have my phone mounted in front of my stereo anyway, so I can reach up and touch it, too. It's just that reaching up to touch screens isn't nearly as safe as using knobs. It's quite distracting to try and look at a screen, decide where you need to touch, and then try to do so while driving. I think this trend is bad, actually.

    What I'd really like, is for Siri to be able to answer the friggin' phone! Can that be done with Siri Shortcuts somehow? The ONE feature, which would actually make driving with a phone safer, Apple decides to exclude.
    All those controls, like for activating Siri, answering and ending calls, changing the volume, changing tracks etc are all built into the steering wheel so you don’t have to move your hands or take your eyes off the road.  Aftermarket units hook into the existing controls on the steering wheel. Also, when you use Siri via CarPlay (or “Siri Eyes Free” via Bluetooth) she behaves quite differently, in a way that is all audio and doesn’t require you to ever look at the screen like she does normally.  It’s all a “driving first” paradigm. 
  • Reply 39 of 52
    maalthmaalth Posts: 1member
    Installing a radio in newer cars isn't difficult at all. Harness prep is important along with cable management. Idatalink and Metra makes kits that will integrate with your radio easily. You can't go wrong with either one. Of course do research on your car for what you need. 
  • Reply 40 of 52
    My BMW has wireless CarPlay, the article makes it sound like nobody is doing it. 

    "We've waited eagerly for wireless CarPlay to catch on amongst auto manufacturers, but they've continued to release new vehicles with a physical tether"

    It works nicely, has a Qi charging pad. All the steering wheel and iDrive controls work great. 


    edited April 13
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