Yesterday, we learned that Alpine claimed to be the first after market audio entertainment in-dash system to use CarPlay. Today, Pioneer announced that it will update existing head unit 2014 (NEX) infotainment systems to CarPlay this summer.
Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics said in an interview with AUTO Connected Car, “Once you plug the lighting with a USB connectin into the USB connection on the Pioneer system, CarPlay will automatically launch.”
All the CarPlay features go directly over the USB cable via the lightning connector, it terminates Bluetooth connections and the functions are handled on the iPhone 5S/5c/5.
The controls can be completed via the Pioneer touchscreen, volume control, track-up/down or controlled through Siri.
Siri functions go through the Pioneer external microphone and Siri’s voice is heard through the car speakers.
Depending upon the maker of your car the Pioneer NEX systems may be compatible with your steering wheel controls (SWC) for volume (up/down) or track (up/down) as long as adapters are available.
Apple’s CarPlay includes feature sets within the core functionality of iOS 7. When you plug an iPhone 5/5s/5c to the receiver it will launch into the interface designed by Apple, messaging (Siri will read messages and allow dictating), maps (turn-by-turn), music streaming and phone calling, noted Cardenas.
Cardenas, said that although the feature set of CarPlay is the same for all entertainment systems such as factory installed units in Ferrari or Mercedes-Benz, Pioneer after market units excel due to the large capacitive touchscreen, Pioneer sound quality and sound controls.
The CarPlay update is only for the Pioneer 2014 NEX line of units. You can switch out of CarPlay to AppRadio mode if you prefer.
If you want to be one of the first with CarPlay compatibility in your car, you can buy a NEX unit, now. Although the SRP prices of the products that will be updated seem high at first, you can find the head units at lower prices on Amazon with discounts as high as $500. Installation may cost $100-$200 more.
The AVIC-8000NEX ($1400 SRP) sells for $998.18 at Amazon.
AVIC-7000NEX ($1200 SRP) sells for $861.99 at Amazon.
AVIC-6000NEX ($900 SRP) sells for $704 at Amazon.
AVIC-5000NEX ($750 SRP)sells for $603.82 at Amazon.
AVIC-4000NEX ($700 SRP) sells for $536.95 at Amazon
CarPlay was announced for Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Hyudai for 2014, ther cars that will offer CarPlay after 2014 are BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, , Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Kia, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.