By Jim Karpen on Wed, 04/16/2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook said we'd be seeing new categories of products this year, and it looks like CarPlay is one of them. Initially it seemed as if it would only be available in new cars. But then a rumor emerged that Apine Electronics would come out with an after-market CarPlay console this fall. And now Pioneer, a leader in sound systems, has announced they'll be offering CarPlay in their dashboard receivers beginning early this summer. CarPlay will be available as a firmware update to Pioneer's five 2014 NEX in-dash multimedia receivers. The price of these receivers, which have have large, in-dash LCD displays, ranges from $700 to $1,400. They can be installed in most existing vehicles.
CarPlay works with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s, offering Siri voice control to make and receive calls, compose and respond to text messages, use Apple Maps for navigation, and listen to music, podcasts, and iTunes Radio. You simply connect your phone to the Pioneer receiver via your Lightning-to-USB cable, and CarPlay will automatically launch.
Siri uses the Pioneer receiver's external microphone and your car's speakers. You can also control CarPlay with the system's fast and responsive touch panel LCD screen. In addition, you can customize the sound system, which has a built-in equalizer, subwoofer controls, and more.
“Pioneer’s years of expertise integrating smartphone connectivity into the automotive environment has provided us the opportunity to be among the first to offer CarPlay to drivers,” said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing in a press release. “By providing an aftermarket option, Pioneer’s 2014 in-dash multimedia systems give many iPhone owners the ability to add CarPlay to their current vehicles.”
According to the press release, in addition to a host of on-board navigation and embedded entertainment options, Pioneer’s 2014 in-dash multimedia systems boast a more advanced and responsive user interface than previous Pioneer in-dash receivers, as well as many sound quality, convenience, and safety enhancements.