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Pioneer Releases Its Apple CarPlay Implementation

Update available with firmware for NEX in-dash receivers

Pioneer AVIC-8000NEX

Pioneer Electronics USA has released a firmware update compatible with Apple CarPlay for five 2014 NEX in-dash receivers.

The Long Beach, Calif., operation has also introduced its fourth generation of AppRadio, which is also compatible with Apple CarPlay.

Apple CarPlay features Siri voice control, allowing drivers who have iPhone 5 or later to use voice commands, or the radio’s touchscreen, button or knob — to make and receive calls, compose and respond to text messages, use Apple Maps for navigation and listen to their music libraries, podcasts and iTunes Radio.

CarPlay also lets users stream iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, CBS Radio and Beats Music, according to Apple, which also lists automakers that either support or intend to support CarPlay.

Alpine also plans Apple CarPlay support, we’ve reported.

CarPlay will be available on some models from these automakers in 2014: Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo. Apple lists several automakers as “committed” to the concept, including Ford, Jaguar, Kia, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.

The five Pioneer NEX models, four navigation and one audio/video receiver, are designed to accommodate smartphone use. Along with NEX-connectivity and the enhanced user interface, the new models also feature a 7-inch screen. They list from $700 to $1,400.

The CarPlay firmware update is now available from Pioneer. Current NEX owners can load the firmware on a USB memory device and connect it to the receiver’s USB cable input. Pioneer is also sending the CarPlay firmware to authorized retailers for consumers who want their dealer to update the unit.

AppRadio 4 builds on the features of the NEX receivers and is compatible with CarPlay. Designed with the smartphone user in mind, the tuner features a simple design, with most functions and control accessible and operated through its high-resolution 6.2-inch capacitive touchscreen. The capacitive touch panel is used for all functions including the app interface, music control/playback, AM/FM tuner with RDS text information display (when available) and Bluetooth functions.

AppRadio 4 SPH-DA 120 lists for $600 and will ship to authorized Pioneer dealers.