Audio expert Pioneer is giving a nice gift to their loyal fans, with a firmware update to select models that adds support for Apple’s Car Play. Coming in Summer (US time), so winter for Aussies, the new feature will allow owners to use Siri to make and receive calls, compose and respond to text messages, use Apple Maps for navigation and listen to their music, podcasts and iTunes Radio.
The select models that are set to receive the update are The AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX and AVH-4000NEX. These are certainly in the premium end of Pioneer’s lineup and don’t come cheap, so it’s great to see those customers getting some extra value for free.
If you don’t happen to be in the market for a new car with Apple’s Car Play built in, then Pioneer’s 3rd party head units, is not a cheap, but more affordable way to get Apple Car Play in your vehicle. Unfortunately the supported models are limited to dual-DIN slots, so if your dash only supports a single-DIN head unit, you’re still out of luck.
VP of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA), Ted Cardenas said “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. 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.”
In terms of which phones are compatible with CarPlay, Apple lists support for the iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, and we hope the upcoming iPhone 6 and beyond. Let’s hope Pioneer and other 3rd party auto manufacturers continue to make CarPlay-enabled head units more available and affordable.