Pioneer debuts second-generation NEX in-dash receivers with CarPlay, Android Auto
Auto audio accessories maker Pioneer has debuted a new series of second-generation NEX receivers that feature both CarPlay and Android Auto baked in, replacing earlier models that added CarPlay compatibility through a firmware update. Versions are available with either resistive touch or capacitive touch screens, ranging from $700 to $1,400 for aftermarket installation. The new models add support for Android Auto, and offer better touch sensitivity, brighter screens, and better color vibrancy.
Native CarPlay support still rare
The 2016 model of the Chevy Volt will support Apple's CarPlay, at least if an early demonstration version is accurate. The car is on display at this week's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and its dash system shows options for both CarPlay and MirrorLink connections. Google's Android Auto is notably absent, but since the 2016 Volt isn't due to go on sale until mid-2015, there may be time to implement it.
Third-party vendors go platform-agnostic
Pioneer and Kenwood have used CES to announce a slate of new headunits, all of which are compatible with both Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto. The Pioneer offerings include the AVIC-8100NEX ($1,400), AVIC-7100NEX ($1,200), and AVH-4100NEX ($700). Each has an external microphone for voice commands, as well as a wired remote and support for HDMI input, Bluetooth, HD Radio, and dual-zone audio/video playback. The 8100 sports a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen, whereas the other two models use lesser resistive touchscreens. The products should ship in March.
Parrot's latest has CarPlay integration, OBDII, more
France-based Parrot's latest unveiling at this year's Consumer Electronics Show was the RNB6 double-DIN automotive head unit. The new RNB6 supports both Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto. The seven-inch capacitive touchscreen unit also offers many other features to prospective buyers, such as an included dashcam, navigation, and Bluetooth 4.0.
New cases must survive 1m drops
Apple has instituted a new rule for Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing, requiring all cases to protect against drops of at least 1m (3.3 feet) over hard surfaces, sources say. That also includes any orientation, even in the direction of the display. Similarly, cases for all iOS devices must now offer a buffer of at least 1mm between the display and a flat surface when the device is upside-down. To achieve that, they can either cover the display glass completely or use a lip around the edge.
Points out study did not use built-in car integration, ignored Apple recommendations
Apple has issued a statement criticizing a study conducted by the University of Utah for the American Automobile Association in October that rated Apple's Siri (and other naturalistic voice-command virtual assistants by proxy) as "the most" distracting in-car task compared to just driving, adjusting the car's radio or temperature, or using built-in car navigation or infotainment systems. In its response, Apple points out some serious flaws in the study, including the fact that it deliberately avoided using the driving-specific Siri Eyes Free or CarPlay options.
Unit has three-inch depth
Alpine has begun shipping the previously-announced iLX-007, its first receiver to support Apple's CarPlay platform. The device has also been given an $800 pricetag. It sports a 7-inch 800x480 touchscreen, three 2V preouts, one aux input, and an input for rear-view camera systems. Like other Alpine receivers, it uses a technology called MediaXpander to try to improve the quality of compressed digital audio.
Rdio introduces CarPlay compatibility to its iOS app
Music subscription service Rdio has released an update for its iOS app, featuring new CarPlay support and other iOS 8 inclusions. A paid monthly service, a Rdio Unlimited account offers access to albums, songs, playlists and stations, with the option to download unlimited songs via mobile for offline listening. Rdio v3.0.4 adds push notifications for iOS 8 users, and high-resolution images and album artwork optimized for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Increases small number of CarPlay options
As hinted at earlier in the year, Alpine has joined Pioneer in introducing CarPlay-compatible in-dash receivers, beginning with the iLX-007. The unit has a 7-inch WVGA touchscreen, and three 2V preouts as well as aux and Lightning inputs. Drivers with rear-view cameras can connect those as well.
Marks first practical support for platform
Pioneer has issued long-delayed firmware updates, bringing support for Apple's CarPlay platform to several of its NEX receivers. These include the AVH-4000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, and AVIC-8000NEX, which range in cost from $700 to $1,400. CarPlay is also an option on the new $600 AppRadio 4. To leverage of the technology, users must have an iPhone 5 or better, running at least iOS 7.1.
Luxury manufacturer becomes the first to feature Apple tech in two models
Although Apple still lists a number of car companies as delivering vehicles incorporating its CarPlay technology before the end of the year (and indeed one model is definitely in production), luxury carmaker Ferrari has beaten the others to the punch with the deliveries of the first cars to feature the iOS integration into built-in infortainment systems. The Ferrari FF and California T are the first models with CarPlay as standard, and are hitting the road as of today.
Mercedes working on 'highly sophisticated head-unit based solution'
Two of the core automakers supporting Apple's CarPlay -- Volvo and Mercedes-Benz -- have both confirmed that they won't have vehicles with the technology in 2014, despite earlier promises. "As of now, we do not support CarPlay in our series production cars," the latter party says. "We are working on a highly sophisticated head-unit based solution, which will enable CarPlay as well as other systems (e.g. MirrorLink) … we are not quite sure if we will feature an aftermarket solution. CarPlay won't be available by the end of this year, but in 2015."
Analyst talks of iOS 'everywhere,' Cook's bold strategies
Six weeks after it rebutted a New York Times editorial that cast doubt on Apple's CEO, investment firm UBS has again praised Tim Cook's vision and leadership of Apple in a note to clients. In particular, analyst Steven Milunovich was taken with Cook's plans to expand iOS to automotive, gym, medical and home markets through its CarPlay, HealthKit and HomeKit initiatives, as well as the continuing growth of the entire OS X and iOS eco-systems, which the company refers to as "the Applesphere."
One of the last automaker holdouts now planning to add CarPlay to 2016 models
One of the few remaining major carmakers yet to embrace Apple's CarPlay technology is said to be getting on board, holding talks with Apple on embedding the iOS-based technology into its 2016 models, according to an unnamed source with "knowledge of the discussions." The Beetle maker was an early adopter of iPod compatibility with its vehicles, but has done little with Apple since then. The two companies are expected to announce an agreement later this year.
Number could be higher, as Apple broadens compatibility with makers
A new report from ABI Research suggests that as many as a third of all new vehicles sold by 2019 could be compatible with Apple's CarPlay techology, right alongside competitors such as Android Auto and potentially other systems. Just now hitting the market, Apple's CarPlay system works with automakers' built-in infotainment systems, cooperatively overriding the vehicle's native interface when users plug in a Lightning-compatible iPhone or other iOS device (Android Auto works in the same manner, but for selected premium Android phones).
New video shows off Apple technology alongside built-in car systems
A new, 11-minute video of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata offers viewers an in-depth look at CarPlay, Apple's car technology for iOS device integration. In addition to showing off the system itself, the video also makes clearer how CarPlay (and other technologies like Android Auto) can co-exist with built-in infotainment systems that are part of the vehicle itself. The video also distinguishes Apple's "Siri Eyes Free" feature from the rest of the CarPlay technology.
Includes major brands like Chrysler, Dodge, Mazda
An additional eight car brands have confirmed plans for vehicles supporting Apple's CarPlay platform. These include Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Mazda, and Ram. So far, though, the parties haven't said when their first CarPlay-ready vehicles will arrive, or which models will have support.
Integration follows 'intensive dialog' with Apple
Audi has announced plans to offer CarPlay-equipped vehicles beginning in 2015. The integration is said to be the result of "intensive dialog" with Apple, and work at Audi's Silicon Valley development lab. Which models will get CarPlay, however, has yet to be revealed, and it's not known if custom apps or features will be used to distinguish Audi's take on the platform.
Will let drivers listen to dedicated game broadcasts
The MLB's core iOS app, At Bat, has been added to the list of titles compatible with Apple's CarPlay platform. While most of At Bat's functions require a person's attention, via CarPlay users will be able to tune into radio stations broadcasting MLB games in distant cities. Using this will require At Bat's standard subscription, which costs $20 per season or $3 per month.
After-market CarPlay solution also shown in customized 1965 Ford Mustang
While most of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference focuses on forthcoming software, there is also some hardware to be found at WWDC -- three vehicles parked inside the conference hall feature sneak previews of Apple's CarPlay iOS technology incorporated into forthcoming vehicle models from Chevy and Ferrari. In addition, an after-market CarPlay solution kit from Pioneer was featured in a customized 1965 Ford Mustang. Apple gave USA Today a demo of the Chevy Spark EV implementation.
Accessory maker speeds up CarPlay deployment
Pioneer has begun demonstrating Apple CarPlay-ready NEX head units to various media outlets, and will actually introduce CarPlay support in "a few weeks," the company says. That support is slated to arrive in the form of a software update for current NEX units, beating expectations that the public would have to wait for new models shipping in the summer. To install the update, owners of compatible NEX products will have to download firmware from Pioneer's website and copy it to a USB drive.
Podcasts gets support for Siri, CarPlay, AirDrop
In the wake of OS X 10.9.3 and iTunes 11.2, Apple has also released updated Podcasts and iTunes Connect apps for iOS. Podcasts 2.1 mirrors the latest changes in iTunes, incorporating a new Unplayed tab -- which makes it easier to listen to new content -- and "Feed" tab for browsing episodes ready to download or stream. Favorite episodes can be saved for later listening offline, and played ones can be deleted automatically.
Brings mainstream cars into CarPlay lineup
Hyundai will support Apple's CarPlay beginning with 2015-model Sonatas shipping later this year, according to an announcement. The Korean carmaker is the first since Volvo, Ferrari, and Mercedes-Benz to reveal specific plans for vehicles shipping in 2014. One more, Honda, has yet to say which car models it will fit with CarPlay. Other brands -- such as Ford, BMW, and Toyota -- may not have CarPlay-ready vehicles until 2015 arrives.
Details remain scarce
Following a Nikkei report to the effect earlier this week, Alpine has officially confirmed plans to ship aftermarket receivers compatible with Apple's CarPlay. The units will roll out in the US and Europe towards the end of 2014, but apart from a concept image, no other details are available. The Nikkei account suggested prices would fall between $500 and $700.
Five new receivers planned
Audio specialist Pioneer has announced plans to ship five Apple CarPlay-compatible receivers this summer. The new models in the NEX series will all have large LCD displays, but come in at very different price points. The cheapest model, the AVH-4000NEX, is set to cost $700. Higher-end models will ship for $750, $900, $1,200, and $1,400. Pioneer is also promising various non-CarPlay related improvements; the units are expected to have more responsive interfaces, for example, and better sound and safety features.
Uncertain if device will have Apple sanction
Car audio and navigation company Alpine will start selling its first aftermarket CarPlay upgrade in the fall, according to Nikkei. Details are relatively scarce, but the unit will reportedly cost between $500 and $700, and "likely" measure 7 inches. Given the nature of CarPlay, the unit will presumably need to be dealer-installed.
Volvo suggests retrofits unlikely
Ferrari will not be retrofitting any of its existing cars to support CarPlay, the company states. "The new system CarPlay is available only on new range cars and cannot be installed on older ones," a representative says. The company is instead pointing people to an aftermarket product it offers that provides "last generation infotainment" compatible with modern phones.
Many changes still up in the air, sources say
On top of new apps, Apple is also considering a number of improvements to existing apps and under-the-hood technologies, sources claim. An example of the latter is Notification Center, where Apple is allegedly interested in simplifying panels from "Today," "All," and "Missed" to just "Today" and "Notifications."
Pioneer distances itself from service rep's statement
Kenwood isn't planning any aftermarket CarPlay add-ons for 2014, says a marketing manager for the company, Scott Caswell. He in fact suggests that Apple could be reserving CarPlay as a perk for automakers, who may want it to entice new car buyers. The manager adds, though, that Kenwood products already support some subsets of CarPlay, like Siri and media playback. CarPlay proper involves duplicating iOS control functions on an in-dash display.
No CarPlay support expected until 2015
Earlier today, Toyota accidentally leaked news of its CarPlay plans on its UK blog, reports note. The site was scarce on details, but briefly claimed that CarPlay was "coming soon" in 2015 models. That news was deleted however, and replaced with a new post and a correction. "A previous version of this article said Apple CarPlay would be in Toyota cars from 2015. This is incorrect and we are happy to put the matter straight," it says. "No announcements have been made about if and when Apple CarPlay will arrive in Toyota cars."
Suggests workarounds coming for cars without built-in support
Pioneer is exploring the possibility of adding CarPlay support to its current and future aftermarket car add-ons, a customer service representative for the company says. Although the claim doesn't constitute an official announcement, and no specific products have been named, it may represent the first hint that CarPlay could reach vehicles that don't even have built-in dash displays. Mercedes-Benz has proposed retrofitting older models for Apple's technology, but that might still be limited to cars with integrated displays.
Highlights main features of new version, showcases CarPlay
Apple's release earlier on Monday of iOS 7.1 is considered significant enough to prompt the company to create a dedicated page for it, showing off some of the new features and improvements made in the release. The page covers the major "marquee" features of iOS 7.1, including support for CarPlay (in supported automobiles), automatic HDR selection, better control of Siri, changes to the Calendar and phone icons, and a bevy of bugfixes, along with improved performance for iPhone 4 users and other more subtle and optional tweaks.
Available for all iOS 7-compatible devices
After a lengthy development and testing period, Apple has released the finished version of iOS 7.1 to the public. The code makes a number of improvements to iOS 7, for instance enabling CarPlay support in yet-to-be-launched vehicles. Siri will now let users hold down the Home button to decide how long a device should listen, instead of having to wait for the system to decide no one is talking. More naturalistic voices have been supplied for Japanese, British and Australian English, and Mandarin Chinese.
Main barrier may be Apple approval
CarPlay support is fairly easy to implement for apps, suggests Brian Lakamp, Clear Channel's president of Digital. iHeartRadio -- an app that streams Clear Channel stations -- is one of the few third-party offerings currently supported by CarPlay. "Apple is pretty selective about how they disclose information," Lakamp says about how his company gained a toehold. "Apple made us aware of the opportunity. We were enthusiastic to participate and then worked closely with them to build the demo that they just demoed in Geneva." The iHeartRadio team was given early access to the private CarPlay API.
May alleviate problem of limited CarPlay support
Mercedes-Benz is working on an aftermarket installation option for older cars without Apple's CarPlay, the company has confirmed. While the technology will be present in the 2014 C-Class, even people with older C-Class models won't have access to the technology at first. Mercedes will only say that it's developing "an after-market solution for previous cars," leaving pricing and other details unknown.
Pandora support could come down the road
As it stands, Apple's CarPlay doesn't currently support Pandora, according to an official statement. When CarPlay was announced on Monday, Apple initially highlighted just Spotify, Beats Radio, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and its own Podcasts and iTunes Radio as compatible music/podcast-themed apps. "At this time, Pandora is not integrated with Apple CarPlay," the Pandora statement reads. "As a first mover in the auto space, we continue to broaden our relationships with OEMs while also exploring other opportunities to expand our presence in the car. Apple has been and continues to be a valued partner."
Carmaker to also offer Android, existing in-car options
Following in the same steps as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz has published a series of photos (below) showing how CarPlay integration will look in future vehicles. The company is due to show off a new C-Class with CarPlay support at this week's Geneva Motor Show. Significantly, though, Mercedes says it will continue to offer non-Apple alternatives.
Tech to be supported in Volvo vehicles with Scalable Product Architecture
Carmaker Volvo has published a new promotional video (below), demonstrating how Apple's CarPlay will be integrated into its future car models. Seven apps are shown, including Phone, Music, Maps, Messages, Now Playing, Podcasts, and Spotify. In related press material Volvo notes that integration will be reserved for vehicles supporting its new Scalable Product Architecture, beginning with the XC90 SUV.
Apple rolls out CarPlay, brings iPhones to cars with official interface
Apple has announced CarPlay, its automotive interface for iPhones running iOS 7 or later. "CarPlay" is the new official product name for its previously-announced 'iOS in the Car' initiative. Apple is touting CarPlay as a "smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone in the car." CarPlay will make its debut at the Geneva Auto Show this week, with debuts from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo.