Earlier on this year, Apple rolled out iOS 7.1 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and among a number of changes, bug fixes and new additions, one of the flagship features was the introduction of CarPlay. Announced as iOS in the Car back at WWDC 2013, CarPlay means that users could remain connected while driving without distraction from the road, and not only does the feature promote road safety, but also offers a broad range of functionality thanks largely to the Siri voice assistant. It has long since been known that audio giant Pioneer would be among the first to retail its own fleet of aftermarket, CarPlay-ready infotainment systems, and today, five of its line-up will offer full-on support of Apple’s in-car flavor of iOS via firmware update.
It has taken quite a while for Pioneer to get its act together in this regard, but now, five of its 2014-released ‘NEX’ receivers are eligible for the update, including the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX and the AVH-4000NEX.
While it’s fairly easy to install the update, it’s not quite as straightforward as an OTA on iOS, for example, but as long as you have a USB memory stick, it shouldn’t prove to complicated. The press release by Pioneer, which explains how NEX owners can go ahead and apply the CarPlay update, also notes that users can have the firmware update carried out in-store should they so prefer:
The CarPlay firmware update is now available at no charge through www.pioneerelectronics.com/firmware. Current NEX owners can simply 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 across the country for consumers who prefer to update their unit through a dealer.
With the likes of Apple Pay, Apple Watch and Health / HomeKit also in the process of rolling out, it’s clear that Apple is looking to invest resources into various new markets, and like those aforementioned services, CarPlay certainly has the potential to stake a claim to the in-car tech experience.
With many production car manufacturers already on board – from the likes of Volvo all the way up to Ferrari – CarPlay looks set to become a household name in the automotive industry, and with Pioneer being a leader in the business of churning out premium audio goods, NEX owners should enjoy a solid all-round performance.