Apple, a tech firm known to keep a tight hold on its software, has partnered with Pioneer to make CarPlay technology available for the Japanese firm's in-dash car multimedia systems. The team-up between the two firms will eliminate the option to buy a new car for experiencing the Apple CarPlay, and represents one of the first such aftermarket systems.
The CarPlay compatibility will reach the already available Pioneer in-dash car multimedia systems in the form of a firmware update in "early summer 2014". However, the details of this update have not been mentioned for now.
It has been also understood that the firmware update for Apple CarPlay will be compatible with Pioneer's NEX (Networked Entertainment eXperience) series of multimedia systems that includes AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX and AVH-4000NEX models as per the Pioneer website. Some of the countries support AVIC-F60DAB, AVIC-F960BT, AVIC-F960DAB and AVH-X8600BT systems for CarPlay.
Additionally, Apple's CarPlay will be compatible with Apple iPhone 5s, Phone 5c and iPhone 5, all running the latest iOS 7.1. The users would require a lightning connector to connect the in-dash Pioneer's multimedia system with the handset in order to operate.
"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," stated Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for the Car Electronics Division of Pioneer Electronics (USA), as per Business Wire. "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."
Apple announced its CarPlay in-car technology last month along with the number of features. Users will be able to trigger Siri via a steering-mounted button; cars with touchscreens will be able to display a customized iOS-like interface, and physical knobs and buttons in the car will hook into CarPlay as well; directions can be displayed on-screen using Apple Maps.
CarPlay will also be able to predict where you need directions to using contextual data that can already be identified in your phone's reminders, email, messages and calendar apps.