The CarPlay situation has been murky. Since being announced in the spring, most manufacturers have been quiet on when CarPlay equipment will actually be available to purchase. Pioneer is the first company to deliver on its promise, adding CarPlay as an update to its aftermarket dashboard panels (unless you count Ferrari’s integration into its high-end Ferrari California T).
Existing Pioneer device owners may not need to purchase any extras, as the CarPlay update is free for supported devices. Aforementioned units include the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX and the AVH-4000NEX with prices ranging from $700 to $1400.
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Like all CarPlay support, users simply plug in their iPhone (it requires Lightning port) and an iOS-esque user interface appears on the car’s screen, which is actually sent from the phone. Theoretically, this means that future updates to iOS will enhance the CarPlay features of your car for free.
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At the same time as Pioneer’s announcement, Spotify has released its update for CarPlay in the App Store as promised on Apple’s site since CarPlay was first unveiled. As it stands, Apple must partner with specific developers to add CarPlay integration to apps. Currently, CarPlay is integrated with Apple’s Podcasts app, Beats Music, iHeartRadio, MLB AT Bat 2014, notify, Stitcher and CBS Radio (added most recently).