Early Apple CarPlay Reviews Cite Ease of Use, Excellent Siri Voice Integration

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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple and several of its partners showed off CarPlay at its official unveiling earlier this year, mainstream users are finally getting their hands on the system with Pioneer's release of its promised CarPlay update for for several of its aftermarket car audio receiver yesterday.

Early reviews of CarPlay from Consumer Reports and Australian technology and car blog EFTM suggest the system is indeed easy to use and effective at reducing driver distraction, thanks to excellent Siri integration.

Consumer Reports points out the many benefits offered by Siri, which allows you to send text messages, get directions, set reminders, and more without touching your iPhone.
As handy as Siri's natural speech recognition is when you're just walking around with your phone, it really comes into its own in the car. Siri makes it easy to choose music, get directions, and read or send text messages--all by using your voice with natural speech, rather than menu-driven, formulaic commands.
Consumer Reports also notes that updating the AVIC-5000NEX unit was easy, requiring the owner to download the firmware to a USB stick, plug the stick into the receiver, and wait for unit to update itself.

For his part, Trevor Long of EFTM provides a detailed walkthrough with screenshots of CarPlay's major features. Demoing Pioneer's AVH-X8650BT stereo installed in a 2010 Mazda 2, Long shows how easy it is to make phone calls, interact with visual voicemail, listen to music, and more.
CarPlay is a revolution in in-car entertainment. While many of the features have been available for some time on other cars, the genuine integration with your smartphone and capabilities that have been added make it well worth considering if you're an Apple iPhone user who spends a great deal of time in your car.

If you're shopping for a new car - ask the dealer - is CarPlay available? and if no - will it be available via a firmware upgrade in the future?
Pioneer this week released its CarPlay firmware update, making it the first aftermarket receiver manufacturer to offer CarPlay to consumers. Among Pioneer's U.S. models, CarPlay is available for the $1400 AVIC-8000NEX, the $1200 AVIC-7000NEX, the $900 AVIC-6000NEX, the $750 AVIC-5000NEX and the $700 AVH-4000NEX. CarPlay is also compatible with Pioneer's new $600 smartphone receiver, AppRadio 4. Consumers can generally find Pioneer's units at significant discounts from list price from a variety of retailers.

Article Link: Early Apple CarPlay Reviews Cite Ease of Use, Excellent Siri Voice Integration
 

groovyd

Suspended
Jun 24, 2013
1,227
621
Atlanta
would love to replace my 2013 nissan altima oem stereo gps unit with something like this. is there a place to find out what is compatible with the oem wired speakers of different cars? plug and play is the goal here, no tinkering required.
 

Popeye206

macrumors 68040
Sep 6, 2007
3,148
836
NE PA USA
I just hope GM comes up with a good option to change to CarPlay from the standard interface currently on my 2012 vehicle. I hate the current U/I and would love something easier.
 

macintologist

macrumors 6502
May 3, 2004
460
527
I would much rather use a mounted iPhone than Carplay.

1. Non-retina displays look disgusting
2. The Carplay interface looks laggy as hell compared to a snappy iPhone. It feels like you're using Android.
3. You're limited to Carplay enabled navigation apps, whereas the iPhone can use any app you want, like Waze.
4. Even if you're okay with using Apple Maps via Carplay, the non-retina display and laggy interface would make it awful to use.
5. Can you call w/ Facetime Audio on Carplay? It seems like the calls are all normal audio, which sounds awful compared to FT audio.
 

zedsdead

macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
3,259
575
Looks good, but I am not convinced on how fluid the UI on these in car touch screens. I have never seen one that impresses me.

Now that iOS8 has Hey Siri, it really makes up for all I need in the car.
 

saintforlife

macrumors 65816
Feb 25, 2011
1,026
319
Wake me up when they open this up to 3rd party apps such as Google Maps, Whatsapp, Hangouts etc.
 

winston1236

macrumors 68000
Dec 13, 2010
1,895
318
would love to replace my 2013 nissan altima oem stereo gps unit with something like this. is there a place to find out what is compatible with the oem wired speakers of different cars? plug and play is the goal here, no tinkering required.
Circuit City back in the day sold plug and play for all radios and cars. Of course they are out of business now so you are going to have to do some splicing.
 

budselectjr

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2009
979
1,793
Minnesota
would love to replace my 2013 nissan altima oem stereo gps unit with something like this. is there a place to find out what is compatible with the oem wired speakers of different cars? plug and play is the goal here, no tinkering required.
Would need a wiring harness, antenna adapater, and if your car has a premium stereo another bypass/adapter for that. And if your car has steering wheel controls another adapter for that if you want to keep them. You can search on Crutchfield. If you don't want to solder/crimp the connections a stereo shop should be able to do it relatively cheap.
 

Spock

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2002
1,981
1,235
Vulcan
This is all great but as far as I can tell it requires data from your cellphone, what if I'm on EDGE and want to have Siri play me a song stored on my phone, do I need to wait until Apple's server gets the request at 74kbs before it plays my song? What if I get lost and need navigation but have no cell service? That's why I'm concerned with upgrading from my Ford Sync that does voice commands without a network connection.
 

Fynd

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2010
427
234
I would much rather use a mounted iPhone than Carplay.

1. Non-retina displays look disgusting
2. The Carplay interface looks laggy as hell compared to a snappy iPhone. It feels like you're using Android.
3. You're limited to Carplay enabled navigation apps, whereas the iPhone can use any app you want, like Waze.
4. Even if you're okay with using Apple Maps via Carplay, the non-retina display and laggy interface would make it awful to use.
5. Can you call w/ Facetime Audio on Carplay? It seems like the calls are all normal audio, which sounds awful compared to FT audio.
It's literally running on the iPhone. It's not like these head units are running iOS.
 

extricated

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
438
55
Arkansas
This is all great but as far as I can tell it requires data from your cellphone, what if I'm on EDGE and want to have Siri play me a song stored on my phone, do I need to wait until Apple's server gets the request at 74kbs before it plays my song? What if I get lost and need navigation but have no cell service? That's why I'm concerned with upgrading from my Ford Sync that does voice commands without a network connection.
Nailed it.
I travel a lot and sometimes Siri just doesn't want to play when I have a weak data signal. A long time ago, Siri didn't need to hit servers to carry out all requests, so I could make calls and control my music using voice recognition alone. That's a bit frustrating for me. Some commands don't need to go through the servers, as demonstrated in older iterations of Siri.
That said, it's a great feature when your data is sufficient.
 

thogin

macrumors regular
Mar 27, 2011
104
132
Seems too limited. In addition to navigation apps (ie Waze), what about music? I listen to music via Amazon Music, which means I'd have to wait for Amazon to make their app "CarPlay compatible"? No thanks.

And why can't it work via Bluetooth? Since you have to plug your iPhone in with the lightning connector, why would we choose to use a non-retina, slow-responding touch display instead of the iPhone itself?

But the worst part is the price. Drop the bottom model to $250 to at least take the sting out of purchasing a not-so-perfect product.
 

hipnetic

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2010
1,163
464
Especially now that big-screen phones are common, why can't we have a CarPlay or "Android Auto" mode on our phones?

As for these particular Pioneer models...do any of them support an external joystick control, or do you only have the choice of using the touchscreen or Siri?

BTW, if they supported CarPlay mode on your iPhone, that external joystick control could also be supported using Bluetooth. Something tells me that they're not going to offer that, though, and would prefer that we buy a new car or spend an extra $500-1000 on an aftermarket stereo.

Oh well, I think I'll just go with a big screen phone, an AUX cable, and tap on the screen.
 
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