Hands-On With Alpine's iLX-007 In-Dash CarPlay Entertainment System

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Dorv macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    Not necessarily. I don't always want to pull my phone out of my pocket every time I jump in my truck. Sometimes, when I'm just driving 2 minutes down the road and leave my phone buried in my jacket pocket, I appreciate that my old Bluetooth streaming enabled head unit would just jump in where I left off.

    I want the option for both; primarily I'll use the the connector, but I like the option.
  2. bobenhaus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2011
    Yeah looks fugly.
  3. normanfox macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2014
    I don't buy this unit since it lacks Bluetooth.

    plugging the cable to use carplay daily is a hassle. with Bluetooth, It automatically connects the phone without your remembering to physically connect the cable. with Bluetooth, I can listen to music, use phone, and activate Siri to send text, making a call, and to use GPS.

    Until Apple has carplay connected to car wirelessly and automatically, having to connect cable is a hassle and sometime cause me to not using the car stereo/speaker. Convenience is the key.
  4. Runespeaker macrumors newbie


    Dec 19, 2014
    Really, it is sooooo not a hassle. Literally takes two seconds. It's already become part of my "getting in the car" motion.
  5. normanfox, Dec 20, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014

    normanfox macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2014
    Once you have Bluetooth connect, you don't want anything less than that. Don't event have to take your phone out of your pocket or bag. Or another cable to clutter your car.

    That is why wifi, Bluetooth and NFC tech are so popular. It connects and work without your worrying about it. Try to connect your iPad or laptop using Ethernet cable very time you use. Or swiping your credit card instead of taping our iPhones. Yeah it takes a second but NFC beats it with convenience. So is Bluetooth in car.

    How about wireless charging? Take no second to plug in
  6. Digital Dude macrumors 6502a

    Digital Dude

    Oct 12, 2008
    Arizona where freedom still means something
    Very helpful review so thanks for posting. Currently, I'm just using the Bluetooth interface on my VW Bug so it's really hit and miss. Using a cable works a lot better as the latency of Bluetooth between the iPhone 6P and the dash Nav unit is awful. It's especially bad with the Apple Maps response. It cuts off the first words of the voice making it a real pain.

    I haven't decided yet if I should wait or just go for the Alpine based on your review. Adding a BU cam to the Bug is a huge expense as it's a fairly tricked out affair taken from the higher end Dub's. Oh well :(
  7. OCDMacGeek, Dec 20, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014

    OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2007
    Hands-On With Alpine's iLX-007 In-Dash CarPlay Entertainment System

    Some CarPlay units also have integrated GPS and some don't. The Alpine doesn't. I've heard that for those that do, like some Pioneer units, Apple Maps in CarPlay will actually use that GPS even when there is no cellular service. Can anyone confirm? That would be a big benefit. I know the iPhone has a GPS chip, but it does seem as effective as a receiver's integrated GPS.
  8. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    I like to have Bluetooth because on short trips I don't bother plugging my phone into charge.

    That's my understanding too: not Apple's choice but Alpine's, and an odd choice to make.
  9. macUser2007, Dec 20, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014

    macUser2007 macrumors 65832

    May 30, 2007
    I have to agree with most of this. Wireless is much more convenient. I do have the option to plug in my phone, but rarely do it, unless it's a longer trip. Too much hassle, taking it out of my pocket, sometimes forgetting it in the car, etc..

    CarPlay should be wireless, with the option to plug in. Otherwise, it's too much hassle, even if it doesn't seem so - this has been the traditional Apple argument for it's user-friendliness over many competing products, so why abandon it now? Unfortunately, neither CarPlay, nor Google Auto offer wireless option in their respective first generations, although Google Auto allows for calls being routed through Bluetooth. See a good comparison of the two here.

    But, Google Auto is supposedly shifting their focus to integrating Android 6 in the OEM navigation systems, which may happen by the end of 2015. http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/18/...nts-android-to-replace-your-cars-infotainment

    I'd be happy with something more akin to being able to AirPlay or Chromecast to the car's monitor, with touch control of course.
  10. cutienoua macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2012
    chromecast or airplay is not very helpful compared to BT
    it will not resume the music!
    I waited until I got a new car radio, for a confirmation that this Alpine is missing BT.
    Then I decided to get Alpine ICS-X7HD which I can connect 2 phones at the same time ! I have the work phone for voice and iphone 6 plus for music streaming.
    Funny thing is when I compared the overall size of the 6plus to the alpine screen is almost the same!
  11. newwavedave macrumors member


    Apr 7, 2004
    Tampa, FL

    My wife is shopping for a new 2 series at BMW. I told her to ask about CarPlay and the dealer said "You don't want it, it's not good." Me thinks Apple needs to start greasing some hands at the dealerships.
  12. malarkey909 macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2014
    Question for someone who has this with a backup camera...

    When you shift into reverse, does the backup camera automatically override whatever is on the screen at the moment - whether it is the carplay interface or the Alpine menu?
  13. MAcNIAC macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2006
    I have the pioneer with a reverse camera.
    Selecting reverse the reverse camera overrides whatever is on the screen otherwise.


    Your phone needs to be unlocked and connected via the lightning connector for carplay to activate. If you stall, the head unit restarts, and you need to unlock your phone again to get your music/navigation back.

    iTunes radio has been a bit buggy

    HeySIRI works, mostly

    setup is very neat with my phone working fine as a GPS while in my glovebox, the installer routed a cable there through the back of the dash.

    Using siri to navigate in apple maps is good if you want to find a coffee near you etc. but a pain if you want to navigate to 147 Corumborong road -- and there doesn't seem to be anyway to input text into apple maps through carplay ??? I have mostly solved this by putting in all the likely destinations I might want as favorites
  14. BOOGER1 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2010
    NEVER NEVER NEVER BUY the FIRST generation of ANY ALPINE indash radios!!!!

    They are overpriced and soooooo slow. NOT fluid like the Apple products.

    I agree with putting a iPad in the dash instead of this company that was popular in the 80s.....no way I would pay 600-800 dollars without Bluetooth!!!

  15. tmarks11 macrumors 6502a

    May 3, 2010
    That is because the BMW dealer wants to sell her the BMW $3500 head unit with integrated mapping instead of a $700 alpine.

    BMW head unit profit: $2800
    Alpine profit: $300

    You can see why he thinks the Alpine sucks.
  16. 882188 macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2014
    It has touchscreen? What a terrible idea! Jesus!
    There is a reason why most german cars (even $100k+ S-Classes) don't have touchscreen.
  17. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    of course he won't like it, the BMW doesn't support it yet ;)
  18. brucku, Dec 21, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014

    brucku macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2003
    The amount of information that needs to be sent between the head unit to the phone far surpasses what Bluetooth can handle wirelessly. This is why both solution are wired and until a Bluetooth that is supports significantly faster bandwidth comes out, this will not be a reality. Remember its not just a compressed audio like most wireless car interaction
  19. OCDMacGeek macrumors 6502a


    Jul 19, 2007

    Few questions:

    If you have Touch ID, does your phone have to be unlocked for CarPlay to function? Just one more step besides plugging it in before it works.

    You say the GPS works fine with iPhone in the glovebox. The Pioneer unit also has its own GPS antennae. Have you ever been able to determine for sure if it uses that antennae in Apple Maps rather than the iPhone's GPS?

    How good is caching in Apple Maps so you keep your maps even without cell service? Like on the highway when you don't have signal for a while?
  20. brucku macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2003
    Can you talk a little bit about the following:

    1) What is displayed on the iPhone when its in CarPlay mode? Can you press the home button without interrupting what the Nav/Carplay display is showing/audio?
    2) If you press the Home Button can you select "Any" other app and play that app's audio through the stereo?
    3) Are their EQ settings? Are they found in the iPhone settings or does Alpine control this on their own menu?
    4) If you are using an app that has car play support ,can you press the home button on the iPhone and navigate to a playlist or other item in the phone's traditional interface? (if I place my phone within convenient reach of my passenger can they use this interface while I drive to have great and simple control?)
    5) Can the driver switch to the iPhone headphones during a call easily?

  21. Trius macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2008
    $600 and it doesn't even have smooth scrolling or panning/zooming on maps?


    Oh, by the way you need a $600 cell phone too.
  22. Runespeaker macrumors newbie


    Dec 19, 2014
    Well, that's a lot of questions! I can answer at least some of them.
    1) The phone and CarPlay stay in sync. If you have maps on CarPlay, you have maps on the phone. If you use the phone to switch to Music, CarPlay switches to Music. Of course, any audio you are listening to will keep playing if switch to maps. And your GPS keeps updating in the background.
    2) Yes, any app that plays audio on your phone will play through the car speakers. If the app doesn't support CarPlay, your screen will be blank or at most a play button on a black background. (But of course you can switch to maps and the audio keeps playing.)
    3) There is only bass and treble on the unit. You can use the Alpine TuneIt app on your phone to get access to a 9 band equalizer, and you can create, save,and apply presets with the app.
    4) Yes.
    5) I presume you mean a bluetooth headset? Seems like it'd be very hard to switch to earbuds while driving. I don't have a headset, so can't try this.

    Hope that helps!
  23. MAcNIAC macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2006


    1.... yes you have to unlock your phone, either touch ID or pin -- no big deal in practice as you are plugging it in anyway

    2.... there are a range of pioneers that support carplay, I went for the one without GPS because I knew I would use the iPhone's GPS and apple maps via carplay

    3.... Despite having done a few country drives, I haven't lost mobile reception ... coverage is pretty good where I am

    on the whole I am happy with carplay.

    The main advantage is the ease of use / safety for calling and texting.

    Apple maps is in someways vastly superior to other GPS, and in other ways a step backwards ... I hope for continued improvement

    Music is an improvement too ... Siri - play the blues etc ...
  24. D-Dave macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2010
    I think the systems created by apple and google (for ease of reading I will use the term carplay to refer to both services, after all, we are at macrumors;) ) will have a very hard time to make it into the manufacturers devices and here ius why:

    Car makers like to keep everything under control that has to do with the operation of the car.

    Obviously one motivation is money...nothing in a car seems as overprized as build in navigation solutions by car manufacturers (compared to the prize of standalone navigation units or smartphones). Plus, at least in theory, introducing carplay would hand over control of what works in a car to apple. Not very likely that any manufacturer will appreciate that concept.

    The second motivation is liability...even though both systems are not created and curated by the car manufacturers, I'd be willing to bet a boatload of money that there are hundreds of lawyers ready to jump at the car manufacturers the instance that anyone operating carplay will have an accident.

    Another reason is most likely the use of different standards. creating a device that supports both apple and google system is definitely much harder then supporting one system for both. Add to this that apple likes to keep developement very much under cover till the last minute and i guess this is not very desireable to car makers. (I remember my dealer being massively frustrated with the slow adoption of charging adapters for iphones (those that connect and hold the phone on a generic connector on the dashboard) as the manufacturers got the dimensions of the new device the same day as the public...hence the new adapters were available mid or even end of lifecycle of the phone...when not many were willing to pay for them)

    I guess that may well be the reason, why Jaguar/Landrover decided to go with myspin (by bosch):
    That system is compatible with any smartphone that runs the car makers app, the manufacturer keeps control what apps are allowed to run on the system...and, of course...due to the manufacturer labeling it is a bit easyer to tell the customer that this feature requires not only a screen and some buttons but the full nav-system to work...
    To be honest, I have just ordered a new car that features this system and from the tests i did at the dealer, it seems to work rather well...so apart from feeling cheated into paying for a full featured nav-system, that I most likely I won't be using much apart from the radio function...ah well, considering the overall cost of a new car, I prefer having one that supports app use to an extend that is satisfactory to me rather then having to wait another 5-10 years for that feature in my next car ;-)
  25. AlecZ macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2014
    Berkeley, CA
    About time this started sinking in. Right now, it seems like the more high-end of a car, the worse the entertainment control is. The Range Rover has a bad touch screen, a convoluted interface, and inexcusable lag when doing everything, even changing the volume or skipping a song. The best I've seen is in the Tesla Model S, and that's still definitely not Apple (or even Android) quality.

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