Siri in your dash: Apple CarPlay now available for Pioneer NEX-series receivers

siri comes dash apple carplay update now available pioneer nex series receivers hands on 2
Read our full Apple CarPlay review.

It took a while since it was first introduced, but Apple’s CarPlay is finally available in aftermarket car audio systems, including five of Pioneer’s NEX in-dash receivers and one  brand-new offering, announced today.

Pioneer announced this evening that owners of the AVIC-8000NEX ($1400), AVIC-7000NEX ($1200), AVIC-6000NEX ($900), AVIC-5000NEX ($750) and AVIC4000NEX ($700) are eligible for a firmware update that will make their existing in-dash receivers CarPlay ready. The company also announced a new addition to its lineup, the AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120 – $600) which, at $600, sits as the least expensive way to put CarPlay in your ride.

To upgrade their receivers with the new CarPlay functionality, existing owners of eligible in-dash receivers need only snag a USB thumb drive and head to to download the firmware, free of charge. Pioneer cautions self-installers that the USB port 1 in its head units must be used in order to install the new firmware. Those not interested in the DIY method can head to authorized Pioneer dealers to have the update professionally installed —  a dealer locator is available here.

For those not familiar, CarPlay is a new version of Apple’s mobile operating system that’s been designed for use in the car. The idea is to move popular functions to an in-dash touchscreen in order to eliminate the need to pick up a phone while driving (which is both dangerous and also illegal in most US states). With CarPlay, users have the option to have Siri read text messages aloud, then dictate a response, make or receive phone calls with Siri’s assistance, navigate using Apple Maps, and listen to their music, podcasts and, of course, iTunes Radio. Users must have the latest version of iOS installed on their iPhone 5, iPhone 5c iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus.

In addition to the Siri-assisted functions listed above, certain popular apps will be available on-screen with one-touch access, just as they would be on an iPhone or iPad. When we test drove a beta version of CarPlay a few months ago, Pandora was present, but notably absent was Spotify. Since then, Apple has added Spotify, along with Beats Music and a handful of other apps, in a list of apps which will eventually be supported. Exactly when these apps will be available remains unknown, according to Pioneer .

Digital Trends has an AVIC-8000NEX installed and will be taking CarPlay on the road for a hands-on report and full review. Check back soon for a full report on Apple’s play to expand its reach into your car.


The 2019 Detroit Auto Show: Where new muscle cars, trucks, and EVs convene

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.

Bosch cautiously moving full-speed ahead with self-driving car tech

The automotive industry's brightest minds are working on making self-driving cars a reality in the not-too-distant future. Digital Trends talked to a self-driving car expert at CES 2019 to gain insight on how the technology is progressing.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Polk Audio’s Command Bar joins Alexa’s multiroom music party

Polk's Command Bar is a home theater soundbar with Alexa built in. But with a new update, it can also be grouped with Amazon's Echo products and other third-party speakers for a multi-room experience.
Home Theater

Sling TV offers free shows, a la carte subscription channels to Roku users

If you are among a select group of Roku users, Sling TV has added free TV shows and the option to subscribe to individual channels without having to subscribe to the company's base level of channels.
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different technologies

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies, and help determine which might be best for you.
Home Theater

Amazon’s updated base model Fire TV stick now comes with an Alexa remote

If you're looking to take your older TV into the streaming era, Amazon's most basic Fire TV Stick model just got more compelling than ever: Buyers can now get a free Alexa voice remote with their Fire TV Stick purchase.
Home Theater

Banish the bunny ears (and monthly bills) with these excellent HD antennas

When transitioning away from cable and satellite, finding the best HDTV antenna for your area can be touch. To help, we've compiled our picks of the best indoor HDTV antennas you can buy.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.

Don't spend hundreds on Pro Tools or Logic. Try one of these free alternatives

Believe it or not, Pro Tools isn't the only digital audio workstation worth your time. Check out our picks for the best free recording software, whether you're looking for a lightweight app or a full-blown audio workstation.
Home Theater

Leave the charger behind: Wireless headphones will get epic battery life in 2019

From wireless in-ears to noise-canceling over-ears, virtually every headphone manufacturer has seriously improved wireless headphone battery capacity, making fears about charging up for long listening sessions a thing of the past.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…