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

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.

pionerr-carplay-review
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.

carplay-maps-pioneer
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.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

Top Rated Comments

dugbug Avatar
80 months ago

Too bad it uses Apple Maps...


I prefer it over google maps
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tomtendo Avatar
80 months ago
Too bad it uses Apple Maps...
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Keane16 Avatar
80 months ago

Too bad it uses Apple Maps...


In my car is one place I don't want Google Maps tracking my every move.

So glad this uses Apple Maps.

This may be useful for you: http://www.android.com/auto/
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redmac Avatar
80 months ago

Too bad it uses Apple Maps...


Too bad you're too stubborn to give Apple Maps a second try. If you used it lately you would think different.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
poe diddley Avatar
80 months ago
When it can use Waze I'll consider buying one.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macintologist Avatar
80 months ago
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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

windows 10

Developer Successfully Virtualizes Windows for Arm on M1 Mac

Friday November 27, 2020 7:16 am PST by
Developer Alexander Graf has successfully virtualized the Arm version of Windows on an M1 Mac, proving that the M1 chip is capable of running Microsoft's operating system (via The 8-Bit). Currently, Macs with the M1 chip do not support Windows and there is no Boot Camp feature as there is on Intel Macs, but support for Windows is a feature that many users would like to see. Using the...
iPhone black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best iPhone Deals

Friday November 27, 2020 12:56 pm PST by
Black Friday is halfway done, but there are still a few deals to shop for on iPhones at carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile/Sprint. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. AT&T Starting with AT&T, you'll find up to $700 off any iPhone 12 when...
AirPods Pro black friday 20 sale feature 2

Black Friday 2020: AirPods Pro Reach Lowest Price Ever [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 3:22 pm PST by
Black Friday has kicked off this week, and one of the first major sales for the AirPods Pro is available right now on Walmart. You can find this deal below, along with a few other solid discounts on the regular AirPods. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site...
Apple Watc black friday 20 sale feature

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Watch Deals [Updated]

Wednesday November 25, 2020 4:01 pm PST by
Black Friday sales have begun on a variety of products, including the Apple Watch. There are quite a few deals across the Apple Watch lineup this year, including one of the lowest price we've ever seen the Apple Watch Series 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
iphone trade in store

UK Environmental Committee Says Apple Contributing to 'Throwaway Culture' of 'Short-Lived Products'

Thursday November 26, 2020 7:07 am PST by
Technology companies like Apple are contributing to e-waste by making their products difficult to repair, and charging expensive repair fees, according to a lengthy report published today by the UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee. "We were told that Apple glues and solders parts together on their laptops, which makes repairing them very difficult," the Committee wrote in a summary ...
MacBooks black friday

Apple Black Friday 2020: Best Mac and MacBook Deals

Thursday November 26, 2020 8:29 pm PST by
For Black Friday 2020, many retailers have solid deals on a variety of Macs. Apple's new M1 Macs are ones everyone wants right now, but because they're so new, deals on them are fairly sparse, although we are seeing some modest discounts. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps...
Top Stories 38 Feature

Top Stories: Black Friday Deals, Redesigned MacBooks, Hands-On With Apple's M1 Macs

Saturday November 28, 2020 6:00 am PST by
With Apple's holiday hardware lineup seemingly all set, attention this week turned to the shopping end of things with Apple and other retailers rolling out their Black Friday deals. That wasn't the only news this week, however, as we've continued to learn more about Apple's new M1-based Macs and we've even heard some fresh rumors about redesigned Mac notebooks coming next year, so read on...
General black friday 20 sale feature 2

Apple Black Friday 2020: Our Top Picks

Friday November 27, 2020 6:16 am PST by
Black Friday shopping has officially kicked off across the United States, and we've been collecting the best deals for Apple's iPads, Macs, AirPods, the HomePod, Apple Watch, and more in separate articles. In order to further streamline your Black Friday shopping this year, we've put together this quick list of our top picks of the overall best Apple-related bargains happening today. Note:...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
General black friday 20 sale feature

Thanksgiving Day Deals Still Available on AirPods, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, iPads

Thursday November 26, 2020 10:21 am PST by
Black Friday deals seem to start earlier and earlier every year, so there were already a wide variety of discounts available for Apple products on Thanksgiving Day. Many of the deals remain available even after Thanksgiving, but act fast, as inventory quickly fluctuates. Thanksgiving Day Deals on Apple Products — Still Available:AirPods with a wireless charging case remain available for...