Sony today unveiled its latest CarPlay and Android Auto receiver with a large 8.95-inch touchscreen that hovers over the dashboard, allowing it to fit into a smaller single-DIN space. Equipped with a three-way mount, the receiver's height, depth, and tilt can be adjusted during installation in most vehicles.
Sony says the XAV-AX8000 will be available in December 2019 for a suggested retail price of $599.99 in the United States.
Aftermarket receivers like this one allow for CarPlay and Android Auto to be installed in older vehicles. This particular Sony model is a wired CarPlay receiver, so an iPhone must be connected with a Lightning to USB cable. Wireless CarPlay receivers are available from brands like Alpine, Kenwood, and JVC.
CarPlay is Apple's in-car platform that enables iPhone users to access a range of apps from the dashboard, such as Messages, Apple Maps, Apple Music, Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, SiriusXM Radio, Pandora, WhatsApp, Downcast, Slacker Radio, Stitcher, and as of iOS 12, third-party navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze.
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2. It automatically plays on your car speakers/microphone
3. It integrates to steering wheel controls and dashboard displays (on some models)
4. You don't have to manually synchronize state (i.e. what music you're listening to) between the two when getting in and out
5. The displays are much brighter for sunlight visibility instead of high resolution
6. The low end models cost less than an iPad mini ($220)
7. Some models integrate with backup cameras (Backup aids are required by law in new US cars)
8. You save $10-15 a month over a separate iPad cellular connection
9. You're less liable to get a built in unit stolen in a smash and grab theft.
10. You don't have to remember to unplug and switch it off when leaving for long periods.
Also, would you leave an iPad in your car? Having to remove it every time you park and hide it or carry it around would be inconvenient.
You also get information in a glance. You see how many minutes to destination, in a fraction of a second instead of repeatedly asking.
CarPlay works well. Go try one in a rental. Voice UIs consistently suck at providing long-form information. You tune out.
Yes & no. Are there cars where radio replacement is not an option? Yes. But there are still a ton of new cars where radio replacement is still doable. Heck, we had a 2019 Nissan in the shop the other day for a radio replacement.
You're exactly right. There are a TON of older cars out on the road that don't have this tech. In fact, even lots 'newer' cars still don't come with CarPlay/Android Auto.
Although the golden days of radio replacements are behind us, there are still people buying din and double din radios daily! We literally have two cars in the shop right now getting single din radios installed as of this post (8/10/2019).