Apple's new in-car dashboard system, CarPlay, will now support a number of aftermarket car stereo units made by Pioneer.
Pioneer has released a firmware update that makes CarPlay available on five of the company's NEX in-dash multimedia receivers, making it the first company to support the system.
"CarPlay enriches the iPhone experience in the vehicle by providing a safer way to access the iPhone features they want to use most while driving," said Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for Pioneer's Car Electronics Division. "With Pioneer's implementation, CarPlay can now be integrated into millions of vehicles already on the road."
The fact that Pioneer will be making CarPlay-compatible in-dash systems that are aftermarket is great for consumers who likely don't want to buy a new car just to enjoy Apple's latest product.
Pioneer's CarPlay-compatible NEX units retail in the U.S. for $1,400 and $700. The company will also be releasing a firmware update for the company's fourth-generation AppRadio 4 system, which retails for $600. The updates will be free of charge for those who already own the systems.
The specific models that will get the update include the AVIC-8000NEX, AVIC-7000NEX, AVIC-6000NEX, AVIC-5000NEX and AVH-4000NEX, and the AppRadio 4 SPH-DA120.
"With Pioneer's implementation, CarPlay can now be integrated into millions of vehicles already on the road," said Pioneer Europe in a statement. Pioneer Europe will also be implementing the update into a number of in-dash systems in Europe which are not branded under the NEX name.
Another company that is expected to make aftermarket CarPlay-compatible solutions is Alpine.
A number of manufacturers have announced support for CarPlay, as well as Google's answer to CarPlay, Android Auto. These companies include the likes of Audi, Alfa Romeo, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Kia, Nissan and more.
CarPlay has received generally favorable reviews among those who have been able to test it so far. While it will be a while before the in-car operating system is widely built into vehicles, for now users will be able to start using it if they buy and install an aftermarket stereo.
Google's Android Auto is also expected to be available to consumers in aftermarket stereos, though no specific devices or updates have been announced. Despite this, companies such as Alpine, Parrot and Pioneer have all announced that they will support Android Auto at some point in the future.
There are a number of reasons that consumers will want to use either CarPlay or Android Auto. Both of these systems let users enjoy a number of phone features on their car's display and are largely voice controlled, meaning users can concentrate on driving.
With CarPlay installed, those who have the latest version of iOS on their iPhone 5 or later can use Siri's voice control to make and receive calls, text, access Apple Maps for navigation, and listen to their music libraries, podcasts and iTunes Radio.