The Pioneer AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) supports Android smartphone connectivity via different connections. Finding the correct cable kits to connect your smartphone to the head unit can be tricky. Pioneer has a few charts and diagrams that can help make the process simpler.
Through Android, users can play music from the smartphones, stream Pandora, audio streaming via Bluetooth and above all, use Pioneer AppRadio Mode with the correct cables.
Although some of the latest smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Google Nexus 5 can be connected to the AppRadio 4, there are a few compatibility issues at the moment. More on this later.
First of all, here are a few frequently asked questions and information regarding Android connectivity to the AppRadio 4...
1. What type of connections does my smartphone support?
Depending on the type of connection, the cable kit required from Pioneer will differ. For example, if your device supports MirrorLink, you will need the CD-MU200 kit from Pioneer. If your device has any type of HDMI port, the CD-AH200 kit will be required. MHL connections will also use the CD-AH200 kit.
2. Android connectivity uses USB Port 2 on the AppRadio 4
There are two USB ports on the AppRadio 4. USB 1 is used for Apple CarPlay and firmware updates. USB 2 is reserved exclusively for Android connectivity.
Whether using the CD-MU200 or CD-AH200 kit, you have to connect the USB cable to USB 2 on the back of the AppRadio 4. If you use USB 1, the connection won't work.
3. Other adapters may be needed
Samsung smartphones require additional adapters to connect to an AppRadio 4. Samsung Galaxy S3 users require the HDMI Smart Adapter (EPL-3FHUBEGSTA) in addition to the Pioneer kit. Galaxy S4 users will need the HDTV Adapter (EPL-FU10BEBSTD).
4. What Android OS version are you using?
Find out which Android OS version you are currently running. According to Pioneer's smartphone compatibility chart, Android 4.3 is the latest OS that is supported. This depends on the smartphone too.
See these following smartphone and supported Android OS examples:
Samsung Galaxy S3 - Android 4.1.2
Samsung Galaxy S4 - Android 4.2.2
Samsung Galaxy Note II - Android 4.3
Samsung Galaxy Note III - Android 4.2.2
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 - Android 4.1.2
HTC Droid DNA - Android 4.3
HTC One Max - Android 4.3
LG Optimus G - Android 4.1.2
Motorola Droid Razr Maxx - Android 4.1.2
Sony Xperia V - Android 4.3
The full list of supported devices and OS information can be found here (scroll to the bottom of that page).
5. Is your smartphone a Galaxy S5 or Nexus 5?
The Samsung Galaxy S5 and Google Nexus 5 are not officially compatible with the AppRadio 4. This doesn't mean they won't work. Some functions have been reported to work with these smartphones. Pandora for example, works without issues over Bluetooth.
The required adapters for the Galaxy S5 are not known at the moment.
6. Android 5.0 Lollipop
There is no release date available for Google's upcoming mobile OS, Android 5.0 Lollipop or Android L. Whether there will be compatibility issues with the AppRadio 4 remains to be seen. We will know more when the OS becomes available for download.
What we do know, is that Android L supports Android Auto. But the Android Auto aftermarket blueprints are not available at the moment.
HOW TO CONNECT AN ANDROID SMARTPHONE TO THE PIONEER APPRADIO 4
Here are a few diagrams from Pioneer on how to connect your Android smartphone to the AppRadio 4...
|How to connect an Android device with an HDMI port to the Pioneer AppRadio 4|
|How to connect an Android device with an MHL port to the Pioneer AppRadio 4|
|How to connect a MirrorLink device to the Pioneer AppRadio 4|
Also, check out this device connectivity chart...
ADDITIONAL SETTINGS ON THE APPRADIO 4
After you wire up the smartphone to the AppRadio 4, you need to pick the correct Smartphone Setup to be able to use your device. In 'Settings' on the AppRadio 4, click on 'Input/Output Settings' and then 'Smartphone Setup.' Here you have to select 'Others' for Device and 'HDMI' for Connection if using an HDMI device, or 'USB' if using a MirrorLink device.
Bluetooth: Next pair your device via Bluetooth to the AppRadio 4. This can be done in the Settings menu.
Functions available: The AppRadio 4 shows which functions will be available for a particular smartphone setup you have chosen. This is seen on the 'Smartphone Setup' screen in Settings. For example, when using a MirrorLink device the functions available will be MirrorLink, iPod (or Music from your smartphone library) and Pioneer AppRadio Mode.
It's funny that Pioneer calls the music mode on Android devices, 'iPod.'
We will continue to monitor Android connectivity for the AppRadio 4 in the coming weeks. Also, Android 5.0 Lollipop information will be updated when the OS becomes available. We will have that news for you too.
So stay tuned for the latest and feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below.