Pioneer has released an update for its AppRadio app yesterday. The update, version 2.8.1, has added support for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus along with some other improvements.
If you install the update from the App Store you are likely to run into some connectivity issues like I did. As a result, follow these steps when installing the latest version to avoid any issues. These instructions apply to the iOS version of the app only. Current AppRadio Mode issues and a note on the Android version are below too.
How to install latest AppRadio app update (version 2.8.1)
1. Delete the existing AppRadio app before installing the update.
2. Search for the AppRadio app in the App Store and install it. Make sure it says "version 2.8.1" which is the latest iOS version.
3. Connect iPhone to your AppRadio Mode enabled Pioneer head unit.
4. Launch AppRadio Mode and click through the warning/pop-up screens on your iPhone.
5. AppRadio Mode will eventually show up after the head unit connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth and picks up the wired connection.
In my case, I am using an iPhone 6 and a Pioneer AppRadio 4. This is the connectivity issue I ran in to when I updated the app directly without deleting the existing app on my phone...
|Head Unit does not pick up connection when latest AppRadio app update is installed without deleting previous version.|
On completion of the update installation, I launched the AppRadio app on my iPhone 6. The screen you see on the right popped up with the "Please see the list of compatible applications" message.
The "OK" button was not clickable and the app seemed to freeze. I forced quit the app and even tried rebooting my iPhone. But I the pop-up would not go away.
I connected the iPhone to my head unit via the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter but the head unit would not pick up the connection when the AppRadio app was launched. Other compatible apps worked fine.
The issue was fixed by deleting the existing AppRadio app and reinstalling the update.
What's new in version 2.8.1?
Here is the App Store description of the latest version...
To users who connect by HDMI, VGA or 30pin; Thank you for your patience. Meanwhile, AppRadioLIVE, EC Touch and this App were updated for iOS 8 AppRadio Mode. They removed the iOS 8 keyboard function and thereby avoid the related App crash. Switching to a different keyboard solution will depend on each App's schedule.
- Includes support for iOS 6, 6 Plus
- App updates no longer reset the compatible Apps database
- Splash video on first use and after update removed
Link to download: AppRadio version 2.8.1 from the App Store.The app description say support for iOS 6 and 6 Plus but I have been able to use AppRadio Mode on my AppRadio 4 even before the update. Was anyone else having issues? I know the keyboard issue still exists.
Have existing issues been fixed?
Screen resizing issue has still not been fixed although I don't think Pioneer has to fix this. Probably needs to be fixed by Apple.
There is no way of testing out the keyboard within AppRadio Mode. But, the AppRadioLIVE app still doesn't have an onscreen keyboard. When you try to input an address, for example, you get this pop-up...
EC Touch has managed to fix the keyboard issue by using a third-party keyboard in their app. Here's a screenshot of that...
When the description says "includes support for iPhone 6, 6 Plus," I'm not sure what it means. As far as I know, the iPhone 6 worked with AppRadio Mode so far. The other two fixes mentioned above, especially the resetting of the compatible Apps database, are welcome fixes.
How does AppRadio Mode work at the moment?
Currently AppRadio Mode has quite a few existing issues which haven't been fixed yet. Can you use AppRadio Mode with an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? Yes. Does it work flawlessly? No.
If you have been following this story on this site for a few months now, you must have read my post from September where I outlined existing issues with AppRadio Mode. What exactly Pioneer has fixed in this update apart from the splash video and compatible apps database resetting, is not known.
In my opinion, AppRadio Mode may soon die out with CarPlay (and pretty soon Android Auto) taking center stage. Pioneer has been slow in fixing issues with AppRadio Mode from the very beginning. The keyboard issue, for example, is inexcusable. Third-party app makers have fixed the problem, but not Pioneer.
Let us know in the comments below if you've found any difference in the latest AppRadio app update version 2.8.1. So far it looks safe to update to this version.
The Android version of the AppRadio app was updated to version 2.7.0 on December 1 with only one fix: Splash video was removed. AppRadio Mode has worked a lot better on Android from the get-go. The screen resizing issue, for example, is not a problem on Android. The biggest problem Android users have these days is that AppRadio Mode is still not compatible with the latest smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5.