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Monday, June 30, 2014

Pangu Jailbreak For iOS 7.1.1 Now Available In English For Your Mac [Jailbreak]

If you can't live without a jailbroken iPhone, then you must have heard about Pangu. The untethered jailbreak tool released by Chinese hackers last week was initially available for Windows only, meaning you would need a PC to install it. But just yesterday developers have released a Mac version and it is available in English.

Ok, let's dial this story back a little before telling you how and where to get the jailbreak.

Last week, what some might refer to as being "out of the blue," an untethered jailbreak tool called Pangu surfaced on the web from a small group of Chinese developers. The jailbreak was developed for iOS devices running iOS 7.1.1 (the latest version). Usually jailbreaks are happily welcomed but the case with this one is a little different.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pioneer AVH-4000NEX Hovering Around An All-Time Low Price Of $557 [Amazon Deals]

Pioneer's lowest price NEX head unit, the AVH-4000NEX, is available for purchase currently on Amazon for an all-time low price of $557 at the time of this post. The head unit is scheduled to receive a firmware update which will enable Apple CarPlay sometime this summer.

Get yourself ready for CarPlay and enjoy the wide range of features the AVH-4000NEX offers by visiting Amazon today. Here is an affiliate link to purchase...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Android Auto Vs. Apple CarPlay: Tell Us Which One You Prefer [Poll]

We have a poll running which asks your which in-car technology you are more looking forward to. Is it Google's Android Auto which was announced a couple of days ago? Or is it Apple CarPlay which was announced a while back but will really make its presence felt this summer?

Get voting, the poll is in the left-side column on our website. We will run the poll for a couple of weeks at least.

Here's The AppRadioLIVE Promo Video From Pioneer [Video]

AppRadioLIVE was announced and released a few days back by Pioneer Electronics and has been received well by customers. The app, which is currently iOS only, is designed to simplify your drive by providing the info you need in your vehicle.

As Pioneer puts it, "It is YOUR digital lifestyle connected." And they have a promo video which you can watch below.

Pioneer NEX Receivers Have Highly Customizable Display Themes [Video]

Pioneer's 2014 line of car head units, NEX or Networked Entertainment eXperience, may well be ahead of all other competition when it comes to the features it offers. There's Apple CarPlay coming soon to these five receivers but some of the other features are also very good.

Take the display, for example. The appearance of the head unit display can be customized to make it look the way you want. Right from the background image, colors, and illumination to the clock font, everything can be adjusted.

My favorite is the ability to adjust the color on the backlit hard buttons on the head unit (called 'illumination' in the settings menu).

Pioneer has made a video for users on how to customize these settings. Take a look below...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Check Out These Android Auto Screenshots, Video, And Compatible App List

Google has posted a few Android Auto screenshots on their website which shows the simplistic and clear interface that you will experience in your car when the technology becomes available. There's also a promotional video posted on YouTube.

For a start, a handful of third-party applications will be Android Auto compatible. A list of those apps, screenshots and the promo video is after the break. Take a look.

Google Takes You Under The Hood Of Android Auto [Video]

Android Auto is creating the biggest buzz in the car entertainment industry since yesterday's announcement by Google. Google has set up a website for those interested in learning more and has also provided plenty to chew on at their I/O Conference.

There's also quite a few videos floating on YouTube including this one from "Google Developers" that takes us under the hood of Android Auto and explains how it all comes together and what technology is at work. Watch it after the break...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Will Android Auto Enter The Aftermarket Like CarPlay? [Opinion]

Apple recently announced that its latest technology, CarPlay, would be going into aftermarket car head units via Pioneer Electronics and Alpine Electronics. Pioneer already has five NEX receivers available which will get CarPlay updates soon. Alpine is believed to be working on a standalone CarPlay receiver themselves.

Google officially entered the car entertainment field with Android Auto earlier today. They are at the center of the Open Automotive Alliance with 40 other companies that will integrate the technology into our vehicles. So will Google follow Apple and make Android Auto available to consumers via aftermarket receivers?

This may answer that question...

With Android Auto Announced, Will Apple Give The Go-Ahead For CarPlay?

We are still waiting for Pioneer to release the CarPlay firmware update for its NEX head units. We also reported how it could be Apple that is responsible for the delay in release. Today, Google announced Android Auto at the I/O Conference with a few details on what, where and how the technology will work.

Does today's Android Auto announcement mean Apple will finally give the go-ahead to Pioneer to release the CarPlay update? I can't definitely tell you either way, but let's hope that happens.

Images' source: Google & Apple

[BREAKING] Google Announces Android Auto, It's Own CarPlay Competitor

Today was a big day in the Android universe as Google held the Google I/O 2014 in San Francisco. Among the many announcements during the 3-hour keynote at the event was Android Auto - Google's version of getting it's software in the car.

Google had announced its Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) a while back but today's announcement gives the first concrete look at what exactly is in store for consumers. Impressively, Google has managed to team up with 40 other partners in the OAA that will support Android Auto. A shorter list of 25 car companies will implement the technology in their cars by next year.

Here is the complete scoop from Google I/O regarding Android Auto and why you, as a consumer, should be looking forward to this.

Need More Info On AppRadio Unchained? Watch This Demo [Video]

Full smartphone touch control from a compatible Pioneer head unit can be achieved with AppRadio Unchained, an open source tweak. The software works for Android phones only. The iOS counterpart, AppEx, has been under development for a while now with no ETA in sight, but that topic is for another discussion.

AppRadio Unchained or ARUnchained or ARU, works on a rooted Android smartphone. The device connects to a compatible Pioneer head unit via HDMI and the entire smartphone's display is mirrored onto the head unit with full touch control. It's like having your Android smartphone mounted in your dashboard.

Just recently, we posted a video showing the software working on a Pioneer AVH-4000NEX.

If you're interested in knowing more about the software, watch this YouTube video from user "M Sylvester" demonstrating the ins and outs of the tweak. Other resources are also below the break.

Dashboard Spotlight: 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium [Pictures]

In our first Dashboard Spotlight post we looked at the interior of the 2014 Nissan Leaf. Our second installment features the 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium. Here is what the car's dashboard looks like with all the technology it holds...

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Pioneer's Big Announcement At C3 Is... AppRadioLIVE!

After a lot of anticipation and speculations, Pioneer Electronics have made their "big announcement" at the Connected Car Conference (C3) in New York. As most people hoped, it isn't the CarPlay firmware update. It is in fact, AppRadioLIVE.

Here is the announcement made through Facebook...

CarPlay Firmware Update From Pioneer Is Pending Apple's Green Light

Everyone is waiting for Pioneer Electronics to release a firmware update for its latest NEX receivers that will enable Apple CarPlay on those devices. But what was supposed to be an "early summer" release is now "coming this summer" suggesting possible delays.

Before you start blaming Pioneer, we've learned that it could actually be Apple that is responsible for the delay.

[BREAKING] Pioneer Teases "Big Announcement" At Connected Car Conference in NY

Pioneer Electronics is at this week's Connected Car Conference in New York City and has teased a "big announcement" coming momentarily via their Facebook page. Could this mean a CarPlay update is coming soon?

[BREAKING] Here's What AppRadioLIVE Looks Like On A Pioneer AVIC-8000NEX

Pioneer introduced AppRadioLIVE without much hoopla but customers will be pleasantly surprised when they slowly discover the app. The new app brings maps, news, weather, music and events into one place. It keeps you at pace with what's going on around your route.

We found these screenshots posted by user "tekki" on AVIC411 Forums showing AppRadioLIVE working on Pioneer's flagship AVIC-8000NEX head unit. And "tekki" reports that using AppRadioLIVE will require you to use the digital AV adapter with your iPhone, just like you would do with AppRadio Mode.

Here are those screenshots...

[BREAKING] AppRadioLIVE Isn't Replacing AppRadio Mode, Works Independently

While we thought initially that AppRadioLIVE is a revamp of AppRadio Mode, it has become clear that Pioneer's latest app for its AppRadio Mode enabled head units is designed to work alongside the AppRadio app. AppRadio Mode remains the same with the ability to launch any compatible app from its interface.

What AppRadioLIVE does is completely independent to AppRadio Mode.

[BREAKING] Pioneer Introduces AppRadioLIVE, Makes Your Head Unit Look New

This is great news for AppRadio Mode enabled head unit owners! Pioneer has introduced a new app called AppRadioLIVE which will give your head unit a brand new look. The app is designed to work alongside AppRadio app and brings all the commonly used functions into one slick, smooth and snappy interface.

Read along for full details and screenshots...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Video Shows AppRadio Unchained Working On The Pioneer AVH-4000NEX [Video]

AppRadio Unchained or ARU is an open source tweak for Android devices that gives users full touch control of their smartphones from a compatible Pioneer head unit. The tweak should technically work with Pioneer's latest NEX receivers that support AppRadio Mode. And here's a user video that proves that.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

EC Touch For AppRadio Updated To Add Weather Information To Homescreen

EC Touch for AppRadio was updated recently to add a new Weather information widget to the homescreen. The initial update version 4.0 had a bug that would refuse to display weather information for most US cities. The app would either display weather information for London or Rome and this could not be changed.

We were one of the first ones to detect the bug and report it to the developers.

The bug has since been fixed and a new update version 4.0.1 was released. Now you can customize your city preferences by either manually entering the information or using your current location. More information is below...

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Transportation Bill Aims At Regulating Use Of Map Apps On The Road

If you've never used a map app like Google Maps or Waze to get directions while driving, you either always know your way around (maybe even arrogantly) or don't drive at all. Whether using such apps while driving is a distraction or not remains a gray area but the fact is that almost everyone has used a navigation app at some point.

Current laws in most states ban the use of cell phones while driving. There are no specific laws that say you can't get directions from a cell phone though. That's where the Department of Transportation wants to come in.

Another 3.4 Million Vehicles Recalled By GM For Ignition Switch Issue

General Motors has announced another recall on 3.4 million vehicles for an issue with the ignition switch. In a statement on Monday, the automaker said the recall affects seven cars ranging from 2000 to 2014 in model years.

See below if your car is included in the recall.

Monday, June 16, 2014

With Summer Approaching Is The CarPlay Firmware Update From Pioneer Imminent?

Summer is less than a week away. June 21 is a Saturday this year, and the first day of summer. Pioneer's promised firmware update for its NEX receivers which will enable CarPlay is expected "this summer." So when is the big day?

Here are some things that may help determine the exact date the firmware becomes available for download...

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Watch Jay Leno Take The Batmobile For A Spin! [Video]

Ex-talk show host Jay Leno's penchant for cars is well documented. Now that he's retired from his day job, the television hall of famer is giving us a look inside his garage and other interesting cars in an online video show called "Jay Leno's Garage."

The show has over 300 episodes posted on YouTube for a while now. I came across this video from September last year showing Jay taking the Batmobile for a spin. Yes, it's the same Batmobile they used in the Dark Knight series of Batman films.

Thanks to Warner Brothers the automobile was demoed by the ex-talk show host. Watch the full episode of Jay Leno's Garage below...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Is Apple CarPlay Really That Big Of A Deal? [Opinion]

Apple CarPlay integrates all the commonly used smartphone features while driving into one easy-to-use interface. This is Apple's first foray into the car entertainment market. Sure enough there have been iPod connectivity kits for various vehicles before but CarPlay is the first 'product' (if you can call it that), that is made by Apple themselves.

Those of you that are familiar with AppRadio Mode from Pioneer, or other smartphone integrating head units, are probably wondering why CarPlay keeps getting so much attention. After all, it is just Apple's version of AppRadio Mode. And besides, you will need a pricey new car or one of Pioneer's NEX head units to avail of CarPlay.

Here's my take on Apple's latest technology...

Monday, June 9, 2014

Dashboard Spotlight: 2014 Nissan Leaf [Pictures]

We are starting a new line of featured posts called Dashboard Spotlight. In such posts we will feature images of dashboards from one of the cars on the road today or sometime soon in the future.

This is our first Dashboard Spotlight and the car in focus today is the 2014 Nissan Leaf*. Check out the technology-filled dashboard of the Leaf in the images below.

AppRadio Mode Unstable In iOS 8 Beta, Bluetooth Streaming Works

The first iOS 8 beta has been available from Apple to developers for a few days now. With more people installing the software on their iPhones, more news regarding AppRadio Mode keeps coming out. Today we've learned about the initial issues that exist with the beta software.

Mind you, since iOS 8 is still a very early beta, issues like these aren't uncommon at all. Also, not everyone experiences the same issues.

The following issues were found when connecting an iPhone 5 running iOS 8 to an AppRadio 3 (SPH-DA210)...

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Automatic For Android Updated To Version 1.0 With New Features

Automatic Smart Driving Assistant is an OBD-II device that connects to your smartphone giving you access to vehicle diagnostic information like error codes. Manufacturers have announced an update for the Android version of the smartphone app with new added features. Here's the complete scoop...

General Motors Recalls Another 105,500 Vehicles

General Motors is at it again. Just two days after axing 15 employees over a botched recall, the automaker has announced a fresh recall of about 105,500 vehicles in two actions. This is their 34th recall this year and the total number of cars affected is 15.9 million.

Friday's recall is for the following two defects...

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Never Back Into Thrash Cans Again With The Pioneer ND-BC6 Rear View Camera [Video]

Backup cameras will become mandatory on all vehicles in the United States by May 2018. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a simple backup camera may help reduce backing up accidents which result in nearly 210 deaths every year.

By the time the law goes into effect, all automakers will make the backup feature standard in their vehicles. But between now and then you can equip your vehicle with a backup camera if you own one of Pioneer's compatible head units (AppRadio 3, NEX Receivers, 2014 Audio Video and Navigation units).

The 2014 version of the ND-BC6 rear view camera is compact, has wide viewing angles and relatively easy to install. Watch this feature/review video from "Lessco Electronics" (YouTube)...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Get The Pioneer CD-IU52 USB To Lightning Cable For $25 [Amazon Deals]

Pioneer now sells their own lightning cable. The CD-IU52 cable (USB to lightning) is like any other lightning cable but looks sturdy, is black in color, and thick.

The cable is 1.80 ft in length and has a suggested retail price of $35 according to Pioneer. But you can get the cable for much lower from Amazon and other retailers.

"Hey, Siri" In iOS 8 Will Only Work When Device Is Plugged In

UPDATE: Read our latest "Hey Siri" post posted on 9/18/2014.

Contrary to what we posted a few days ago, Siri in iOS 8 won't always get activated when you say the phrase "Hey Siri." For voice activation to work you will need to have your iDevice plugged in to a power source.

General Motors Fires 15 Employees Over Botched Ignition Switch Recall

At least 13 people died due to a faulty ignition switch in vehicles manufactured by General Motors over the last few years. However, a Reuters analysis using the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) had estimated the number to be much higher - 74. It took GM over 10 years to issue a recall after it first learned of the issue.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Siri Goes Handsfree In iOS 8 With The Trigger Phrase "Hey, Siri"

Yesterday's keynote by Apple at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 14, was all about iOS 8, OS X Yosemite, and even new programming language called "Swift." There were plenty of new announcements but not so many that would get car tech enthusiasts' attention.

There was, however, one piece of information that was just mentioned as a passing comment that got me interested and that's got to do with Siri. Apple announced that Siri will go handsfree in iOS 8.

Monday, June 2, 2014

WWDC 14 Kicks Off In A Few Hours, iOS 8 Announcement Coming

Apple will kick off WWDC 14 in just a few more hours with a hallmark keynote address. Big announcements are expected from San Francisco including iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 which is rumored to be called Yosemite. It is unlikely that new iPhones will be announced but you never know.

For car enthusiasts, all eyes will be on whether any more announcements pertaining to CarPlay are made. There's no doubt that iOS 8 will play nice with CarPlay but how will it do with AppRadio Mode? Will there be new challenges or will it fit in without issues?