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Monday, September 29, 2014

Pioneer AppRadio Mode Issues Not Fixed In iOS 8.0.2

Apple released iOS 8.0.2 a few days ago, soon after the buggy 8.0.1. The latest version fixes mobile connectivity and Touch ID issues that reportedly affected around 40,000 users that downloaded iOS 8.0.1.

But iOS 8.0.2 hasn't fixed any of the AppRadio Mode issues we outlined about a week ago. The same issues continue to exist when using iOS 8.0.2 with an AppRadio Mode capable Pioneer head unit. Here is a short list of those issues from our previous post...

Mount That Gorgeous iPhone 6 Plus In Your Car With The Kenu Airframe+ [Video]

Last year we told you about the Kenu Airframe, a minimalistic phone mounting solution for your car. The Airframe supported devices up to 5-inches in size. The vent mount works great with any smartphone and is one of the more popular car mounts out there.

So what do you do if your smartphone measures more than 5-inches like the new iPhone 6 Plus? Enter, the Kenu Airframe+!

Friday, September 26, 2014

CableJive dockXtender Lightning Extension Now Available In 6-ft Version [Pictures]

We spent a lot of time last year looking for a viable lightning extension cable solution. The reason for our quest was to be able to hide the Apple digital lightning adapter that is needed to hookup an iPhone 5 or above to a Pioneer AppRadio Mode head unit.

Our search ended when CableJive released a lightning version of its "dockXtender" cable. The dockXtender cable is the most reliable option that transfers all functions through itself. The cable was released in a 2-feet version back towards the end of last year. And now, there is a 6-feet version you can buy.

The folks over at CableJive sent us the 6-feet cable for review. Check out additional pictures and details on where to buy the cable below...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Nine Missing Automaker Logos From Apple's CarPlay Lineup Are Back!

Well, the Apple CarPlay hide-and-go-seek continues. Just two days after shuffling around information on its CarPlay page, Apple has refreshed its car manufacturer lineup information.

There were eight new automakers that were added to the CarPlay lineup back in July only to be removed from the list two days ago in addition to Audi Motors. But looks like the error has been fixed, because the nine missing logos have be added again to the CarPlay page.

Here is the complete list of 29 automakers that will bring CarPlay to customers at some point in the near future...

EC Touch For AppRadio Updated To Partially Fix iOS 8 Keyboard Crash Bug

EC Touch for AppRadio became the first Pioneer AppRadio compatible app to fix the keyboard crash bug in iOS 8, albeit partially. The latest update of the app was released yesterday with the fix.

The following notification shows up within the app after you update which is why we think it is only a partial fix so far...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Nine Car Manufacturer Logos Removed From Apple's CarPlay Lineup

Contrary to what we thought Apple meant by updating its CarPlay webpage today, we may still see the software in cars this year. According to Apple, CarPlay will still be "available on select new cars in 2014."

However, Apple has made one big change on its website today and that is updating its list of car manufacturers that will offer CarPlay. Nine recently added automaker logos have been removed from the list. Here they are...

Apple Sneakily Hints At CarPlay Delay By Removing "2014" From Availability Info [UPDATE: Maybe Not]

UPDATE: The top of Apple's CarPlay website actually mentions "Available on select new cars in 2014." But some car manufacturer logos have been removed from the CarPlay lineup.

Moments after Summer 2014 ended this morning, Apple decided to make a change to its CarPlay webpage. While everyone was busy scratching their heads over when CarPlay will be available, Apple dropped a subtle hint at a possible delay in delivering the software to consumers.

If you head over to Apple's CarPlay page, you will see the change.

This is what the old CarPlay page that showed the car manufacturer lineup looked like...

CBS Radio News App Added To CarPlay Compatible List

Without making any noise, Apple has added another third party app to its short (but slowly growing) list of CarPlay compatible apps. The app is CBS Radio News. The app logo now appears on the CarPlay webpage.

Here is the complete list of apps that are CarPlay compatible...

CarPlay On Pioneer NEX Was Like The Summer Guest That Never Showed Up

It's official! Summer 2014 is finally over and with it, hopes for the arrival of a much-awaited guest that never showed up. I'm talking, of course, about the CarPlay firmware update for Pioneer NEX receivers that was supposed to arrive a few months ago.

The days, weeks and months have gone by, but there hasn't been any official word from Pioneer Electronics. But then just moments ago, we received a tweet from one of our followers who managed to find a response from Pioneer UK. Here it is...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The 3-Wheeled Elio Costs Only $6,800 And Promises 84 MPG [Video]

Meet Elio, a revolutionary three-wheeled vehicles designed to get 84 miles per gallon. The company Elio Motors announced the concept a few years ago. They began accepting reservations recently and curiosity behind the vehicle has been ramping up ever since.

Check out a promo video about the Elio after the break.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

iPhone 6 Works With AppRadio Mode But With Existing iOS 8 Issues

Millions of people around the globe got their hands on Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus yesterday. We tested out the iPhone 6 with a Pioneer AppRadio 3 (SPH-DA210) for issues while using AppRadio Mode. The current issues we mentioned in our post regarding iOS 8 continue to exist.

For those of you who may have missed our iOS 8 compatibility post, this is what to expect when using an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus with a Pioneer head unit equipped with AppRadio Mode...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Siri In iOS 8 Can Now Launch Apps When Connected To Car Head Unit

In previous iOS versions, Siri wasn't able to launch apps while connected to a car head unit like an AppRadio. The response you would get from the voice assistant was "Sorry. To ensure your safety, your vehicle won't let me help you with that right now." We had outlined this when we reviewed the AppRadio 3 last year.

With iOS 8 though, that has changed.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

iOS 8's "Hey Siri" Feature Is Very Useful While Driving

Back in June, Apple announced iOS 8. Siri was getting major upgrades in features and functionality. One such feature called "Hey Siri" has been added and we posted about it a few months ago.

"Hey Siri" allows users to activate the voice assistant by speaking that phrase. You don't have to long press the home button on the phone or your AppRadio when you're in your car to give a voice command. Just say "Hey Siri" followed by your voice command and Siri does the rest.

Here's Our Take On iOS 8 And AppRadio Mode Compatibility [Pictures]

Earlier today, Pioneer Electronics posted a notice on its Facebook page advising AppRadio Mode users to avoid upgrading to iOS 8 due to compatibility issues. About 24 hours after testing AppRadio Mode with iOS 8, here is our take on the current issues.

We tested an AppRadio 3 (SPH-DA210) with an iPhone 5 running iOS 8.

Pioneer AppRadio Mode Compatibility With iOS 8 A Mess

iOS 8 became available for download yesterday. But Pioneer Electronics is advising its AppRadio Mode users to refrain from updating their iPhones because of major compatibility issues. They made a statement today in that regard.

It is not surprising that issues with so many apps exist but what is surprising is that app developers, including Pioneer, haven't prepared updates to fix the issues yet. Most developers test out their apps with beta versions of Apple's mobile operating system and release updates on or around release day.

Looks like AppRadio Mode users will either have to wait to update to iOS 8 or wait for individual apps to get updated. Anyways, here is Pioneer's message regarding iOS 8 compatibility...

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

iOS 8 Now Available For Download, CarPlay Update From Pioneer Still MIA

iOS 8 became available for download about 6 hours ago. Head on to the 'Settings' menu on your iOS device and find the update under the 'Software Update' tab. The update is close to 1GB in size and requires 5 GB of free space on your device.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Multiple Apps Get Updates Ahead Of iOS 8 Release

Various car-centric apps have been updated today and over the last few days in anticipation of iOS 8 which is due on September 17th. The latest OS version is rumored to be released at 10 a.m. Pacific, in keeping with previous releases.

Here is a list of the few apps, including Pioneer AppRadio Mode-compatible apps that have received updates so far for iOS 8 or other optimizations in general...

3 Companies Get Self-Driving Car Testing Licenses In California

September 16 was set to be the day when lawmakers issued licenses to companies for testing self-driving cars on California roads. Volkswagen's Audi brand became the first automaker to get the permit. Two other companies received permits as well.

iOS 8 Drops Tomorrow, Will Pioneer NEX CarPlay Update Follow?

Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, will be available as a free download tomorrow. Most iDevices will get the update. A complete list of supported devices is below.

The bigger question is, will September 17 also mark the day Pioneer releases the CarPlay firmware update for its NEX receivers?

Ford Partners With Automatic Labs, Bringing New Features Through SYNC

Remember Automatic Labs? The company that makes the Automatic Link, which is an OBD-II device designed to help you improve your driving habits, is partnering with Ford. The partnership will add functionality and features to the Automatic platform and Ford SYNC.

Drivers will have to opt-in to provide data from their vehicle. According to the Automatic Blog, the partnership will give drivers who use Automatic in a supported Ford SYNC-equipped vehicle, ability to access Apple's Siri using the push-to-talk button on the steering wheel (Siri Eyes Free, if you may).

Law Requiring California Drivers To Stay 3-Feet From Cyclists Goes Into Effect Today

A new California state law which will require drivers to stay at least 3-feet away from cyclists will go into effect today. According to a statistic, around 100 cyclists are killed each year from vehicle accidents. The law aims at keeping everyone safe on the road. But how practical is it?

ABC7 News in the San Francisco Bay Area, tried to test out the new law.

Monday, September 15, 2014

iPhone 6 Preorders Hit Record 4 Million On First Day

In a press release, Apple has announced the total number of preorders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in the first 24 hours. A record 4 million latest generation iPhones were preordered just on September 12 alone.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Will The Apple Watch Be A Distraction While Driving? [Opinion]

Apple announced its first true wearable device this past week and showed off just a few of its features. We know that the watch will require an iPhone to work. However, many details were left out, some perhaps on purpose (battery life).

After the keynote, a lot of "guesses" on what the Apple Watch could help you do have started floating around. If your wristwatch, that has traditionally just shown time, is capable of much more, is it bound to be a distraction? Especially, while driving?

And how will lawmakers respond to this possibility? Will smartwatches trigger new laws against their use while driving?

Friday, September 12, 2014

iPhone 6 And 6 Plus Shipping Times Slip To 3-4 Weeks

If you were able to log in to the Apple Online Store at 12:01 a.m. today, and preorder one of the new iPhones, consider yourself very lucky. The preorder process kicked off with a lot of issues, just like Apple's live stream of the keynote. Technical issues are almost becoming a norm these days.

It wasn't until about 3-4 hours later in the early morning that the Apple Online Store was back up and running. Ordering online sometimes almost feels like falling in line at the Apple Store on the day of a big launch. But there were some ways to get around the agony.

How Technology Could Save You Money On Car Insurance

Car technology is advancing and at a quick pace. Car's are smarter, more efficient and safer to drive than at anytime in the past. But as car's get smarter, car prices go up. And higher car prices usually mean higher car insurance rates. That trend may not always continue though.

There are a lot of factors that determine how much insurance premium you'll pay. Those details are beyond the scope of this post. Technology focused on ensuring the safety of passengers and those around you can help reduce insurance costs. Technology can also help protect your car and the tech inside it against theft.

Here are a few ways technology may help lower your bills.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Alpine Electronics Says CarPlay Head Unit Coming On...

Earlier today, we posted about the possibility of Alpine Electronics beating Pioneer Electronics to the finish line in delivering a CarPlay head unit. We had contacted Alpine via Twitter for comment. This is what @AlpineUSA had to say...

Could Alpine Beat Pioneer At CarPlay Delivery To Customers?

Alpine Electronics is listed by Apple as the other aftermarket manufacturer which will bring CarPlay to the car you already own. The Alpine versus Pioneer Electronics competition will soon see a new chapter when CarPlay becomes available. Question is, who's going to win the race at CarPlay delivery?

There are a few sketchy details about Alpine's upcoming head unit which is expected by October this year. We have those few details and another interesting image of what the Alpine head unit might look like, after the break. Check it out, you won't want to miss it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pioneer Demos CarPlay On NEX Receivers At IFA 2014 In Berlin [Video]

IFA 2014, which is the European equivalent of CES in the United States if you will, was held this week from September 5-10. Pioneer Europe was at the event and gave demos of CarPlay on its NEX receivers, which have different model numbers in Europe but are essentially the same devices.

Check Out This List Of AppRadio Mode Issues With iOS 8 Beta

We have managed to make a list of potential issues iOS 8 may present to AppRadio Mode from reading multiple forum posts and comments across the internet.

Remember, these issues were experienced by individuals who were trying out early iOS 8 betas (not even the Gold Master release Apple put out yesterday) with their Pioneer AppRadios or NEX receivers. These issues may get fixed by the time iOS 8 is released to the public on September 17.

Pioneer has already made a statement saying it can't guarantee AppRadio Mode to be compatible with iOS 8 on its website but that is understandable. Unless the final release of iOS 8 becomes available for testing, those issues may not be identified or fixed.

Anyways, here is the list...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

With The Apple iPhone Event Done, What's Next For CarPlay?

So today's Apple iPhone event is over with no mention of CarPlay or a potential official release date in the aftermarket. Pioneer's website still says "coming this summer." The firmware update is MIA and who knows where the hints lie for a possible ETA.

The next relevant date to keep an eye on is coming up next week though.

BMW Gets The Apple Watch Hookup [Apple Keynote News]

Earlier today, Apple slipped in a small piece of car related information regarding its upcoming Apple Watch that you may have missed if you blinked. The news has to do with BMW and an upcoming BMW i app for the Apple Watch.

Here's Everything That Apple Announced At Today's iPhone Event

Apple held their annual iPhone event in Cupertino, California earlier today. Plenty of new products and features were announced. Unless you've been living under a rock, you must have heard about the two new iPhones and Apple Watch. Anyways, here's our take on what unfolded today with a few in-car perspectives on the new products.

Get The Latest News From Today's Apple iPhone Event Right Here

Apple's iPhone Event kicks off in just over 9 hours from now. We will have all the latest news from the event, including CarPlay news if any and of course, news about the new iPhone(s).

Check here later today for the latest.

Monday, September 8, 2014

[BREAKING] First Ferrari FF Equipped With Apple CarPlay Delivered To Customer

Here's some good news. The first Ferrari FF equipped with Apple CarPlay has been delivered to its owner in Italy. Ferrari says the next batch of cars will be delivered to other parts of Europe like Germany, Great Britain, France and Switzerland within the next few days. Customers in the United States and Japan will be next too.

What does this mean for CarPlay availability on other platforms?

Samsung Galaxy S5 Wirelessly Mirrored With Touch Controls On AppRadio 3 Using Chromecast [Video]

YouTube user 'surferdon7' has made an excellent video showing how a Google Chromecast dongle can be used to attain full touch control of an Android smartphone (in this case a Samsung Galaxy S5) on an AppRadio 3. There are some prerequisites to the setup though, which are outlined in the video.

Check out the video after the page break...

Americans Are Warming Up To The Idea Of Autonomous Cars [Report]

A new study conducted by the University of Michigan has found that 56% of U.S. respondents have positive opinions of self-driving cars. The results of the study are interesting with autonomous cars being tested and expected to hit roads within the next few years.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Does Pioneer Owe Its Customers A CarPlay Delay Explanation? [Opinion]

This coming Tuesday the big unveiling of Apple's next generation iPhone will take place. But Pioneer NEX head unit customers are hoping for news about the long-awaited CarPlay firmware update on that day. Summer is almost over and the promised update is no where in sight.

Whatever the reason for the delay may be, what happens if (as rumor has it), the CarPlay firmware update for Pioneer NEX receivers doesn't become available until 2015? Does Pioneer owe its customers an explanation for the 'false advertising' of sorts?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Pioneer Posts iOS 8 And AppRadio Mode Compatibility Information

Pioneer Electronics has posted a message on its Facebook account just a few minutes ago reminding its customers of the upcoming iOS 8 release from Apple and what to expect when it comes to AppRadio Mode compatibility.

While everyone has been hoping for some news about Apple CarPlay from Pioneer, today's Facebook post doesn't mention anything in that regard. Anyways, here is the post...

Apple Will Live Stream iPhone 6 Event On September 9

Apple has confirmed via its website that the hugely anticipated September 9 iPhone 6 event will be streamed lived for viewers across the globe. The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Pacific time next week.

Watch This Video Explaining OBD-II Technology [Video]

CNET has posted a great video as a part of its CNET On Cars section which explains OBD-II technology. The video gives an overview of what the technology can be used for, and the apps and dongles that one might come across.

The video is very informative and is a must watch for the car geek or even the casual driver. Watch it below the break...

Dashboard Spotlight: 2015 Chevrolet Volt [Pictures]

It's been a while since we did a Dashboard Spotlight post. In today's fifth edition we feature the 2015 Chevrolet Volt. The electric car features plenty of tech in its dashboard. Take a look at the pictures below.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stezza Version 2.0 Plays Videos And Includes New Color Themes

Stezza has been my favorite music player app for the AppRadio for quite some time now and it has gotten even better in recent months. The app has been updated to version 2.0 recently with various improvements and performance enhancements.

Among the various feature improvements these are two of my favorites: Video playback and color themes.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mercedes-Benz & Volvo Say CarPlay Delayed Until 2015

In independent statements made to 9to5Mac, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have revealed where they stand on the CarPlay situation. Apple had announced earlier this year that a bunch of carmakers will integrate CarPlay in their vehicles with Mercedes-Benz and Volvo being two of the early adopters.

Integration was supposed to start by the end of this year. But according to the following statements, it looks like CarPlay will be delayed until 2015.

From Mercedes-Benz...