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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

[UPDATE] How To Use Two Devices With Your Pioneer AppRadio Simultaneously [How-To]

UPDATE: We have been informed that for this setup to work, one of the iPhones (in this case, the iPhone 4 which is wired to the AppRadio), should have an inactive SIM card in it.


Technically, you can't connect two smartphones to a Pioneer AppRadio simultaneously. Since Apple introduced its lightning connector, AppRadio users have had to use an HDMI connection to achieve connectivity. The 30-pin connector cannot be used to connect an iPhone 5 or later by using a simple adapter.

Using an Android smartphone and an iPhone simultaneously is also not possible. In an ideal scenario it would have been nice if users could wire two devices to the head unit and use both simultaneously or even be able to switch between the devices with the click of a button. But that can't be done.

One of our readers, however, sent us information on how he makes use of his old 30-pin iPhone 4 and uses it together with his new iPhone 6 when connecting to his AppRadio 3. Read along for more details.

So, our reader Russell Spellacy, uses his old iPhone 4 which doesn't have a sim card in it and connects it to his AppRadio 3 (SPH-DA110) using the 30-pin connector. On his iPhone 4 he uses either Navfree GPS or iGo Navigation which allows offline use of maps. Those apps allow users to download map data onto their devices and use them even without an internet connection.

By using his iPhone 4 for AppRadio Mode, Russell says he doesn't face the resizing issue that plagues iOS 8 at the moment. AppRadio Mode works almost flawlessly when using a 30-pin iPhone. You can even use the 'iPod' icon on the AppRadio for music, something you can't do when using a lightning connector iPhone.

Along with the iPhone 4, Russell connects his new iPhone 6 via Bluetooth to the AppRadio 3. With this he is able to stream music to the head unit and even receive or make phone calls without interrupting the iPhone 4 functionality.

Russell sent us the picture above showing us the working setup. Navfree GPS is a very potent maps application which is AppRadio Mode compatible. It uses Google StreetView and being able to use offline maps is a huge plus too.

Using Bluetooth to connect one device and a wired connection for another means you should be able to use an Android and iOS device together too.

Do you use two devices with your AppRadio? What do you think of this setup. If you have an old iPhone lying around it might be time to dust off the cobwebs and put it to use.

A note on CarPlay... With the new AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) or any of the Pioneer NEX receivers, you get to use Apple CarPlay. To use CarPlay you need a compatible iPhone running iOS 7 or later and a USB to lightning cable connected to the head unit. To use AppRadio Mode on those devices, you still need an HDMI cable and an Apple digital lightning AV adapter. But Pioneer has said you won't be able to switch between CarPlay and AppRadio Mode with the click of a button. Since two different connection interfaces are used, switching won't be easy.

Thanks to Russell Spellacy for sharing this information.


  1. This is an interesting approach as AppRadio 3 is probably not going to get much support going forward. What version of iOS is on the iPhone 4? (6 or 7?) Which model is it? (4 or 4s?) Has anyone tried this with a 30-pin iPod touch?

    1. I'm using an iPhone 4 running iOS 7

    2. Hi I'm using an iPhone 4 running iOS 7

    3. I just switched to this setup today. Bought a used 64GB 4s with iOS7 on it to dedicate to the AppRadio 3 and I have never been happier with my AppRadio. I use Personal Hotspot on the 4s to tether to my iPhone 5s via WiFi and all of my app radio mode apps work just like they did before. I highly recommend this to anyone who is tired of Pioneer's terrible support for iOS8 with the AR3. Now I can finally upgrade my 5s to iOS8 and it stays in my pocket when I get in the car instead of having to fuss with the cable every time I get in and out. I love it. Thanks Russell!!!

  2. That doesn't work on all, I have the AVH8600BT Model, and you cant use the bluetooth audio when an iPhone is dock to it.

    1. You can, you have to enable "App Sound Mixing" in the the settings

  3. I was hoping to use an old android phone for appradio apps and then use my iphone 6plus via carplay. Is this possible on the AVIC-F70?


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