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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Ford To Announce Partnership With Google To Build Self-Driving Cars? [CES 2016]

CES 2016 is only about two weeks away and there is plenty of buzz going around. None bigger than this Yahoo Autos news story - Ford and Google will pair up to build self-driving cars and the announcement will be made official at the January 2016 event.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Don't Forget To Update Your Pioneer Head Unit Bluetooth Software [How-To]

Updating the firmware for Pioneer NEX and AppRadio 4 head units is a two-part process this time. Last week Pioneer released firmware updates for these devices via their website and in the instructions it is clearly mentioned that along with updating the firmware on your device, the Bluetooth software also needs to be updated.

So how do you correctly go about updating the Bluetooth software on your head unit? Read along for more details.

AppRadio Mode Compatible App Speedometa Is Now Available For Download

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a sneak preview about an upcoming AppRadio Mode compatible app, Speedometa. The app is a handy tool that displays your current speed on your dashboard.

The latest version of Speedometa that supports AppRadio Mode was awaiting approval from Apple and that day has finally arrived. The update is now available for download from the App Store. Here are some more details on the app, in case you missed it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Question: Can You Use An SD Card To Update Your Pioneer NEX Firmware?

Pioneer released a firmware update for its NEX head units and AppRadio 4 last week. As always, they have included update instructions with each firmware file. All files are available on Pioneer's website.

This time, however, Pioneer's instructions indicate you should update using the USB 1 port on the back of your head unit via a USB flash drive with a capacity of 2GB or higher. There's no mention on whether you can alternatively use an SD card like in previous updates.

So, can you use an SD card to update the firmware?

Monday, December 21, 2015

EC Touch For AppRadio Brings Offline Maps And Turn-By-Turn Navigation

A major update for the popular Pioneer AppRadio Mode compatible app EC Touch has been released today. The new version 5.0 brings a couple of nice features to the dashboard - Offline Maps and Turn-By-Turn Navigation.

Additional details are after the break...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Firmware Update Available For Pioneer AppRadio 4 And NEX Head Units

Pioneer Electronics has released firmware updates for its most popular head units - AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) and NEX receivers. The updates are available for download from Pioneer's website.

More details are below the break.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Deezer Music Is Back On Apple CarPlay After Latest Update

Deezer Music, a music streaming app, recently dropped Apple CarPlay compatibility for no known reason. The app was CarPlay compatible for a couple of months before an update removed the app from CarPlay. 

But the latest app update has brought back Deezer to the car dashboard.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Speedometa Will Soon Tell You Your Speed In Pioneer AppRadio Mode [Sneak Peek]

Pioneer AppRadio Mode users may want to read this. There is an iOS app called Speedometa which is currently available in the App Store. It is a simple speedometer app that tells you your speed using your iPhone's GPS capability.

The interesting part is, the app developer is adding AppRadio Mode compatibility to the app. Here is a screenshot and other features that are coming soon to Speedometa...

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

CarPlay Gets The 9-Inch Treatment Thanks To The 2016 Volvo XC90 [Pictures + Video]

A while ago, Apple updated CarPlay functionality by adding support for larger and multiple screen resolutions. But, so far we've seen most aftermarket and OEM CarPlay systems only come in screen sizes at or less than 7 inches.

There was an aftermarket system that surfaced a few months back called iCarTech VX8 that offers an 8-inch display for CarPlay. For OEM systems, CarPlay is getting the 9-inch treatment thanks to the 2016 Volvo XC90.

Check out these images and video below...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What To Expect From The Next Generation AppRadio [CES 2016]

In a little over a month from now, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016) will kick off in Las Vegas, Nevada. The annually held event will bring leading tech companies together to showcase upcoming products.

CES has also hosted car tech companies and aftermarket product manufacturers like Pioneer, Alpine and Kenwood. In fact, devices like the AppRadios, NEX head units etc. were announced at CES. The event in past years has brought CarPlay and Android Auto head to head too.

Pioneer's last installment of the AppRadio was the SPH-DA120 or AppRadio 4 which was announced and launched in October 2014. Which means, if there is another iteration of the device, it is already overdue. It could also mean, CES 2016 may be the appropriate stage to make the announcement.

So what should we expect from the next generation AppRadio or AppRadio 5 or maybe the third-generation NEX head units? Let me speculate...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Here's Another Reason Why Google Maps Wins Over Apple Maps [Opinion]

I could probably name tens of reasons why you should be using Google Maps over Apple Maps for your navigational needs. That list of reasons sometimes shrinks when Apple adds new features to its Maps app. But they are always catching up to Google Maps in my opinion.

And just recently, Google added another killer feature to Maps which distanced itself further from Apple Maps. The new feature is offline navigation.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Get The Best Black Friday Deals For Connected Car Products On Amazon

You don't always have to fall in line for hours at a store to get the best Black Friday deals anymore. Competitive holiday pricing can be found right from the comfort of your couch at online retailers like Amazon.

Now, Amazon has a dedicated page for 'Connected Car' accessories which includes deep discounts which last till Black Friday. Check it out by clicking here.

Amazon also has its annual Black Friday Deals Week going on. New products go on sale every hour till Black Friday. Check those deals out here.

Kia's First Android Auto And Apple CarPlay Vehicle Is The 2016 Optima

The 2016 Optima is Kia's first car to come equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The two softwares give drivers the best and safest way to use their smartphone in the vehicle.

Both, Android Auto and CarPlay, have slowly rolled out to car manufacturers in the last few months. Kia's integration includes a large 8-inch touchscreen and various other features. Details are below...

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Give Yourself The Apple CarPlay Treatment This Holiday Season With The Pioneer AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120)

If you've been waiting to get on the Apple CarPlay bandwagon, you've waited long enough. It's time you took the leap and came to the bright side.

The least expensive option to bring CarPlay to the car you already own is via the Pioneer AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120). And the lowest prices this holiday season can be found on Amazon.

Here are the latest prices and affiliate links to purchase from Amazon...

Most listings offer Amazon Prime Free Two-Day Shipping. Sales Tax may be added in certain states.

The AppRadio 4 offers a multitude of features in addition to CarPlay. You should read my full review of the device by clicking this link.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Automaker Hopping - Autonomous Car Expert Goes From Mercedes To Apple To VW

Car experts are the hottest commodity these days. We've heard multiple news stories about these experts being poached by companies in the recent past. Apple has been notorious for doing so to build-up its Project Titan team.

This time, Apple has lost a piece of its puzzle. After working for the Cupertino company for a year, autonomous car expert Johann Jungwirth, has been snatched up by troubled automaker Volkswagen.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Microsoft To Take On Apple's Project Titan By Collaborating With Volvo

The autonomous car space just added another potential competitor. Along with Google and Tesla, Apple's biggest competition for its upcoming Project Titan could be Microsoft.

Swedish automaker Volvo, announced in a press release that it is partnering with Microsoft to develop the next generation automotive. Check out these concept images and videos which give a fair idea on what to expect from the collaboration in the coming years...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Why The Apple Watch Is The Best Thing To Happen To CarPlay [Opinion]

Let me say this right off the bat... if you use Apple CarPlay in your car, go get an Apple Watch for an even better CarPlay experience.

Allow me to explain in depth what I mean. I am really excited to get this out, because what I've found over the last couple of weeks since getting an Apple Watch is awesome!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Ford Begins Strategizing For The Arrival Of The Apple Car

Seems like Ford is gearing up for competition from tech giants like Apple and Google in the car business. The company has recently restructured management to plan ahead on how to work with tech companies for a healthy coexistence.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

First Generation Pioneer AppRadio Cable Available For $15 [Deals]

The first generation Pioneer AppRadio (SPH-DA01/SPH-DA02) may be a few years old but a lot of people still use the device. A common problem with the head unit is damage to the iPhone cable.

Whether it is fraying or damage to the 30-pin connector, a taped up cable can be a sight for sore eyes. Getting a replacement through Pioneer is quite expensive (sometimes almost $100).

Finding a cable on sites like eBay is not always easy. But here's where you can get the cable for a limited time...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Google Self-Driving Car Gets Pulled Over By Cop, Check Out What Happens Next...

Driverless cars will be upon us before we know it.

Companies like Google have been putting their autonomous car to the test on public roads for quite few months now. If you drive around Mountain View, Calif., don't be surprised to see one of these funny looking vehicles crawling around the neighborhoods.

But 'crawling' became a problem for one of the vehicles recently when it got pulled over by a cop for driving too slow. When the cop showed up at the driver-side window, there was no driver to ticket. So what happened?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Apple Updates CarPlay Site With Subtly Different Pictures And Info

I'm not sure how long ago these changes were made, but Apple has added some updated pictures to its CarPlay site. The new pictures are slightly different from the preexisting ones but the changes are included to show new features in CarPlay.

There's also some new info available. Take a look at these before and after pictures...

Friday, November 6, 2015

New Interface Update Breaks Waze For Pioneer AppRadio Mode Users

I've been inundated with tweets and emails from AppRadio users complaining about the latest Waze app update. The app was updated on October 18 for iOS users with a redesigned interface. What the app description doesn't mention is that the update has made the app unusable in AppRadio Mode.

Here's what's going on...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

YouTube Comes To CarPlay Via VOX Music Player [Screenshots]

For those of you who've wondered whether YouTube would ever be available in CarPlay, here is the answer... Yes, YouTube has finally arrived in CarPlay, but not in the way you are probably thinking.

VOX Music Player became one of the latest third-party apps to add CarPlay support few days back. And the latest update to the app, version 1.1.1, has added YouTube as a content source. Read along for more details and screenshots...

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pioneer Updates AppRadioLIVE App With Dash Radio Support

Pioneer Electronics has released an update for its AppRadioLIVE app for iOS today. The new version 1.3.0 has added support for Dash Radio, a music streaming app that is also CarPlay compatible. AppRadioLIVE also gives you access to Rdio Free.

AppRadioLIVE is the main compatible app for Pioneer's latest AppRadio One, which allows AppRadio Mode with select head units using a single cable instead of clunky adapters.

Here are the details of the latest update and some screenshots...

Keep Track Of The Latest Third-Party Apps In Android Auto The Right Way [How To]

Over the last few weeks there have been plenty of new third-party apps added to Android Auto for use in your car while driving. Android Auto, like CarPlay, allows you to use smartphone apps in a compatible car or aftermarket head unit. Dedicated in-car interfaces (for most apps) ensures safety and undistracted driving.

But how to you keep up with which apps are added to Android Auto or CarPlay. Well, CarPlay is a little difficult as Apple doesn't include an "Apps for CarPlay" section in iTunes. Google, on the other hand, has an "Apps for Android Auto" section in the Google Play Store.

The list cannot be accessed directly from Google Play though. This is how to get to that app list from your Android smartphone.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

8 New Messaging, Podcast, News, And Music Apps Added To Android Auto

If you've been trying to keep up with third-party app additions to CarPlay and Android Auto over the last few weeks, it's been hectic. While CarPlay added quite a few apps, all were of the music/audio streaming variety. Android Auto, on the other hand, has added apps for messaging, podcasting, news, and music.

Apps added to Android Auto include DoggCatcher Podcast Player, 7digital Music Store, MDPlayer, OverDrive, Radio Paradise, OnChatt, KSL News, and Nextplus. Here is a roundup...

Monday, November 2, 2015

Two More Local Radio Stations Added To CarPlay - 94.9 The Vibe & NASH FM 93.1

A total of three local radio stations have been added to CarPlay in the last few days. Following 1700 The Champ, which I wrote about moments ago, two other stations join the list - 94.9 The Vibe & NASH FM 93.1.

Here are some additional details and CarPlay screenshots.

KBGG 1700 The Champ - Another Local Radio Station Arrives On CarPlay

For the longest time CarPlay users have complained about not being able to listen to terrestrial radio stations while using the in-car software. There is a workaround for it these days, however. But there's a big catch. Your favorite local radio station needs to have an iOS app that's CarPlay-compatible.

If KBGG 1700 The Champ, a local AM radio station out of Des Moines, Iowa, is one of your favorite stations for news, talk shows and sports, fire up CarPlay and get set. CarPlay screenshots below.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Slacker Radio On Apple CarPlay Is An Instant Hit! [Opinion]

To be honest, I never used Slacker Radio until a couple of days ago. The only reason why I even downloaded the app onto my iPhone was because of the newly added Apple CarPlay-compatibiltiy.

So I set out to test Slacker and to see how it worked in CarPlay. Here's what I've found so far.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Pangu 9 Jailbreak Tool Finally Available For Mac OS X Users

Exactly two weeks after Pangu released an iOS 9 jailbreak tool for Windows users, a Mac version has arrived. iPhone users can now download and use the Pangu 9 tool to jailbreak their devices running iOS 9, 9.0.1 and 9.0.2 using their Mac.

But Apple just released iOS 9.1 earlier this week. If you're wondering whether the tool works for iOS 9.1, keep reading.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Slacker Radio Adds Apple CarPlay Support In Latest Update [Screenshots]

The list of Apple CarPlay-compatible third-party apps has been steadily increasing, especially in the last few weeks. And there has been a new addition to the CarPlay family just yesterday. The app in focus is Slacker Radio.

For those of you who haven't heard of Slacker Radio, take a look below the break for more details. I have also included a few CarPlay screenshots.

'Hey Siri' Works Without Being Connected To Power On iPhone 6s

Apple has packed a lot of new features in their latest iPhones. A lot of the features were demoed during the keynote last month but obviously all the new featured could not be covered. With time, many new bits of information regarding the capabilities of the new iPhones are coming to light.

We also know that iOS 9 has added marked improvements to Siri. Apple's latest mobile OS was released earlier this month. One Siri feature, however, is exclusive to the newer iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pandora Radio - CarPlay Vs. Android Auto Vs. Pioneer NEX - UI Comparison [Pictures]

Pandora Radio has been one of the few apps that is compatible with various platforms. Even before Apple CarPlay and Android Auto existed, Pandora was available in car dashboards through multiple aftermarket head unit interfaces and car infotainment systems.

So I thought it would be interesting to see what Pandora looks like on three different platforms I have access to - Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Pioneer NEX. Take a look below and see the differences...

Monday, October 26, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Cars Come With Air-Conditioning For Your Smartphone [Video]

Sometimes you come across car features that make you scratch your head. Chevrolet is offering air-conditioning in it's 2016 car models, but not for the cabin alone. A special vent for cooling your smartphone is included in the vehicle's center console.

The following car models come equipped with 'Active Phone Cooling' technology...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ferrari Thinks Apple Won't Make A Car Themselves, Might Outsource It

Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne sat down for an interview with CNBC earlier this week. He made some interesting comments about Apple's upcoming Project Titan to CNBC's David Faber. When asked whether he thinks Apple will make a car, this is what Marchionne had to say...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Several Third-Party Apps Add Apple CarPlay Compatibility

In a wave, a bevy of third-party applications have added Apple CarPlay compatibility over the last couple of weeks. All apps are audio-related while some are for international users.

Here is a complete list with a short description on each application...

Apple CarPlay To Make Its OEM Debut In India Via The Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Apple makes its presence felt in almost every country across the world via the iPhone. But all the fancy iOS features are not always available in each country. CarPlay is one of them.

Until now, CarPlay was not available as an OEM feature in India, for example. But that's about to change in a few days. Japanese automaker Suzuki along with India's own Maruti, together called Maruti Suzuki, will include CarPlay in its upcoming Baleno, which is scheduled for launch on October 26.

Friday, October 23, 2015

This Is How Apple CarPlay Works On The Kenwood DDX9702S [Video]

Kenwood became the latest aftermarket manufacturer to offer Apple CarPlay a few months back with the introduction of two new receivers - DDX9902S and DDX9702S. The devices follow Pioneer's relatively long list of head units and the Alpine iLX-007 in offering CarPlay for the car you already own.

So how does CarPlay work on the Kenwood head units? Check out this video from Five Star Car Stereo which shows a CarPlay demo on the Kenwood DDX9702S...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tesla Cars Go Handsfree With Latest Over-The-Air Update

Tesla Motors released a groundbreaking over-the-air update last week. Along with a couple of nice visual enhancements, Tesla has added an Autopilot mode for owners of the Model S and Model X.

These are some of the new features in the latest software update version 7.0...

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Get Apple CarPlay & Android Auto With The Pioneer AVH-4100NEX [Low Price Update]

If you're looking for the best user experience in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you should get the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX head unit for your car. The device is my personal favorite and has a lot going for it in terms of features and the attractive price point.

You get both of the latest in-car softwares in the same device for a price that's almost $200 lower than the suggested retail price of $700. Here is the latest and lowest price from Amazon...

Lowest Price on Amazon: $529.94

Includes FREE shipping with Amazon Prime. No sales tax in most states. Prices and conditions change frequently, so use the affiliate link above to purchase and bring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the car you already own. Compatible smartphone required.

You can also read my in-depth review of the head unit by clicking here.

Pioneer Bringing Spotify Integration To Dashboard Head Units

Spotify is one of the popular music streaming services available at the moment. The service is available on various platforms like iOS, Android, Chromecast and also as a web player for your computer.

Using its smartphone integration technology, Pioneer Electronics is now bringing Spotify to your car's dashboard via one of their 2016 DVD receivers. This is different from CarPlay and Android Auto, which also integrates Spotify.

Here are some extra details.

Apple Music Has 6.5 Million Paying Customers Says Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced the number of subscribers to its premium music streaming service, Apple Music. Cook was speaking to an audience at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live conference.

The number? 6.5 million Apple Music paying customers.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

[BREAKING] Pioneer Announces 9 New DVD Receivers For Your Car

Pioneer Electronics' 2016 lineup of DVD receivers are here!

The aftermarket manufacturer introduced 9 new receivers in a press release today. The new models are packed with features including the new Spotify integration and Pandora presets, which is a first for dashboard head units.

More details and additional pictures are below.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Deezer Music Disappears From Apple CarPlay

Following the latest Deezer Music update for iOS, the app has disappeared from Apple CarPlay. Deezer Music was one of the latest third-party music streaming apps to add CarPlay compatibility. The app was added to CarPlay sometime in August.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Undecided About Jailbreaking Your iPhone? This May Help You Decide... [Opinion]

With every jailbreak for iOS that gets released, there's the same million dollar question - should you jailbreak your iPhone? There are many ways to argue for and against jailbreaking. For some, jailbreaking their device has been the only way to go, while there are many others who may be scared to do so.

Whatever your reason for jailbreaking or not, here's a look at some of the good and bad things about 'breaking the shackles' off of your iPhone.

The Pangu jailbreak for iOS 9 was released a couple of days ago, and to be honest, although I am excited about it I still haven't jailbroken my device yet. The reason? Check out this easy-to-read list/FAQs I've come up with about jailbreaking. My reason for not jailbreaking my phone yet is the first one...

Friday, October 16, 2015

Give A Rapturous Apple CarPlay Welcome To Pandora Radio!

Apple CarPlay has gained another music streaming app. In what may be the biggest addition to its repertoire yet, Pandora Radio is now CarPlay compatible.

Here's a quick look at what Pandora looks and works like in CarPlay. I have included a few screenshots and also an Android Auto screenshot for comparison.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

How To Detach The Faceplate On Your Pioneer AVH-4100NEX [How-To]

Pioneer's entry level Android Auto and Apple CarPlay head unit, AVH-4100NEX, is the best option available at the moment, in my opinion. The device is priced very well, better than the competition, and has robust features that will make the car you own a pleasure to drive, all over again.

The AVH-4100NEX is packed with features, including a couple of very nice anti-theft features that will help keep your device safe. One of those features is the ability to password-protect the head unit. The other feature is the removable faceplate, which you can keep in a safe place when not in use.

Detaching the faceplate on the AVH-4100NEX is easy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pangu Releases iOS 9 Untethered Jailbreak, Get Cracking! [Jailbreak]

When it comes to iOS jailbreaks these days, there are two major teams in the race to release a viable version - Pangu and TaiG. With iOS 9 being released just about two weeks ago, everyone's been waiting for a jailbreak since, including myself.

This time it's the Pangu team that has won the race to a successful untethered jailbreak for iOS 9. The last known untethered jailbreak was available for iOS 8.3 and was released by TaiG.

Here are the latest details about Pangu 9 for iOS 9 to iOS 9.0.2.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How To Flash Android 6.0 Marshmallow On Google Nexus 5, 6, 7 and 9 [Video]

Google released the latest iteration of its mobile operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow, last week. By 'released' I mean making stock images of Marshmallow available for manual download from the developer site. Over-the-air (OTA) updates directly to your devices have been promised but aren't available yet.

After waiting a week for the OTA update for my Nexus 5, I decided to install it manually. I followed this step-by-step instructional video from TechnoBuffalo to flash my device...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Marshmallow Installed, It's Time To Test Out Android Auto

After waiting for a week for the over-the-air Android 6.0 Marshmallow update for my Google Nexus 5, I decided to install the update manually. Flashing the factory image onto my phone took a little bit of time but I was able to do it successfully.