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Monday, September 21, 2015

Pioneer Updates AppRadio App To Address Pop-Up Alerts Issue In iOS 9

Pioneer has released an update to the iOS version of its AppRadio app this morning. The latest version 8.9 includes fixes for iOS 8.4 and iOS 9.

There are a couple of fixes included in the update. The most important one being getting rid of the annoying app launch pop-up alerts which had made AppRadio Mode nearly unusable in iOS 9. Take a look below for full details on whether Pioneer has managed to completely fix the issue.

I posted about the current problems AppRadio Mode was facing in iOS 9 just yesterday. One of the big issues was pop-up alerts asking you for permission to load apps on your iPhone from the head unit. Every app that is AppRadio compatible required permission to start up.

In version 8.9, the AppRadio app has added a notice to set iOS 9 permissions for each app.

AppRadio (version 8.9) - App Store description

- Includes fixes for iOS 8.4 and iOS 9
- Added a notice to set iOS 9 required launch permissions for your compatible apps. Please do this while parked, hitting accept on the phone for each app you use.
- Some audio sources will no longer stop playing when accessing this app on your AppRadio One compatible Pioneer product.

Please check if your product firmware corresponds to the update made available on your local Pioneer website.

Link to download: AppRadio (version 8.9) from the App Store.

Initial Impressions of Version 8.9

I downloaded the update earlier today and tried it out with AppRadio Mode on the AVH-4100NEX. Here are my detailed findings...

1. Initial bootup: When you first connect your iPhone to the AppRadio Mode-enabled head unit, you will still see the initial pop-up alert asking you to 'Allow' the AppRadio app to communicate with the Pioneer AV Receiver. That pop-up looks like this and appears on your iPhone...

2. The first pop-up always appears: That first pop-up always appears each time you connect your iPhone to the head unit and try to launch AppRadio Mode. But once you've clicked 'Allow' on your iPhone, it won't show up again until you disconnect your iPhone. Therefore, it is advisable to grant this initial permission before you start driving.

3. Permissions: This is the new change in version 8.9. Once you hit 'Allow' on the initial pop-up alert, you will see another alert asking you to accept launching of AppRadio Mode compatible apps on your iPhone. This alert appears only once if you tap OK...

Concurrently, you will see a similar pop-up on your head unit. This is what it looks like...

You might also see a message on the head unit when first launching AppRadio Mode that tells you about granting permissions to compatible apps and why you need to do this while parked. Safety information is also mentioned. I saw that message briefly but it disappeared before I could click a picture.

4. Grant permissions for every compatible app before you start driving: Pioneer's app description says this too. After you launch AppRadio Mode, you will need to launch every single AppRadio Mode compatible app from your head unit. This will display a pop-up alert for each app asking you to allow launch. You have to tap OK just once for each app.

After the respective app launches, hit the home button in AppRadio Mode to go back to the AppRadio Mode homescreen. This action will display another pop-up asking you whether to allow the compatible app to launch the AppRadio app. You will again need to tap OK just once to grant permission.

These individual app launch alert pop-ups look like this...

These alerts appear on your iPhone only and just once. So it is advisable to do this step while parked, before you start driving.

5. NO MORE POP-UPS! Once you've granted permission for the AppRadio app to launch each compatible third-party application and vice versa, you won't see those pop-ups any more. Not only for the duration of your trip or AppRadio Mode session but for good. Until you delete and reinstall the AppRadio app on your iPhone of course.

Here are some scenarios I tested to see if the pop-ups came back...
A. Force quit each app: Force quitting each app on the iPhone by double-clicking the home button and swiping the app away, did not affect the permissions. The pop-ups did not reappear when trying to launch those apps again from the head unit.
B. Restart the iPhone: Even restarting the iPhone did not bring back the pop-up alerts.
C. Restarting the head unit: Still good!
D. Changing Smartphone Setup Settings: Changing the connection type on the Pioneer head unit through settings did not affect permissions either. I switched to USB 1 for CarPlay and USB 2 for Android Auto and went back to HDMI/Digital AV Adapter for AppRadio Mode but the pop-up alerts still did not reappear.
Seems like Pioneer has fixed the pop-up alert issue in iOS 9 for now by releasing the version 8.9 update. It is only the initial alert that is still present and continues to be a little disruptive. But it only appears at when starting AppRadio Mode the first time you turn on the car.

All this may sound confusing at the moment but go ahead and install the latest version of the AppRadio app. After granting permissions for each app and clicking through the alerts for the first time, you will notice the difference. AppRadio Mode in iOS 9 is usable again.

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