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AppRadio 4 with CarPlay just announced - finally...

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Yet another reason not to buy now:




If wireless CarPlay becomes a reality, we'll see if Pioneer can update the AP4 for it or will require another iteration (AP5) to make it works.



Wireless CarPlay would be the ultimate dream for short commute.

Thanks for the good news. I'll hold off upgrading my app radio 3 until wireless car play is supported in App Radio 4 or 5

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Thanks for the good news. I'll hold off upgrading my app radio 3 until wireless car play is supported in App Radio 4 or 5

What is not very clear is about which protocol it will use. If it is Bluetooth, there is hope for the AP4. If wifi, this model is doomed. But I do know if Bluetooth will offer enough bandwidth to some functions such as maps.

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  • 2 months later...

Here I am... 


I have ordered an AP4 from BestBuy.ca when it came in rebate last week at $499 CAD. Not an amazing price, but not too bad.


I received it today, and installed it in the car. So far, I'm not so much impressed with it... CarPlay works fine, but there is so little app supported, even logical apps such as Audible or Downcast, that I'm really wondering if it is worth the price I paid for it. Even if I can sell my AppRadio 2 for a decent $200-250 (maybe more? not sure).


The remaining of the unit is still a bit confusing to use. For instance, the AP2-3 were very easy to setup the clock. This new unit seam to have a different way of doing it, and I have not figure it out yet! And the manual is muted about it.


Bluetooth streaming works relatively fine, while a bit confusing to navigate. But that is a constant with the product, navigation is kinda mixed between so many different modes, that it takes time to understand what will bring us where.


I will keep it for a few more days, test it further, and if I do not see much improvement in my experience, BestBuy have a good return policy.  :shock:


I'm even wondering if my AppRadio 2 paired with an Apple Watch won't be a better experience. 


Edit: iOS 8.3 is out, and like expected, the AP4 does not seam to have a firmware that is capable is doing wireless CarPlay, at least, I have not found any mention of it anywhere...

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Firmware isn't going to help as it doesn't have a wifi chip on board.


I kinda agree though. I think the AR5 is going to be a better solution. I bet they go back to 7" and integrate Android Auto. These things are becoming like Apple gear where you have to sell and buy the latest version every couple of years!

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Yea, sure, I was implying firmware/hardware.


The thing is that I looked and searched everywhere and could not really find any information on how the wireless CarPlay should work. Some sites do not talk about it at all, and some are guessing it may be over Bluetooth, maybe wifi, but nothing is really sure.


Basically it will appear one day probably, but no one have any clue on how it will be implemented. We may have to wait for a first vendor to implement it and reverse engineering the method!

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I am finally not going to keep it. It is cool, better than my current App Radio 2, but not $500+sales taxes better... even if I recoup the sale of the AR2. 


Like expressed before by another user, Pioneer are very poor in interface design. Many functions are unintuitive. Just the phone functions are confusing. If connected to the unit with the USB cable, you go into the CarPlay phone menu, if via Bluetooth you get an interface that is totally different. 


There is many ways of seeing what's playing, and they all have different interfaces.


On my AppRadio 2, I have a Best Station Mode (BSM) button to select the best stations in the area I am automatically. This one, 2 generations later, is not even capable of having a better interface to select radio stations... 


Basically, maybe there is for $500 of hardware in there, but certainly not $500 of interface and design!

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I've found this thread on Apple web site:




One member received a note from Alpine (he/she have the Alpine iLX-007) which point to the release notes from Apple for iOS 8.3:



We understand that Apple releases beta software to developers for the purpose of testing possible features for future software or hardware.  Sometimes these features make it into official releases while other times, they may not.


Below is the link to the iOS 8.3 release notes and at this time there is still no mention of wireless Car Play.




We can assure you that Alpine and Apple have a strong relationship and will continue to work together to release products that create a great iPhone experience in the car.


So maybe Apple aded the wireless CarPlay features to a pre-release of 8.3 for the developers to test it, but may have pulled the feature from official release. Like said on the forums over there, maybe Apple plans it for 9.0 or another release that will be available later on in the 8.x updates. 


That said, nothing it really clear as if it will be over Bluetooth or Wifi. But if Alpine really have a "strong relationship with Apple" and their Airplay iLX-007 unit is only having Wifi, there maybe a reason for this choice. 


To be continued... :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Wireless CarPlay – Will not work with ANY latest Pioneer head unit as it requires a wifi module inside the head unit which currently no aftermarket headunits have apart from one - Alpine iLX-700/iLX-007


The new wireless CarPlay feature enables users to hold down the voice control button in their car to begin the pairing process automatically.



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Since Apple’s introduction of CarPlay into vehicles and aftermarket stereos, the only way to get your  Apple device talking to your CarPlay enabled in-car stereo system is to plug it in using the bundled (or an official) USB lightning cable.

This is all well and good, and it is an ideal solution should you wish to power your iPhone whilst it is in use with the CarPlay system, however being able to jump into your vehicle and have your CarPlay system automatically connect without the need to plug it in would be a dreamy experience.

This is where a wireless solution would be most welcome, and thankfully, Apple would like to cut the cord too, as they plan on bringing wireless connectivity to new CarPlay enabled vehicles and aftermarket systems.

So what do we know about Apple’s Wireless CarPlay? Is it coming soon? What will we be able to do? And what stereos are going to support it? Let’s look at what we know so far.

When is Wireless CarPlay Coming?

The short answer to this is – very soon! Apple developers saw the inclusion of Wireless CarPlay in a Beta release of their iOS software 8.3. However, with the public release of this update Apple decided to swiftly remove this feature.

So why would they do that? Well, the chances are that there isn’t any systems that support Wireless CarPlay, just yet. Apple is no doubt waiting until a manufacturer or an aftermarket system to support Wireless CarPlay before they will be shouting from the rooftops about this new feature.

With the release of iOS 8.4 coming fairly soon, and Apple’s developer conference – WWDC – dated for early June, I am sure we will hear more about Wireless CarPlay very soon. Right now it seems, though, that we’re waiting more for hardware support before Apple rolls this feature out to the world. They may even keep it back as a bullet-point feature for iOS 9, which will release publically much later in the year, and will give more manufacturers enough time to support the new connectivity standard. But let’s hope not!




Will My Current CarPlay Stereo Support Wireless CarPlay?

Sadly, like all new technologies and early adopters, it is very likely that your current system won’t support Wireless CarPlay. It really depends on how Apple’s devices will talk wirelessly to the in-car stereo system. We have low-power Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wavebands available on the iPhone, and with many current in-car systems supporting only Bluetooth, these stereos may support Wireless CarPlay via a simple firmware update…

I wouldn’t cross your fingers just yet however; there is increasing chatter that Wi-Fi will be the only way to wireless connect Apple’s devices to CarPlay systems. So that rules out any current CarPlay systems, apart from one…

Aftermarket units, such as the Alpine iLX-700/iLX-007 has a Wi-Fi chipset spotted inside its hardware, and it could be the only Wireless CarPlay compatible system selling today. Sadly, there has been no such functionality announced for Alpine’s CarPlay compatible system, apart from a small mention in the back of the owners manual. Even Alpine has been very quite/coy in replying to anyone asking about said feature on Twitter.




Pioneer has been more vocal about their current line-up of stereo systems. Both at consumer tech shows and on social media, Pioneer have stated that their lack of Wi-Fi in their current models will mean all their current line-up will not support Wireless CarPlay. Further confirming that Wi-Fi is the preferred method for Wireless CarPlay.

“When asked, Pioneer stated that the current crop of NEX models will not be supporting the new wireless CarPlay functionality debuted in iOS version 8.3, due to their lack of the necessary Wi-Fi hardware.†[Source 15th April 2015]




So we can safely confirm that Wi-Fi is going to be the main method for wirelessly connecting Apple devices to CarPlay, with many WLAN (Wireless networking) and Bluetooth chips being created by chipset manufacturers, specifically for use in road vehicles.


So How Will Wireless CarPlay Work?

No one really knows – but we can have a good guess! Wireless CarPlay will simply enable everything you do with current Apple CarPlay systems, but without the need to connect a USB lightning cable between your Apple iPhone and the CarPlay enabled device.

So the vision here is that you will be able to jump into your vehicle and once started, and paired to your device, your Apple device will wirelessly connect to a Wi-Fi chip located inside the stereo, just like how Bluetooth does currently, and you’ll have immediate access to CarPlay enabled apps directly on your CarPlay stereo without the need to pull your phone out of your pocket or bag.

Whether this experience will be that seamless is still unknown. Apple might make a switch on its control centre to connect to CarPlay instead of locking up your device whenever it gets near to a CarPlay enabled stereo. But, knowing Apple, the user experience will in the end feel seamless. Or at least that what I’d hope!


Hold Tight, Wireless It’s Coming!

There is no further news on Wireless CarPlay since its disappearance in the iOS 8.3 public release. It’s all hear-say and rumour for now, with many in the industry staying tight-lipped on the whole subject.

I bet Apple wished they never mentioned it in their iOS 8.3 release notes. But because they did, it meams that Wireless CarPlay is coming very soon, and it seems the waiting game is in the hands of the hardware manufactures rather than Apple itself.

Let’s just hope in the next few months we will be more wiser on how Wireless CarPlay will function and what vehicles and aftermarket stereos will support it. I for one cannot wait!

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