Pioneer Carplay – What’s the delay?

Still waiting for the Pioneer Carplay update.
Still waiting for the Pioneer Carplay update.

Pioneer’s got some angry Carplay fans right now

Estimated read time: 1 minute 48 seconds.  Want to read later?

Update 10/2/14 – it’s been released.  Check it out here.

Reading through Pioneer’s facebook page, it’s quite apparent there are a lot of angry customers out there wondering if and when this Carplay software release is ever going to happen.

Who can blame them?  Looking at Pioneer’s website, there have not been any updates or changes to their Carplay description which clearly states an expected firmware update to be released by Summer 2014.  With the end of Summer quickly approaching, customers are becoming fed up and wondering if this feature is ever going to be released.

As an industry insider, I can sympathize with both frustrated customer and the manufacturer, who presumably has run into delays and is operating at the mercy of Apple.  Regardless, I strongly believe Pioneer should say something – anything – just at least acknowledge the delay and reassure customers the release is on its way.  However, legally, they may actually be unable to do so.  At this point Apple may be controlling the show.

Any company who works with Apple (and wants to legally bare the Apple badge on their product) has to undergo Apple Certification which can be a long and lengthy process.  If Apple is going to allow you to use their logo, they want to be certain your product holds up to the same kind of quality and standards as their own.

A few weeks ago, I spoke to a source close to Pioneer regarding Carplay.  They were pretty sure the Carplay firmware update would make the Summer 2014 deadline and assured me that Pioneer was doing everything they could to make it happen.  They informed me that Pioneer had flown in engineers from their corporate headquarters in Japan, and that they were diligently working side by side with Apple 7 days a week to try and meet that deadline.

Today I was told that after extensive product testing, Pioneer is all done on their end and are simply waiting for Apple to give the okay.  It is rumored that Apple may be waiting until the release of their iPhone 6 which is scheduled to go on sale September 19th – which is still technically Summer 2014.

Aside from Carplay, Pioneer fans have also been waiting for a firmware release to integrate iDatalink Maestro capabilities.  When pressed for an update on iDatalink Maestro integration, I learned this update was sort of placed on the back burner until all the Carplay bugs were worked out and the firmware was released.

Pioneer and Apple fans alike will just have to hang in there a little bit longer – hopefully, not too much longer.

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  1. I have the original Pioneer AppRadio. This was the worst consumer electronics product I’ve ever owned. It crashed a lot and showed the Blue Screen of Death as it went down. As you might guess, Pioneer is running Windows CE as their operating system. Pioneer is negligent in their support. They release products before they’re thoroughly tested. I’ll never own another Pioneer product of any kind, EVER.

    With Pioneer’s reputation around previous products I can’t imagine why anyone would put up with these guys. Just read the reviews of the AppRadio app at

    The Amazon reviews at the link below may give you an idea of what you’re in for with their products. Get the Alpine iLX-007. It works at least.

    • Hi Athonia,
      I’m with you on all previous versions of the App Radio (1, 2 and 3), but the 4th has a lot to offer and frankly – feature for feature – it has more to offer than Alpine’s iLX-007.

      And Amazon users agree – read the latest reviews. The App Radio 4 has much better reviews than the previous models.

      Keep in mind, I don’t sell the SPH-DA120 as an App Radio in my shop. I show people what you can do with it and I also show them how quirky and sporadic the “App Radio Mode” is for both Android and Apple (which doesn’t work at all with IOS8). From a CarPlay perspective, the Pioneer models SPH-DA120 and AVH-4000NEX have a bit more to offer over Alpine’s iLX-007. People like the Bluetooth feature (not everyone wants to connect their phone to use it/play music from it) and people like having the option to connect an iPod to the USB. These two features are usually a pretty big selling point over Alpine.

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