Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto have revolutionized the connected car and smartphone world, making complete phone integration into your car easier than ever. With CarPlay and Android Auto becoming a standard feature in many 2016 vehicles, you can turn your vehicle into a connected car by simply plugging in the phone you already own.
While this is a great feature for people purchasing a new car, most people with a 2015 or older car would not be able to take advantage of this technology with their existing factory stereos. Thankfully, there are some very good aftermarket solutions for those wanting these features for a price that costs much less then a down payment on a new car.
Get Connected with Pioneer
Pioneer, one of the first in the market to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in their stereos, has taken this infotainment technology one step further with seamless integration into their head units. By simply plugging in an iPhone or Android based phone (or now wirelessly), the stereo automatically detects and opens software which in turn takes over the car’s display, making it possible to use your phone as navigation, access contacts, multimedia and other data stored on the smartphone through the touchscreen display in your car.
To help you choose which Pioneer head unit is the best for you, scroll down to see which features of the following head units fit what you are looking for:
I want to keep the factory steering wheel controls for my stereo.
For the majority of the vehicles on the road today, there are simple additional plug-in harnesses available so you can retain all of the functionality of your steering wheel audio controls. The entire line of Pioneer NEX units offer this feature, to find out how easy it is to install read here.
I want to keep the factory back up camera on my car.
Much like the optional steering wheel control plug in harnesses there are also plenty of additional harnesses you can get that will let you retain your factory back up camera setup. Pioneer head units feature this an option so you can retain or upgrade your car with a back up camera even if it didn’t come with one. All of the NEX head units offer this feature, for more details on installing a backup camera read here.
I need a stereo that lets me use both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For those that need the flexiability to either use an Android or and iPhone, Pioneer offers units that can use both CarPlay and Android Auto. Check out the AVH-4200NEX, AVIC-7200NEX or the AVIC-8200NEX. For wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto look into the AVH-W4400NEX and AVIC-W8400NEX.
I can change the headlights on my car but with all those wires it seems like it’ll be complicated to install.
For the DIY crowd, car stereo installs are pretty simple nowadays with the wide availability of dash kits and wiring harnesses making it as simple as plug and play. In many cases the most time consuming part will be removing the dash to take out the factory stereo. Watch us install a AVH-4200NEX in only 30 minutes here.
For those that don’t have the time, you can always take it to a professional installer with pricing starting around $200 depending on your car and accessories you want installed.
I don’t want to use up my phone’s data plan for navigation.
If you don’t want to use your data plan for navigation or are in an area with poor cell phone reception Pioneer has head units that have built-in navigation with over 7.9 million points of interest and 3D mapping that allows realistic views of terrain, buildings, and landmarks in select areas. The AVIC-5200NEX, AVIC-7200NEX and AVIC-8200NEX all have GPS navigation included with the head unit.