Apple CarPlay has now reached Singapore’s shores. At a media launch today, Pioneer announced that they will be bringing Apple CarPlay to Singapore in their aftermarket in-dash car multimedia receivers, AVH-X8650BT and AVHX8750BT. Locals will have the option to install Apple CarPlay into their vehicles, to access great features like Siri and Apple Maps.
Pioneer is the first brand to bring in Apple CarPlay in the form of an aftermarket console (to be installed into your car after purchase) to Singapore. It was first introduced in the US last year, and has since been made available in other countries like Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and India.
If you are an iPhone user (iPhone 5 or later), Apple CarPlay will integrate your iPhone usage into your car infotainment system. By simply connecting your iOS device via USB, you will be able to access several Apple functions such as messages, music, or Apple Maps. Through Siri, you will also be able to make and receive calls and compose and send text messages through voice commands. This will ensure a hands-free driving experience, so you can forget about fumbling with your phone at traffic lights to reply to messages.
Apple CarPlay will be able to access Apple Maps to help with navigation as you drive, though the functionality of Apple Maps compared to other options like Google Maps or Waze is still a bit questionable. Siri will also be able to give you recommendations for restaurants, or answer pressing questions you may have while on the road.
Singaporeans will have the option to change its language to English (Singapore), which has been made more attune to the Singaporean accent. This will make it easier for Siri to pick up voice commands, and can be accessed by simply saying “Hey Siri”, or tapping on the home button on the 7-inch screen. As with Siri on the Apple devices, the microphone that comes with it best picks up voice commands while windows are kept up, since it doesn’t work as well with too much background noise.
“Pioneer’s years of expertise integrating smartphone connectivity into the automotive environment has provided us the opportunity to be among the first to offer Apple CarPlay to drivers,” said Mr Isao Nomura, Deputy General Manager for Business Planning and Marketing Division of Pioneer Electronics AsiaCentre. “By providing an aftermarket option, selected Pioneer’s in-dash multimedia receivers give many iPhone owners in Singapore the ability to add Apple CarPlay to their current vehicles.”
CarPlay has been available since March 2015. If you have already gotten the AVH-X8650BT, a firmware update is necessary, and you can access this through the Pioneer website free-of-charge. Pioneer’s 2015 car multimedia receiver product range will be sold with Apple CarPlay pre-installed.
Pioneer’s car multimedia receiver features a touch screen that allows you to navigate available features. It also has bluetooth capability, a USB drive, and a CD and DVD drive. The AVH-X8750BT Multimedia Receiver with Apple CarPlay is retailing for S$1,099, and is now available through authorised Pioneer dealers in Singapore.
If you’re an Android user, don’t fret. Pioneer shares that Google has a similar product available, though it is not available in Singapore as of yet.