Pioneer has just released its second generation of Networked Entertainment eXperience (NEX) receivers. The previous models were among the first to feature Apple CarPlay, and the new ones improve the features offered in the older models while also adding support for Android Auto.
In total, Pioneer's 2015 NEX line features five different models. Of the five, three offer support for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto while the remaining two only support Apple's automotive technology.
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Android Auto is designed to let users connect their smartphone to a receiver and use it in a way that's meant for driving. This means there's quick access to navigation, music, and communication. It incorporates voice control, which makes it safer to use while driving. Android Auto support is only available on smartphones running Android 5.0 (Lollipop), so older devices will be left out of these features.
For Apple CarPlay, the Siri experience is brought into the car, allowing users to issue voice commands to control their receiver. Like Android Auto, users can control navigation, listen to music, send text messages, makes calls, and more.
The other notable feature, which is available on all five models, is called AppRadio Mode. This allows users to control supported apps directly on the large touchscreen of the receiver, instead of on their phone. Unfortunately, this feature isn't wireless, and requires the purchase of an additional cable for Android and iPhone users.
The three models supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android auto are available in a range of prices, with higher end models adding built-in navigation, more power, and other features. There's the AVIC-8100NEX, which will set buyers back US$1,400, then the AVIC-7100NEX that costs $1,200, and the entry-level AVH-4100NEX, which is $700. For the CarPlay only models, there's the $900 AVIC-6100NEX, and the $750 AVIC-5100NEX. All models are available now from Pioneer authorized retailers.