Caleb Denison, writing for Digital Trends:
I’ve never been so excited to ride in a minivan.
The black Toyota Sienna outside my hotel lobby in downtown San Francisco is, admittedly, not a hot car. But the ride isn’t why I’m here – it’s what’s inside that I’m after. This unassuming family hauler is sporting Pioneer’s top-of-the-line AVIC-8000NEX in-dash receiver – the first armed with Apple’s CarPlay.
Previously, getting CarPlay in your car has meant, well, getting a new car. And not a cheap one. Right now, the system only appears in select new models from Ferrari, Mercedes and Volvo. Apple does have deals in place with giant automakers like GM, Ford, Honda and Toyota, but it will take some time before it actually appears in cars from those companies. That means if you want CarPlay today, you’re buying from Pioneer or Alpine, the first two companies to offer CarPlay baked into aftermarket decks.
I’m surprised but thrilled that Apple (and more specifically the car manufacturers it partnered with) decided to allow aftermarket CarPlay solutions. I will definitely be looking into these units when they become widely available. Hopefully all of my car’s steering wheel controls will still be usable.