Before today’s press event, the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are only available on the latest and higher grade cars. But with the announcement today, existing car owners will be able to enjoy these smart applications as well with just a single cable connection.
With a USB or a lightning cable, owners of these multimedia receivers will be able to access the functions of the Apple CarPlay or the Android Auto. Once connected with your smartphone, the receiver will auto-detect the type of operating system that your smartphone is on and will launch the apps immediately. The on-screen applications are dependent on what is available on the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
We managed to test out the Apple CarPlay version as the Android Auto is still not available in Singapore. The apps and navigation of the screen are big enough for all finger types to touch, so while you are driving, you should not face any issues in terms of selecting options on your screen. The touch sensitivity on the resistive touchscreen is however debatable. Personally, I prefer the capacitive touchscreen like the ones on our smartphones. It’s much smoother.
If you prefer a more native setup than the Apple CarPlay or the Android Auto, you can install Pioneer’s very own application called the AppRadioLive, which runs on your smartphone too. When connected, it will launch itself on your multimedia receivers. The interface is clean although the design looks somewhat dated.
The AppRadioLive supports Spotify and Waze. This means that you can access more than 30 million songs on the go and navigate with ease with Waze, a popular navigation app used by Singaporeans and Malaysians.
Playing media content on your multimedia receiver can be a chore if you do not know the type of codec that is compatible with your receiver. With the Z-series, you will be able to play WMV, Xvid, H.264, H.263 and MPEG-4 all in HD on the 1080p Full HD 24-bit True Colour display, directly from not just your flash drive but hard disk too!
The sound quality of music played on the Z-series is pleasing to the ears, thanks to Pioneer’s TAD professional audio division. All models have been specially tuned by the sound engineers to give users a great audio experience while driving. It also has a 13-band graphic equaliser, auto equaliser, auto time alignment, advanced sound retriever and 192kHz/24-bit FLAC file playback.
The Z-series will soon be available at Pioneer’s authorised dealers soon in Singapore. The price of the models starts from SGD649.
We will take a closer look at these models later.