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Alpine: Two Can Play At CarPlay

Torrance, Calif. — Alpine shipped its first in-dash receiver equipped with Apple CarPlay, joining select aftermarket CarPlay-enabled head units from Pioneer.

The $800-suggested iLX-007, which is dedicated for use with iPhones, controls iPhones via a 7-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen and via Siri voice commands.

The double-DIN mech-less receiver features a shallow, 3-inch-deep chassis for greater installation flexibility.

CarPlay equires the use of an Apple 5, 5s or 5c or later iPhone, a Lightning-to-USB cable, and the latest version of iOS. Once the iPhone is plugged into the head unit, CarPlay’s graphical user interface automatically launches to let drivers make and receive calls, use Apple Maps for navigation, select stored music and podcasts, and control select streaming music services, including iTunes Radio. Audio, audible driving directions and phone calls are reproduced through the vehicle’s speakers

Users can also use Siri to control these functions by voice. Siri voice control can also be used to compose text messages and read back text messages.

CarPlay also lets users control Spotify and iHeartRadio, and Apple has promised CarPlay will support more streaming apps.

Apple has also promised that automakers will offer OEM CarPlay, but so far, only the Ferrari FF features it.

Alpine’s head unit also features three 2-volt preouts, aux input, MediaXpander technology to improve the sound quality of compressed music, input for rear-view camera, and compatibility with the Alpine TuneIt 2.0 app to customize response to specific vehicles.

The app lets users adjust sound settings such as time correction, parametric EQ and crossovers for their specific vehicle or select settings from a database. Users then upload the settings to the iLX-007.

Earlier this month, Pioneer released CarPlay firmware updates for four NEX series navigation receivers from $749 to $1,399 and for an NEX series DVD-receiver at $699. Those models shipped earlier in the year. The company also released its mech-less $599 AppRadio 4 with CarPlay installed.

Clarion has also revealed plans to offer aftermarket CarPlay but hasn’t released a schedule.