Sunday, October 23, 2011

iPhone 4S and the Pioneer X930BT

I see where this blog is going. I've got this reliable car that I want to talk about, but it just doesn't do anything worth reporting, so it's all about the after market stereo. My iPhone 3, nearly obsoleted by Apple's bloated software updates, was replaced last week with a spanking new iPhone 4S.

The phone is sweet, of course, but does it solve any of the problems with integration with the Pioneer? Well yes, it does. It solves all the intermittent problems. For example, the Bluetooth connects properly every time, not just most of the time. The iPhone connects to the Pioneer via cable properly every time as well. So it basically removes all that intermittent crap that I kind of blamed on Pioneer. That said, I do read about problems with IOS5 upgrades on a standard iPhone 4.

It also highlights the design flaws with the iPhone integration, the biggest being there's no good way to leave it plugged in. Stall out your car at a a light? You'll need to go into the glove compartment, disconnect your iPhone, start your car, wait for the stupid warning screen to allow you to hit ok, plug your phone back in, and deposit it back in the glove compartment. Why? It's a lame feature that provides no safety upside in need of fixing. Put in some sort of delay for the iPhone or something. I could see buying an iPod nano or other such mini gadget and just leaving it in the glove compartment, if only this bug were fixed.

Others have reported music pausing using Pandora with the Pioneer. The fix is apparently to exit the app and go back in, a fix that might be app related rather than phone related. Since there's a simple fix and I haven't used Pandora in months, I didn't test that. There's also talk about how Siri works through the microphone and speaker, but you still need to be fiddling with the phone for that to happen. I would love a Siri button on future Pioneer units if this iPhone feature becomes a big part of future iPhone releases.

So yeah, iPhone 4S and the Pioneer is a winner.

From Pioneer:

Dear Pioneer Customers,
Certain models of our In-Dash Navigation AV Receivers that support playback and control of the Pandora™ internet radio and Aha Radio iPhone® applications are currently experiencing audio playback issues with these services. The issue occurs after installation of iOS 5 onto the user's iPhone®.
We are currently identifying the root source of this issue and working diligently to engineer a solution. We will post updates regarding this situation on our website, Please check back for the latest information.
The following models are affected: AVIC-Z130BT, AVIC-Z120BT*, AVIC-Z110BT**, AVIC-X930BT, AVIC-X920BT*.
No other Pioneer In-Dash DVD Receivers or CD Receivers that support playback and control of the Pandora Radio iPhone application are affected by this issue.
*With CNSD-210FM map upgrade installed.
**With CNSD-110FM (Pandora Radio support only) or CNSD-210FM map upgrade installed.

Dear Pioneer Customers,

Pandora version 3.1.15 was released November 4, 2011. This update resolves the iOS5 audio playback issues described in our October 14 post. We are still working with Aha™ Radio to determine a solution.

Thank you!

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