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Apple CarPlay hits UK motors with Pioneer retrofit

Halfords is now selling the UK’s first CarPlay solution for vehicles not factory-fitted with the Apple tech.

The Pioneer SPH-DA120 gives drivers the opportunity to access CarPlay without having to fork out for a brand new luxury motor – Ferrari and Mercedes are both on board with the Apple scheme.

Craig Matley, product manager at Halfords, reckons the Pioneer is ‘a landmark product’.

Pioneer and Apple have achieved something really special with the SPH-DA120 and we are thrilled that it is making its debut with Halfords this week,” says Matley.

“Not only does it make Apple CarPlay available to mass-market at an affordable price but we believe it will attract a younger audience and reignite interest in the in-car audio market.”

So what does CarPlay actually do? In short, it’s a vehicle-friendly interface for your smartphone.

It comes with Siri built-in, which means you’ll be able to make and respond to calls, listen to voicemails, dictate your texts, and plan out a journey via Maps too.

Other features including iTunes access (read: music and audiobooks), as well as CarPlay-enabled third party apps like Spotify.

Once you’ve installed a Pioneer unit in your car, you’re free to plug in an iPhone and load up CarPlay.

It should, theoretically, be able to replace your GPS navigator, your radio, and your hands-free system all in one fell tech-laden swoop.

The device is also good for Android phones too, with MirrorLink offering up access to Google-powered smartphones via the dashboard.

The Pioneer is set to retail at 325 Halfords stores across the UK and Ireland, and will mark up at £349.99.

Check out the launch video below:

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Read more: Apple iPhone 6 Plus review

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