Setting up Pioneer AppRadio with Nexus 5

Non model specific

  1. RogerH69
    Difficulty Level:
    Pioneer AppRadio with Nexus 5
    (and other non-supported Android devices)

    - NOTE - This REQUIRES your phone to be rooted. If your phone is not rooted and you are not willing / comfortable to root your phone, then this will NOT work, and you will need to get a phone that AppRadio officially supports, and you will be limited to the apps that AppRadio officially supports.

    This guide is specific to my Nexus 5, but should work on most Android phones (and other Android devices) with the only real difference being the cables needed to connect the device to the head unit in your vehicle.

    Please follow my Android stick guide for the info on installation of all the apps, rooting, AppRadio info etc. and return here when you're ready to connect the Nexus 5 to the head unit in your vehicle.

    Connection diagram
    The diagram below is an extract from the installation manual for an SPH-DA210, showing how the head unit should be connected to the Android device.

    Depending on the Android device and head unit you are planning on using, you may need the Pioneer CD-AH200 MHL/HDMI Android Phone connectivity set and it should contain all you need to connect the head unit to an Android Device that has the standard MHL compatible Micro USB port connection, as well as those that also have mini HDMI connections. For SlimPort compatible devices, you would need to get a SlimPort adaptor in place of the MHL adaptor.

    If your device has an HDMI port or a mini HDMI port, then you will not need an MHL or SlimPort adaptor.

    Note that the diagram below shows that most of the cables are sold separately. The SPH-DA110 however, includes most of the cables below (best to check the installation manual for the device you have to determine which cables you need). Also, as I am using a Nexus 5, I will substitute a SlimPort adaptor in place of the MHL Adaptor, but all other connections are the same as shown below.


    Connecting your Nexus 5 to your head unit

    The cables you will need to connect your Android device to your head unit will depend on the head unit and Android device you are using, but most of the Pioneer AppRadio head units and Android devices will have the same connections / ports as in this guide.
    1. Turn your ignition to the accessory position, so Pioneer head unit gets power
    2. On the head unit, ensure that that App Connection Settings is set to Others. How and where to do this may depend on your unit, but on the SPH-DA110, it's done as follows -
      1. If anything is connected to head unit with HDMI, disconnect it
      2. On the head unit, tap the phone icon, and then tap the gear icon on the bottom right
      3. Tap Connection when the Bluetooth connection menu appears.
      4. Tap the trash can next to any devices listed there and tap Yes to delete when prompted
      5. Exit out of the Bluetooth settings and phone menus, back to the main screen
      6. On head unit, scroll to right and tap Off (to change the input to none)
      7. Click Home button and then tap Settings
      8. Locate App Connection Settings and tap it to confirm it is set to Others, or tap it again to change it to Others
      9. Exit Settings and go back to left most screen on head unit (with Radio and Apps icons on it)
    3. Connect your Micro USB charger cable to the USB cable from the head unit, and connect the other end to the SlimPort / MHL adaptor 5v power input
    4. Connect the HDMI cable from the head unit into the SlimPort MHL / adaptor
    5. On your Nexus 5, enable Bluetooth, and search for and pair with the Pioneer AppRadio head unit
    6. Once the Nexus 5 and the head unit are paired, launch ARU
    7. Accept any prompts, and ensure that you grant super user access to ARU when prompted (if you are not prompted for super user access, check you have SuperSU or SuperUser apps installed and try again, or check within SuperSU or SuperUser apps if you previously granted super user access to ARU)
    8. The icon for AppRadio in the notification tray should show as Ready to connect. If it does not, but you ARE paired, then try to disable Bluetooth on the Android stick, wait for acoupel of seconds, and enable Bluetooth on the Android stick again - it should auto connect to the paired AppRadio device, and AppRadio should change to Ready to connect)
    9. Wait for the AppRadio icon to change colour and show as Connected (this can take a few seconds, so just wait). If it refuses to connect, then check -
      1. Nexus 5 is rooted
      2. SuperUser / SuperSU apps are installed
      3. Nexus 5 is paired and connected to head unit (look on head unit as well to confirm it is connected - location depends on head unit, but on the DA110, tap the phone icon on top right of home screen)
    10. Connect the SlimPort /MHL adaptor to your Nexus 5 and wait for a few seconds for Appradio to load properly
    11. The first time you connect, AppRadio will probably go through a calibration procedure. It will show some circles on the head unit screen. Tap the middle of these circles to calibrate the display.
    12. Once you are done with calibration, you should be able to control the Nexus 5 with the head unit.
    13. If the screen on the head unit does not change, but the 'Apps' shortcut on the head unit shows a green Android, then tap it to go into AppRadio mode.
    14. That’s it - you're done
    If you have any issues, I will TRY and help, but I can’t promise anything. Your best bet for assistance is to goto the XDA Developers forum for ARU.

    Video below shows screen recording of Nexus 5 during setup and initial connection to head unit -

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  1. Chunkylover53
    Brilliant, came here from XDA :)
    1. RogerH69
      Author's Response
      Yeah, the developer of ARUnchained used the guide I wrote here as the basis of his documentation :-)