Pioneer's AppRadio Plays Nice With Apple's iOS Line

Pioneer's AppRadio Plays Nice With Apple's iOS Line

The integration of car and technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and while we can't really understand why this didn't happen sooner, we're taking late over never given that we don't really have a choice. As SYNC and other in-car infotainment technologies continue to spread like wildfire, Pioneer isn't missing their chance to do something similar. The company has just revealed AppRadio, which is being called the first in-vehicle product designed to utilize the processing power, storage capacity, network connectivity and apps of the iPhone and iPod touch (4th generation) as the primary source for its information and entertainment capabilities.

This is a brilliant move. Rather than splintering an already-fragmented market, Pioneer is going after the product with the dominant market share: iPod. The App Radio itself has a capacitive touch panel (6.1"), built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling, and an input for optional vehicle-mounted back-up camera. It also supports apps, and integration with the iPod function across newer iOS devices. We suspect they won't have too much difficulty finding car owners who use iOS products...


The front of the unit features a clean and simple aesthetic with only three physical buttons; a home button, a volume up button and a volume down button combined with a high resolution WVGA (800 x 480) 6.1-inch capacitive touchscreen display. This capacitive touch panel requires less pressure, responds faster and can recognize multiple touch points simultaneously, advantages when compared to traditional resistive touchscreen displays. Touchscreen control is used for all functions including the app interface, iPod control/playback, AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth hands-free calling features. The Pioneer AppRadio application, available free in the App Store, enables access to the data and connectivity of the iPhone 4, providing users the ability to access Google Maps and stay current with recommended compatible third-party apps. Google Maps appears on the AppRadio screen with the same mapping information and features that consumers are familiar with. The system enables users to search2, route to locations, view route directions and create bookmarks with the ability to drop pins directly on the map.

AppRadio compatible apps are now available including INRIX, MotionX-GPS Drive, Rdio, and Pandora Radio, but we're hoping to see many more in the coming months. The radio itself will ship in June for under $500; not cheap, but hardly a drop in the bucket compared to factory-installed options from the dealership...
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