Pioneer has launched its AppRadio in-car stereo, which aims to bring iOS goodness – and apps – to your auto audio system.
The Pioneer AppRadio features an “industry’s first” WVGA (800 x 480) 6.1in capacitive touchscreen that lets you control most functions using similar touch and motion gestures familiar from smartphones and tablets. As well as the touchscreen, there are three physical buttons: Home, Volume Up and Volume Down. The touchscreen interface is used for all functions including app control, iPod control/playback, AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth hands-free calling features. You can connect you iPhone or iPod touch (4th generation) using the AppRadio app, now available in the App Store, enabling access to the data and connectivity of the iPhone 4, "providing users the ability to access to applications such as Google Maps." On the AppRadio screen, Google Maps will enable users to search, route to locations, view route directions and create bookmarks with the ability to drop pins directly on the map.
Other apps which have been optimised to work with the new Pioneer radio include Rdio and Pandora Radio. Other apps and functionality will become available once the car comes to a stop including the ability to use the 6.1in display as a secondary video screen. Pioneer employs Apple’s iPod Out feature enabling the AppRadio system to display the familiar iPod navigation menu, displaying album art, song title and artist. The AppRadio includes a 30-pin connector, external GPS antenna, external microphone for hands-free calling and input/output connections to support the addition of an optional rear view camera, wired remote steering wheel control adapter and an external amplifier via one set of preamp outputs.
With in-car stereos becoming more and more sophisticated, using apps like this was always going to be inevitable, however the more intricate the stereos become there is always going to be a danger they will take attention from the road and cause traffic accidents. The Pioneer AppRadio is launching next month in the United States and will cost “less than $500” according to Pioneer. We are waiting to hear about a European release date and pricing.