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Pioneer Launches iOS In-Car Stereo

David Gilbert


Pioneer AppRadio

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.

Pioneer AppRadio

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.

Source: Pioneer


May 26, 2011, 8:26 pm

I actually think the idea of a touchscreen UI is really bad for a car radio. You need to be able to operate the most familiar functions of a car radio without the need to look at it at all, and this comes from the physical feel of the thing.

Also, from an ergonomic point of view, touchscreens in cars just don't work. On a handheld device, you can hold the device so that the angle between the screen and your hands is optimally comfortable. In a car, you invariably end up bending your wrist back and straining the tendons on the back of your hand, which is neither comfortable, nor particularly good for you.


May 26, 2011, 10:53 pm

Putting my cynical hat on for a moment, "less than $500" clearly means $499, which translates to £499 in rip-off Britain. We'll see.

@Bluepork: Agreed, touchscreens are far from ideal for the in-car application, but this is still an intriguing idea. It could be similar to the Parrot Asteroid, but hopefully done properly.


May 27, 2011, 2:04 pm

I like!,

I don't agree with touchscreen UI really bad for car radio. It seems to work fine for all those Sat Nav's out there. I'd rather have a few simple touchscreen controls than lots of knobs that make the radio looks like a control panel out of a Boeing 747. Generally your not having to touch the radio that often to have dedicated buttons for everything. Eg. in my car it's a very simple radio, but yet it has dedicated buttons for BAS/FADE/TA/TUNE etc etc, buttons I very rarely need. In fact the volume is all I use as I have my iPhone for music.

I think the main thing is that the interface needs to be car friendly, nice big clear glyphs & descriptions etc. With the screen been 6.1 inch I can't see why that won't be feasible.

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