You want to play music from your iPhone when you’re in the car. You want to control everything from the in-dash head unit. Rarely do these two pieces of hardware work together in harmony. Pioneer’s AppRadio might just change that.
Eseentially, the AppRadio head unit lends it’s 800×480, 6.1-inch capacitive touch panel, custom UI and audio amplification powers to the iPhone, which becomes the brains of the stereo system. You can access music apps and stream audio, make calls, play songs from your library, or access your favourite GPS app. You don’t have to reach for your phone or use a crappy FM transmitter. And hopefully, this means the days of accessing your iPhone music via janky manufacturer UIs are over. HOPEFULLY.
AppRadio requires developers to include Pioneer’s APIs in their apps, which formats the apps for safety and allows the Pioneer app to access them). Pioneer is currently working with Google Maps, MotionX, Rdio and Pandora to make those services compatible.
App radio comes with a GPS antenna and external microphone, and has the connections necessary for a rear-view camera. It will arrive in US stores in June for around $US500. Meanwhile, if you’re really juiced about the app itself, it should be available in the next couple of days.
PIONEER’S APPRADIO PROVIDES A REVOLUTIONARY WAY TO USE APPS IN THE CAR
SAN FRANCISCO (May 25, 2011) – Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., the leader in aftermarket car electronics technology, today unveiled its latest innovation, the game-changing AppRadio™. Drawing upon Pioneer’s technology integration expertise and following its “Rethinking Connectivity” strategy, AppRadio is the first in-vehicle product designed to utilise 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. Pioneer’s AppRadio also features the industry’s first capacitive touchscreen that enables control of most functions using similar touch and motion gestures as many of today’s most popular smartphones, but in a larger 6.1-inch screen designed specifically for safer in-vehicle operation. For safety and convenience, AppRadio features built-in Bluetooth¹ for hands-free calling and an input for an optional vehicle mounted rear facing back-up camera.
“Pioneer is rethinking connectivity by tapping into the power of the smartphone, while simultaneously providing a solution that safely merges the consumer’s connected lifestyle into the vehicle,” said Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “AppRadio fully embraces the iPhone, which has become the window to our mobile connectivity and provides a comprehensive and safer way to use apps in the car.”
The power of AppRadio comes from the ability to simply and easily update its software, similar to many of today’s most powerful mobile devices. 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 recognise 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.
Pioneer Centric Apps
When connected to an iPhone and iPod touch (4th generation) with the Pioneer AppRadio application and compatible third-party apps, the full potential of the AppRadio is unleashed, bringing an ever-expanding world of convenience and connectivity directly into the dash. 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.
Pioneer has initially partnered with several app providers to integrate AppRadio compatibility into a few of today’s most popular apps, formatted specifically for safe use and access in the vehicle. AppRadio compatible apps are now available including INRIX, MotionX-GPS Drive, Rdio, and Pandora Radio.
With the vehicle parked and the parking brake fully engaged, additional apps featuring second screen video output can be viewed on the AppRadio screen.
Access to the Future
As the library of AppRadio compatible applications grows, users will be automatically notified via Pioneer’s AppRadio iPhone application, with a link to the respective app(s) page within the App Store. Additionally, the AppRadio software itself is updatable offering the potential for future hardware, software and app compatibility changes.
Music and Communication
AppRadio continues Pioneer’s strong audio heritage, with a built-in AM/FM tuner with RDS text information display (when available) and full iPod audio control/playback. 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. This promotes a safer driving experience, as all of AppRadio’s controls have been designed specifically for in-vehicle operation. This newly developed interface technology supports iPhone 4 and iPod touch (4th generation) running iOS 4.2 or later. In addition, AppRadio enables direct access to the latest iPod functions, such as custom playlists and Genius Mixes, which let users automatically create playlists of music with similarities from their music library.
Safe, in-vehicle phone functionality is simple with built-in Bluetooth, enabling hands-free cellular phone operation using the car’s speakers and the included external microphone to turn the car into a rolling speakerphone. Access to the user’s phonebook is provided via Bluetooth phonebook transfer, with browsing and searching available by touchscreen controls.
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 adaptor and an external amplifier via one set of preamp outputs.
Pioneer’s AppRadio will be available in late June with a suggested retail price below $US500.
The Pioneer AppRadio App is available now from the App Store for the iPhone 4 and iPod touch (4th generation) or at www.apple.com/itunes/.
Pioneer’s Car Electronics Division is known for offering the kind of in-car products that make driving more enjoyable by offering high quality audio and video, seamless connectivity and ease-of-use. Its focus is on the development of new digital technologies including audio video, navigation and emerging media, while maintaining its strong heritage in products for car audio enthusiasts and sound competitors.
Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., and its U.S. Web address is www.pioneerelectronics.com. Its parent company, Pioneer Corporation, is a leader in optical disc technology and a preeminent manufacturer of high-performance audio, video and computer equipment for the home, car and business markets. The company focuses on three core business domains including home electronics, car electronics, and Digital Network Entertainment™.