Pioneer plans to introduce in June the AppRadio, an in-vehicle product designed to utilize the processing power, storage capacity, network connectivity and apps of the iPhone and iPod touch as the primary source for its information and entertainment capabilities.
The device features a 6.1-inch touchscreen (800 x 480) that enables control of most functions using similar touch and motion gestures as many of today?s most popular smartphones. For safety and convenience, AppRadio features built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and an input for an optional vehicle mounted rear facing back-up camera.
The front of the unit features just three physical buttons; a home button, a volume up button and a volume down button combined with the 6.1-inch touchscreen display. Touchscreen control is used for all functions including the app interface, iPod control/playback, AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth hands-free calling features.
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. 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 search, 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.
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.
AppRadio also comes 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. 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 adapter 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 $500.
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/.