Pioneer AppRadio: Indash iPhone coming soon!

Pioneer is releasing a new double din head unit that integrates your iPhone, just like the BMW Apps, called Pioneer AppRadio.  I have been waiting for something like this forever and even thought about trying to build something myself to market.  I thought that if anyone was going to do it, it would be Pioneer.

The unit is set to go on sale June 22, with a price tag around $500 or less.  Start saving! It has an 800 x 400 6.1-inch capacitive multitouch display that lets you hook up your iPhone or iPod Touch (I imagine iPad as well) via Bluetooth. Serveral popular apps will be available at the release  including Pandora, Rdio, and Google Maps.

We have heard that there is no built in CD player, but why would you need that when you have an iPod App with all your music.  It does however still have standard AM and FM radio. The device is firmware upgradeable so you will be able to get the latest updates and apps as soon as Pioneer releases them.

Please note that the above image is just a mockup and not the look of the actual unit. As soon as we get our hands on one we will have a full review up…

Here is the official press release:

Pioneers AppRadio Provides a Revolutionary Way to Use Apps in the Car

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 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. 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 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.

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 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.

[Pioneer]

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