Pioneer announced today the AppRadio. The Pioneer AppRadio is the first in-vehicle device designed to leverage the Apple 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 Bluetooth for hands-free calling and an input for an optional vehicle mounted rear facing back-up camera.
The front of the Pioneer AppRadio features a clean and simple interface 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.
When connected to an Apple iPhone and iPod touch 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 iTunes 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. 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. Pioneer sees the functionality of the AppRadio growing with time as more apps become available.
The Pioneer AppRadio is an interesting concept and should be a hit amongst car tuners that are also Apple fans. Pioneer’s AppRadio will be available in late June with a suggested retail price below $500. The AppRadio app is already available for download in iTunes.