Things are beginning to get a little hectic in our digital lives. We yearn to stay connected with technology anywhere we go. Wether it’s in the car, at work, or even walking through the city. This week at CES we’ve seen large advancements in the in-vehicle audio sector. With systems like Pioneer’s AppRadio 2 becoming of a necessity in our vehicles, how long until we’re able to hack around with open source and begin creating our own in-vehicle applications?
Pioneer Electronics one of the leaders in aftermarket car electronics technology, today unveiled AppRadio™ 2, its newest smartphone powered in-vehicle audio system. Guided by its “rethinking connectivity” philosophy and the experience gained from the development of the first AppRadio platform, Pioneer’s new AppRadio 2 contains all the features of the original AppRadio, while expanding compatibility to now include many of the latest Android smartphones equipped with either the Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) or a micro HDMI connection. This expansion means the AppRadio 2 supports both of the most popular smartphone platforms and provides a solution for integrating these devices safely and easily into the vehicle. The AppRadio 2’s capacitive touchscreen is a larger 7-inch size, but like the original, enables control of supported functions using similar touch and motion gestures of the connected smartphone device. For safety and convenience, AppRadio 2 features built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling, an input for an optional vehicle-mounted rear facing back-up camera, an input for interfacing with the vehicle’s steering wheel controls and two sets of pre-amp outputs for connection to external amplifiers.
“Since the first generation AppRadio was introduced last year, consumers have been quick to recognize and embrace the power and potential of this product. However many consumers requested compatibility and support for additional devices,” said Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. “By expanding AppRadio 2’s compatibility, we are able to provide even more drivers a convenient and safer way to integrate their smartphone and their apps into their vehicles. Additionally, this expansion will accelerate the growth of available AppRadio compatible apps, as many developers support both smartphone platforms as well.”
Pioneer’s AppRadio 2 features a clean and simple aesthetic with minimal physical buttons, as the majority of the functions and controls are operated via the high resolution WVGA (800 x 480) 7-inch capacitive touchscreen. This capacitive touch panel is used for all functions including the app interface, music control/playback, AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth hands-free calling features.
AppRadio 2 includes all of the built-in functions of the original AppRadio as well as smartphone integration through the use of the free Pioneer AppRadio application and compatible third-party apps. The Pioneer AppRadio application enables access to the data and connectivity of the connected smartphone and compatible third-party apps.
As with the original AppRadio, the AppRadio 2 features a built-in AM/FM tuner with RDS text information display (when available) and full control/playback of music stored on the connected smartphone device. 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.
Pioneer’s AppRadio 2 will be available in April with a suggested retail price of $499. The original AppRadio model will also continue to be available at a suggested retail price of $399.