Pioneer has been slowly adding iPhone
app integration to its line of AVIC all-in-one receivers for the last two generations. First came PandoraLink, then Aha Radio and Motion-X GPS Drive in the latest generation. Today, Pioneer announced at an event in San Francisco that it's taking smartphone app integration to the next level with AppRadio: a standalone in-dash receiver that uses the iPhone and its apps as the primary source of for its audio and connectivity.
In a nutshell, AppRadio acts as a terminal, allowing users to interact with the apps and media stored on their smartphones, particularly Apple's iPhone 4 and iPod Touch
devices. Pioneer has announced initial partnerships with four app developers: Motion-X GPS Drive, Rdio streaming music, Pandora Internet Radio, and Inrix Traffic. Users interact with these apps using AppRadio's capacitive touch screen (an industry first for an in-dash unit) via custom car
-centric interfaces that are aimed at keeping the driver safe and distraction-free. For example, users can start navigation using Motion-X GPS Drive and then have the turn-by-turn directions mirrored on AppRadio's screen with spoken prompts coming through the car's speakers. Feature sets for some apps may also be culled to keep the driver from getting to focused on the touch screen--for example, station creation has been omitted from Pandora and search is disabled in Rdio.