Dallas - Alpine will expand Pandora control to most of its head units in 2011, the company said here during the MERA Knowledgefest.
Early this year, the company launched its first such head unit, the CD-less $349 iDA-X305S's
The controls of the head unit emulate the controls of iPhone's Pandora app, and the product's 2.2-inch display shows Pandora-supplied album art and song metadata. The head unit connects to the iPhone via included cable that plugs into the iPhone's multi-pin connector, enabling the head unit to receive Pandora music from the iPhone, send control signals to the iPhone's Pandora app, and charge the phone.
Controlling the Pandora app through the iDA-X305S's controls is more convenient and safer than the alternative, which is to connect the iPhone to a head unit's 3.5mm audio-input jack and use the iPhone's touchscreen to control the app while driving, Alpine contends. The head unit will also help consumers comply with laws prohibiting cellphone use while driving.
To control the Pandora app from the head unit, consumers must install a free downloadable app, which is available from Apple's iTune store.
The iDA-X305S features AM/FM tuner, 4x18-watt amp, USB input, and inputs to connect a satellite-radio tuner, HD Radio tuner, and Imprint acoustical-tuning processor.