Pioneer Readies More Apps For AppRadio

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Long Beach, Calif. - Pioneer expects to expand the selection of third-party apps available for its AppRadio head unit before the year is out, marketing director Ted Cardenas said.

The apps have been submitted to Apple for approval, and Pioneer expects the apps to be available "sooner rather than later in the calendar year," he said.

AppRadio is a double-DIN AM/FM RDS head unit whose primary source of content is the iPhone. It began shipping in June, and Cardenas described sales so far as "good" and "meeting expectations."

At an everyday $399, AppRadio features a capacitive touchscreen that controls and displays iPhone-stored music, video, photos, contacts for use with hands-free Bluetooth calling, calendar items, and Google Maps local search results, which enables users to find a destination and view route-direction lists to those locations.

AppRadio was also launched with four third-party apps equipped with a Pioneer API to display their user interface and content on the head unit's 6.1-inch WVGA display.

By year's end, Pioneer will offer "considerably more than four apps" for use with its head unit, Cardenas said.

The current four are Pandora Internet Radio, the Motion X GPS Drive Cloud-based navigation service, Inrix's real-time traffic app, and Rdio, an on-demand music subscription service with social-network functions.

For Motion X and Google Map local search, AppRadio comes with an external GPS antenna whose embedded GPS receiver overrides the iPhone's GPS receiver to deliver more accurate location information. The antenna also turns the iPod Touch into a navigation device.

AppRadio displays iPhone-stored video, as well as video from YouTube and Netflix, but only when the parking brake is engaged.


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