Pioneer Expands AppRadio SKUs, Taps Android - Twice

Pioneer Expands AppRadio SKUs, Taps Android

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LAS VEGAS —

Pioneer’s car electronics division expanded AppRadio technology to more head units to turn an iPhone 4 or 4S into an in-dash radio’s main source of content.

The company also extended AppRadio functionality in its new AppRadio2 head unit to turn select Android smartphones, not just iPhones, into a vehicle’s main source of content.

In mid-2011, Pioneer launched its first AppRadio head unit, a $399-suggested double-DIN AM/FM/RDSreceiver with 6.1-inch capacitive touchscreen but no CD mechanism. The head unit controls and displays a USBconnected iPhone’s stored music, video, photos, contacts and calendar items when a Pioneer AppRadio app is installed on the phone. The head unit also delivers handsfree Bluetooth calling, displays Google Maps local search results, and displays the user interface and content of 12 third-party iPhone apps equipped with a Pioneer API. Additional compatible apps are planned.

AppRadio continues in the line but will be joined in April by the $499-suggested AppRadio2, which will offer AppRadio functionality not just for the iPhone 4 and 4S but also for the growing number of Android smartphones equipped with a Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) port or HDMI Micro port. Android-based AppRadio apps are in development for availability when AppRadio2 ships, Pioneer said.

AppRadio2 features 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, AM/FM/RDS tuner and no CD mechanism.

To extend AppRadio’s connected-iPhone functionality to head units with CD/DVD players, Pioneer developed Advanced App Mode in two in-dash A/V-navigation systems and one A/V-receiver.

The nav systems are the AVIC-X940BT and AVICZ140BH, which will be available in April for suggested prices of $800 and $1,200, respectively. The latter features built-in HD Radio.

Out of five new A/V receivers, the flagship features advanced App Mode. That model is the $650-suggested AVH-P8400BH.

In other smartphone-connectivity advances, Pioneer expanded App Mode to all new single-DIN CD receivers and all new A/V receivers, letting users listen to an iPhone’s streaming music apps through the car stereo system. The apps must be controlled from the iPhone, however.

Pioneer also adopted Bluetooth Serial Port Profile (SPP) for the first time, offering it in both of the new nav systems to enable audio playback and head-unit control of Pandora Internet radio and Aha Radio running on select Android phones.

The company is offering its first head unit, the flagship AVH-P8400BH A/V receiver, with the ability to let users select songs stored on a USB-connected Android smartphone by title, artist, genre and other filters.

In other developments in its 2012 head-unit line, Pioneer expanded built-in HD Radio to eight head units from three in 2011 and launched a sound-quality-focused highend single-CD receiver and a matching full range class-D amplifiers.

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