Long Beach, Calif. – Pioneer has begun offering a firmware update that adds AppRadio Mode functionality to seven currently available touchscreen-equipped multimedia head units.
In a significant change, however, the update enables Apple and Android phones to connect to the head units via a simpler one-cable USB connection rather than through multiple cables. AppRadio functionality also no longer requires a connection to a back-panel HDMI port.
Now that AppRadio capability requires a single-cable connection, Pioneer is renaming the technology AppRadio One.
Heads with AppRadio Mode and AppRadio One display the GUI and video of newer iPhones and many Android phones while also controlling such key iPhone and Android phone functions as media playback, contacts, calendar, and select compatible downloadable apps such as navigation, real-time traffic, on-demand music services, and the like. One of the compatible apps is Pioneer’s own AppRadioLIVE app, which aggregates content from music sites, events, traffic, weather and news sources to deliver content without requiring users to open seprate apps.
The firmware upgrade is available for the AVH-X5700BHS (at a suggested $480), AVH-X4700BS ($430), AVH-X3700BHS ($380), AVH-X2700BS ($330), AVH-X1700S ($280), AVH-X7700BT ($500), and AVH-X6700DVD ($450).
The firmware upgrade also delivers compatibility with iDatalink Maestro OEM-integration modules, which enable consumers to retain the functions of factory infotainment systems such as OnStar, Ford Sync, and Chrysler uConnect as well as retain the functionality of factory steering-wheel controls, Bluetooth and SiriusXM tuners.
With a Maestro module, users can also access factory features directly from the aftermarket heads’ touchscreen displays, and the aftermarket heads can project information onto factory displays, the company said.
The AppRadio One and iDataLink Maestro firmware updates are available for download at www.pioneerelectronics.com/firmware.