This week Pioneer launched AppRadio. The in-dash unit connects with and uses the processing power, storage capacity, and network connectivity of your iPhone or iPod touch. Once connected, the 6.1-inch screen can be used to listen to tunes stored on your phone or streamed from Pandora and rdio, used to help you get to your next destination and, when parked, allows you to view your calender and look at photos or videos.
I got a chance to check out AppRadio this afternoon. The music interface is pretty awesome. I’m a huge Pandora fan, and use it pretty often to listen to tunes while I’m driving, it would be killer to be able to see what’s playing in front of me rather than fumbling for my phone to skip songs or find out what artist I’m listening to. The map/GPS functionality is also pretty useful. If you already have GPS system in your car it’s not something you need – but if you don’t it’s a nice option that can use the power of your phone.
At $399, I’m sot sold that AppRadio is worth the price. Definitely cool. But you can achieve relatively similar results by connecting your mobile phone to your car’s stereo system via Bluetooth and getting solid dock for using it GPS-style. Sure it won’t be as big, but it’ll be considerably cheaper. My story could change as Pioneer gets more apps working for the system. As it stands now you can’t run apps that haven’t been specifically designed/approved to work with AppRadio, and for the time being that handful of applications are all GPS/music-based.
What do you think about AppRadio? Is it something you’d be interested in putting in your vehicle?