Pioneer has released the Australian price and a tentative release date for its AppRadio car stereo. The system connects to an iOS device like a Apple iPhone or iPod touch and displays information from supported apps on its 6.1in, 800x480pixel touchscreen.
The Pioneer AppRadio's touchscreen uses a capacitive panel — according to Pioneer, it's the first of its type in an in-car system — offering easier use and multitouch support for native iOS features like pinch-zooming and swiping. Apart from the touchscreen, the AppRadio only has a pair of volume buttons and an iPhone-style home button on its fascia.
A Pioneer AppRadio app, not yet available in the Australian App Store, has to be installed on any connected iPhone or iPod — it then allows access through the AppRadio stereo's screen to iPhone content including music, Google Maps, and supported third party applications. The AppRadio formats all supported apps to a standard control layout, optimised for safer in-car use while driving. Videos can also be watched on the Pioneer AppRadio's screen once the car's handbrake has been applied.
Apart from its iPhone/iPod support, the Pioneer AppRadio has a built-in AM/RM radio tuner. The system has built-in Bluetooth for handsfree calling, and comes with an external microphone to ensure clear voice is picked up — turning the car into a "rolling speakerphone," according to Pioneer. An external GPS antenna also boosts a connected iPhone's location services and allows constant Google Maps operation. A high-quality sound system can also be installed alongside the AppRadio, with support for an external audio amplifier through pre-outs.
The Pioneer AppRadio car stereo should be released in Australia around the end of July, with an expected price below $900.