LAS VEGAS--At CES 2012, JVC presented an upgraded version of its previous-generation Advanced External mode and renamed the connection "App Link mode."
Those looking to take advantage of iPhone and iPod Touch apps in their car can make use of App Link mode, found in the 2012 line of JVC car audio and video receivers, to display and control supported applications using the stereo's color touch screen. Okay, so JVC's not the first manufacturer to claim this functionality, but what strikes me as interesting is the selection of app partners announced as part of the initial launch.
Of course, you've got a selection of audio streaming applications, including MOG, a subscription-based streaming service that gives users on-demand access to its catalog of over 10 million songs; TuneIn, which offers over 50,000 internet radio stations and 1.2 million on-demand music, sports, news, and current events programs; and the almost requisite Pandora Internet Radio. SonicMax Pro for JVC utilizes "Sonic Maximizer HD-audio technology" to boost the quality of music stored locally on the iPhone itself.
Going beyond music, the KW-AV70BT and KW-AV60BT will also support DriveMate Rec, a suite of apps that includes functions for recording movies while driving, recording and comparing lap times, and using the connected iPhone as a drive recorder. DriveMate SafetyCam upgrades the DriveMate Rec suite with the ability to constantly monitor the road and vehicles ahead and alert the driver to unsafe following distances, impending collisions, and road hazards.
MotionX-GPS Drive app integration adds turn-by-turn directions to the bag of tricks, and support for Cobra's iRadar app gives drivers access to Cobra's AURA database of speed traps and red-light cameras and enables the receiver to integrate live radar detection when the iRadar hardware is present. Inrix's app provides access to traffic conditions and drive reports. The oddest app in this bunch, Web Reader 2.2, reads Web pages aloud while you drive.
Finally, JVC's own Smart Remote app transforms the connected iPhone into a wireless remote controller when connected by Bluetooth, allowing users to view song metadata and control playback with swipes and taps.
The first receivers to benefit from the new App Link mode will be the 7-inch JVC KW-AV70BT ($579.99), the 6.1-inch KW-AV60BT ($479.95) and KW-AV60 ($429.95), and the 6.1-inch KW-AV64BT ($489.95) from the manufacturer's Arsenal premium line. Each of these models requires JVC's KS-U30 video playback adapter cable ($49.95) to make use of the new 2012 App link mode function.