LAS VEGAS--Pioneer updated its AVIC X and Z series in-dash receivers with the capability to interface with the Aha Radio mobile app for iPhone. Taking advantage of the iPhone's 3G connection, Aha aggregates the user's social network feeds, RSS feeds, and podcasts into an audio stream that can be listened to while driving.
Users can connect their Apple iPhone running the Aha app to the newly released AVIC-X930BT or AVIC-Z130BT using the USB connection. After a short pairing process, users are able to take control of the app using the AVIC's touch screen. Granted, there's not much control to be had as Aha is a one-way text-to-speech stream of Facebook status updates, Twitter tweets, location-sensitive Yelp reviews, and RSS headlines. Aha also features more than 100 podcasts that can be streamed to the Pioneer receiver.
Additionally, both AVIC units will feature playback from an array of sources, including DVD, iPod/iPhone, USB, SD card, and Bluetooth audio streaming. Hands-free calling is also standard, as is turn-by-turn navigation (with free lifetime traffic data on the AVIC-Z130BT).
The new AVIC-X930BT and AVIC-Z130BT will be available in spring 2011 for $800 and $1,200, respectively. The Aha Radio app integration joins the Pandora AppLink connectivity added to last year's AVIC-X and AVIC-Z models released at last year's CES--these older units will be able to be updated with firmware to gain the new Aha connection shortly after launch.