Pioneer AppRadio shows promise, needs improvement

The first car stereo to be completely powered by a connected iPhone shows promise, but is limited by multitasking issues.

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
  • North American Car, Truck and SUV of the Year (NACTOY) Awards Juror
Antuan Goodwin

Pioneer AppRadio
Watch this: Pioneer AppRadio

Since it was announced mere months ago, Pioneer's AppRadio has been the subject of quite a bit of buzz in the car audio world. AppRadio is the first in-dash car stereo to be completely controlled by a connected iPhone. The result should be app integration like no other receiver that we've ever seen, making this the ultimate car stereo for iPhone fanatics. I finally got my hands on this first of its kind receiver to put it through its paces in the dashboard of our test car and at the end of testing, I'm left with two very conflicting feelings about this first-generation technology.

Primarily, I'm hugely excited about what the future of AppRadio holds. Because of the clever way that Pioneer has offloaded the major functions to the handset, it has made AppRadio easily one of the most inexpensive and upgradable receivers that I've ever tested. Software revisions can come via iTunes updates and more functionality can be unlocked as Pioneer brings more app partners onboard. A few months from now, it is likely that we could find ourselves revisiting this product to find the user experience has totally changed.

I hope that is the case, because I've got quite a few issues with AppRadio's user experience that I'd like to see addressed--particularly with the way that app switching is handled (or rather, not handled.)

Check out the full review of the Pioneer AppRadio for more details and photos.