Pioneer AppRadio
3:40

Pioneer AppRadio

Auto Tech
These days, smartphones pretty much do everything, so why do you need a fancy car stereo? That's the question that Pioneer aimed to answer with its new AppRadio, the first car stereo to be almost completely powered by your iPhone. I'm Antoine Goodwin. Let's take a first look at this one of a kind device. The Pioneer's AppRadio is aimed squarely at those of you who are absolutely addicted to your Iphones. Now, by itself, it's a little more than an AM/FM radio tuner, a Bluetooth hands-free system and a kind of fancy, kind of sexy 7-inch capacitive touch screen. Now if you don't actually have an iPhone, that's about all you can expect from this AppRadio; pretty disappointing, huh? However, connect an iPhone to the included 30-pin dock connector and the rest of AppRadio's functionality spring to life thanks to a set of apps that are installed on this connected iDevice. Users are able to browse Google Maps, search for points of interest and give directions. However, like the Maps app on the iPhone itself, these directions aren't live-updating; so you wanna get a passenger to advance those instructions and probably read the directions aloud for you. Users who want the real deal for turn-by-turn instructions will wanna install the MotionX-GPS Drive app on your iPhone which does exactly that. It gives you those turn-by-turn directions. MotionX is a free app for the first 30 days; after downloading, though, it's gonna cost you about $3 per month thereafter. Users can also add traffic data at an additional cost or you can just install the INRIX traffic app on your iPhone to gain access to free traffic reports, incidents and flow data. While you're on the road, you can access your locally-stored iPod media or stream audio from the internet with the Pandora internet radio or Rdio apps on the iPhone. All of which are very cool ways to keep your head nodding on your next long drive. There's also calendar integration and a contact manager which lets you initiate hands-free calls or even email at your current GPS location to anyone on your contacts list. Even better, Pioneer's actively working with even more app developers to add more choices to the list of supported apps. However, AppRadio is about as first generation as hard work comes, so there are some odd interface quirks that you'll need to be aware of before you pull the trigger on this guy. 1st you'll notice that every app looks a little bit different which is fine on a handset, but it can be difficult when you're just trying to skip tracks while you're driving. Next, none of the apps are connected to one another, and they run at separate processes on your phone so that INRIX traffic data I talked about isn't actually gonna factor into your Google Maps or MotionX-GPS Drive directions. More importantly, none of these apps have a back button built into them; so if you actually wanna switch between the apps, for example you're tired of Rdio and you wanna listen to Pandora, you'll have to physically touch your phone to switch between the apps using the touch screen, which means you can't really just hide the phone away in a glove compartment and control it with the AppRadio, which sort of defeats the purpose of actually using the AppRadio. Again, Pioneer promises that it is making strides towards continuously updating the AppRadio and the apps that it supports, but for now it feels like it should probably be called AppRadio beta. For you, iPhone addicts and early adopters, that may not be such a bad thing, but I think I'd wait for AppRadio to bake for a bit longer before taking the plunge. Well, there you have it. For more of my thoughts on this one of a kind car radio receiver, and I've got plenty of them, look for the full review on CNET.com, which is also where you can find more cool first look videos. I'm Antoine Goodwin giving you a first look at the Pioneer AppRadio.

Up Next

See a Robot Change an Electric Car's Batteries in Minutes
ample-battery-swap-00-06-02-17-still070

Up Next

See a Robot Change an Electric Car's Batteries in Minutes

Put a household outlet in your car
su-howto-inverters-02-mp4-00-00-46-01-still003

Put a household outlet in your car

This self-driving shuttle may take you to work
optimusridevideoweb

This self-driving shuttle may take you to work

Musk predicts 1 million Tesla robotaxis on the road next year
elon-musk-042219

Musk predicts 1 million Tesla robotaxis on the road next year

Amazon launches Echo Auto for your car
b4d711a9-a97b-4b12-8490-3d13b8149c33-800

Amazon launches Echo Auto for your car

Uber video shows 'safety driver' training for self-driving cars
uber-20

Uber video shows 'safety driver' training for self-driving cars

Audi's Long Distance Lounge Concept and our self-driving future
audi-interior-concept-still

Audi's Long Distance Lounge Concept and our self-driving future

Turbine-powered electric supercar unveiled at Geneva Motor Show
techrulesstill.jpg

Turbine-powered electric supercar unveiled at Geneva Motor Show

Chrysler reinvents the minivan with its all-electric, autonomous Portal concept
ceschryslerportal.jpg

Chrysler reinvents the minivan with its all-electric, autonomous Portal concept

Roadshow Video Series

AutoComplete
autocomplete-w

AutoComplete

Cooley On Cars
on-cars-w

Cooley On Cars

Carfection
carfection-w

Carfection

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest Cars All latest products

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts
nissan-z-2023-first-drive-holdingstill-cms

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!
gt4-e-perf-still

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport
land-rover-range-rover-sport-fl-still-v1

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy
sierra-at4x-still

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy

This Dakar Rig From Audi Runs on Electricity and We Drove It
audi-rs-q-etron-still

This Dakar Rig From Audi Runs on Electricity and We Drove It

2023 Kia Sportage: Hit the Dirt
kia-sportage-still-v1

2023 Kia Sportage: Hit the Dirt

Most Popular All most popular

See the Navy Unveil New Video of UFOs/UAPs
uap-pic

See the Navy Unveil New Video of UFOs/UAPs

How to cut the cord: 7 questions you need to answer
7-allfinished.png

How to cut the cord: 7 questions you need to answer

Meta's Next VR Headset: Should You Get a Quest 2 or Wait?
meta-questsitethumb1

Meta's Next VR Headset: Should You Get a Quest 2 or Wait?

Stopping Crop Extinction
crop-extinction-00-10-45-15-still001

Stopping Crop Extinction

The iPhone 14 Report
iphone14rumor-cnet

The iPhone 14 Report

Elon Musk vs. Twitter Bots: How Big Is the Problem?
bots-spam-004

Elon Musk vs. Twitter Bots: How Big Is the Problem?

Latest RoadShow News All latest news

How Will We Deal With a Mountain of Old EV Batteries?
ev-battery-recycling-00-06-10-03-still099

How Will We Deal With a Mountain of Old EV Batteries?

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts
nissan-z-2023-first-drive-holdingstill-cms

2023 Nissan Z First Drive: A Hotter Performer With Newfound Tech Smarts

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!
gt4-e-perf-still

Driving Porsche's Top-Secret Prototype Electric Race Car!

How an EV Works
how-evs-work-00-04-48-14-still089

How an EV Works

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport
land-rover-range-rover-sport-fl-still-v1

Our First Look at the All-New 2023 Ranger Rover Sport

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy
sierra-at4x-still

2022 GMC Sierra AT4X: More Capable, Still Fancy