AppRadio: Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the touchscreen
Pioneer launched its AppRadio yesterday at the CE Week, with the long-awaited iOS-integrated device coming in at an intriguingly low price of $399.99. The head unit features a 6.1-inch touchscreen that provides access to apps running on a connected iPhone 4; Once you install the AppRadio app on your phone, you can (with a couple of taps) make calls, be reminded of appointments via iCal, access an iTunes library or services like Rdio or Pandora, or find a destination using Google Maps, Pioneer partner MotionX's GPS-Drive, or get traffic updates from Inrix.
By the way, that really does mean a couple of taps - the driver is limited to commands requiring fewer than three taps while the vehicle is in motion; you'll still have to pull over before texting. As you should.
The interface is slick, managing the iPhone in a seamless and typically Apple-like fashion. Everything's running from the phone, and though basic functions are available without a connected iPhone (the orphaned apps are greyed out in a fashion that'll be all-too familiar), though since there's no optical drive you'll be limited to the onboard AM-FM radio for entertainment.
- Michael Berk