Pioneer’s CES press conference was a bit tamer than last year, but its goals are the same. Once again the company has used its conference time at the Consumer Electronics Show to highlight its recent and upcoming efforts in the car stereo industry. At the forefront of its efforts is its AppRadio platform, which launched last year for the iPhone. The platform will soon get an update. AppRadio 2 will be available in a couple months and support select Android devices to connect up with Pioneer car stereos, letting you use your smartphone data connection to do things like stream Pandora music or connect with up to 45,000 Internet radio stations.
“Select” is the key word. Though the platform sounds cool, it will only work on Android devices with HDMI or MHL connectivity. It’s also difficult to know precisely what apps will be available. Currently, AppRadio on iOS has 12 or so apps available, but Pioneer has not announced how many apps will be available when AppRadio 2 launches on Android. Still, it’s good to see Pioneer supporting the world’s most popular smartphone platform.
More apps are on the way. Pioneer also annoucned the launch of the Advanced App Mode Dev Center, which is a team of Pioneer developers that work with companies and services that want to build apps for Pioneer’s devices, which include GPS navigation systems and DVD receivers. Currently, the SDK and access to the platform is given only to select partners.
The actual AppRadio 2 car stereo will retail for $500 and include enhanced built-in Bluetooth functionality, two RCA pre-outs for aftermarket or OEM amplifiers, and come with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen. In addition, Pioneer’s Advanced App Mode will be available on three 2012 car stereo models and 70 percent of all models will now come with Bluetooth functionality.