Preview: Pioneer’s AppRadio 2 safely and seamlessly integrates smartphones into cars

Preview of Pioneer's AppRadio 2

Pioneer used CES 2012 to show off its latest AppRadio 2 smartphone powered in-vehicle audio system. Not long ago, Pioneer released its AppRadio platform, giving Apple customers an on-board multimedia experience via their beloved phones. Now it appears that select Android phones (those that utilize MHL, or a micro HDMI connection) are getting some love too, with Pioneer’s latest AppRadio 2 platform.

Designed to utilize the power of your smartphone, the AppRadio 2 features a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen that in many ways mirrors your existing smartphone functions with familiar motion gestures and a touch interface. Put simply, it really functions as is a glorified touchscreen, but by no means is that a bad thing. In fact, instead of having to fiddle with your phone while driving (which in many states now is illegal and can be downright dangerous), you can comfortably and safely access them via the screen. Conveniently, AppRadio 2 makes use of your smartphone’s Bluetooth capability, and allows for hands-free calling.

Pioneer AppRadio 2 Menu

A couple of things impressed us about Pioneer’s AppRadio 2. Chief among them was the platform’s user-friendly interface and setup. Once you purchase Pioneer’s AppRadio 2 platform ($500 for the Android-compatible version) simply download the corresponding app from the Android Marketplace and you now have full integration between your smartphone and compatible third-party apps.

Rounding out AppRadio 2’s features are an input for optional rear-facing vehicle mounted camera, an input for interfacing with the vehicle’s steering wheel controls, and two sets of pre-amp outputs for connection to external amplifiers.

Pioneer’s AppRadio 2 will be available later this April.