By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: For smartphone lovers and hardcore Apple devotees, Pioneer have today announced the launch of the Pioneer AppRadio – an in-car head unit that brings the app experience to your daily drive.

The AppRadio connects with compatible fourth-generation iPhones and iPod Touches, and features a smartphone-inspired touch interface. The minimalist design features only three buttons (home, volume up and volume down) but boasts a 6.1-inch capacitive touchscreen that allows the users to swipe and tap their way through apps like music, radio and maps.

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“Pioneer is rethinking connectivity by tapping into the power of the Smartphone, while simultaneously providing a solution that safely merges the consumer’s connected lifestyle into the vehicle,” said Tony Trent, group product and marketing manager at Pioneer Electronics Australia.

With a quick tap, users can access the built-in AM/FM radio, iPod playback controls and integrated Bluetooth for hands-free calling.

The connection with an iPod or iPhone is enabled by downloading a free AppRadio application from the Apple App Store – this allows drivers and passengers to access data from their smartphone or music player, as well as gain access to Google Maps (for route-mapping and navigation) and other compatible third-party apps.

The AppRadio is designed to work seamlessly with Apple products according to Trent. “AppRadio fully embraces the iPhone, which has become the window to our mobile connectivity and provides a comprehensive and safer way to use apps in the car,” he said.

“The AppRadio includes a 30-pin connector, external GPS antenna, external microphone for hands-free calling and input/output connections to support the addition of an optional rear view camera, wired remote steering wheel control adapter and an external amplifier via one set of preamp outputs,” according to a Pioneer spokesperson.

While it behaves like an in-car smartphone, it also carries a similar price tag – Pioneer has indicated that this product will be available in July for a price point below RRP $900.