updated 09:05 pm EDT, Tue April 26, 2011
Pioneer AppRadio hits FCC, leaks out
A new Pioneer double-DIN car audio system has been met with both an official FCC filing and a matching leak that reveal it will have both its own app system and tie in with iOS devices. The AppRadio would load specialized apps and rely on a 6.1-inch touchscreen, along with an iOS-style home button, as its sole interface. Its system, though like Apple's on the surface would use microSD cards for a distinct app platform, CrunchGear understood from its tip, but it would talk to iPhones and iPod touch players using USB for contacts, music, and most likely Internet-aware apps.
The head end wouldn't have any Internet access of its own and would almost certainly need an iPhone's connection, or possibly a USB modem, to get 3G data while on the road. iHeartRadio and Pandora Radio are both expected to be part of the AppRadio but would be joined by social media features as well. Pioneer would avert complaints about distracted driving by offering a steering wheel-mounted remote control as a choice.
An AM/FM radio, Bluetooth, GPS mapping, and rear view camera support would be present, but the system would conspicuously lack an optical drive, giving a clue as to Pioneer's intent to get away from a legacy of CD and DVD systems. The USB port would join iOS hardware with RCA and S-Video cables also attached, though it's not explicit if this would let Apple device owners watch video or if it was for other hardware.
The AppRadio is believed "about ready" but doesn't have specific release dates or pricing attached so far.