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  • Pioneer AppRadio

A few cars now come with iPod and iPhone stereo systems. Most of these systems operate in the same manner. A large display sits inside of the dash, connects via Bluetooth to your phone, and allows you to control music from your phone or iPod by using the system’s touchscreen. It’s all very futuristic, but most of these systems are difficult to use and control thanks to clunky interfaces and buttons that aren’t exactly slick.

If you don’t have a car that comes with an integrated iPod or iPhone system, you have the choice to purchase a radio of this sort separately. There are, in fact, no shortages of these systems on the current market, though some are superior to others. A recent addition to the iPod and iPhone stereo integration scene is the Pioneer AppRadio. As you might have guessed from the name of this device, the AppRadio can be connected and controlled to your device through a special Pioneer app.

Once downloaded, the idea is that you will have complete control over your music by using Pioneer’s touchscreen display. This system is both good and bad, as most systems are. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering the Pioneer AppRadio for your car.

First, the Bad

As with most other systems in its class, the problem with the Pioneer AppRadio is that it hasn’t been built by Apple. Therefore, navigating through this system can be difficult, and the system doesn’t resemble the iPod or iPhone that you are so used to. You can’t flip through songs easily, and it’s somewhat difficult to use the controls that are a part of the touchscreen. Some reviewers have also reported problems when it comes to skipping songs during a good shuffle, but that seems to be a matter of opinion.

So far, we’ve covered a couple of minor things that this system could be better at. There’s just one more thing to point out that’s part of the “needs improvement” list. This system comes with navigation, but you won’t get the turn-by-turn navigation that your Garmin can provide you with. If you want this kind of service, you’ll have to skip the free Pioneer app and pay $.99 for a specific navigation map. Otherwise, you’ll get Google Maps, but you won’t know which street to turn on.

Now, the Good

There are a lot of things that Pioneer has done right with this system. The AppRadio does work very well with your iOS device. Sure, things could be smoother, but the connectivity is top-notch. If you have an incoming call, your system will shut down the music, so that you can chat. You’ll also find that everything you have on your device shows up easily with the AppRadio, so it’s all available whenever you want it. If you want to pay for it, the voice navigation option is also worth a look.

This radio also comes with a rear view feature that’s kind of a great thing for parents. Using this feature, you can see what’s happening in the back of your car just by looking at your system screen. All in all, the AppRadio does have a lot to offer. In fact, this is one of the better iOS systems on the current market. If you’re shopping for a system of this kind, the Pioneer AppRadio will set you back around $399.