Monday, January 9, 2012
AppRadio 2 Announced At CES 2012
The biggest difference in AppRadio 2 compared to the first generation stereo is Android connectivity along with redesigned hardware. The screen is 7-inch now instead of 6.1-inch but has the same 800x480 resolution. The button bar on the front plate has a brushed silver finish along with two additional buttons. One 'Menu' button and 'Back' button have been added. The microSD slot has be retained for firmware upgrades but it is not clear where this slot has been moved to because the two new buttons sit where the microSD slot used to be. There is also an additional RCA preout connection (2 compared to 1 on AppRadio) for connecting external amplifiers.
The basic functionality remains the same. New compatible apps have been announced too which I'm guessing should be compatible with the original AppRadio. Waze is an Android specific app which is AppRadio compatible although an iOS app is also available. Livio Radio is a iOS specific app with AppRadio compatibility. More details will be available as we get closer to AppRadio 2 release date.
The price is suggested at $599 according to Pioneer's website but the popular tech blog Engadget reports a price of $499. Suggested prices often change so I'm guessing $499 is a more realistic point.
So should you upgrade to AppRadio 2 if you own AppRadio? From the details available as of now I would say No! There is nothing much different from the original. A slightly bigger screen and a silver button bar may not be incentive enough to upgrade. Now if you own an Android device (mind you, not all Android devices are compatible so you may want to check out the list when it becomes available) it may be worth an upgrade. I don't own an Android phone so spending $500 for this is almost out of the question for me. But for the huge masses of Android users this is a welcome addition.
Full details are available on Pioneer's AppRadio 2 page here. We will definitely get to know more as the days go by. I hope a firmware upgrade comes by in the meantime to fix the issues we are having with the current AppRadio. For the latest on this and everything else concerning AppRadio stay tuned...
By AppRadioWorld at 8:01 PM