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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Livio Car Internet Radio Is Now AppRadio Compatible, But Hang On...

There's a new app that's AppRadio compatible today and it's Livio Car Internet Radio. The app costs $4.99 in the App Store (free version available too but doesn't give access to all 42,000 stations). But don't just rush and drop your nickel on the app just yet.

AppRadio Firmware Update 2.45 Now Available For Download

I've been waiting for a firmware update for my AppRadio for a while now but one which fixes a few known bugs. Well, Pioneer did make an update (V2.45) available earlier today but it doesn't do much. Here's a rundown.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Custom Backgrounds For AppRadio

Update: Here's how to do this... click here.

Is it just me or would anyone else like to have more custom backgrounds for AppRadio. Currently there are just two: Light and Dark which are to be used to improve screen visibility depending on the time of day. I have hardly ever had to swap between the two.

It would be great to be able to use any picture you want as the background. I would love to use my car manufacturer's logo or a picture I clicked that I can't take my eyes off. Or maybe a colored background to match the lights on my dash (currently orange and blue).

So this is one for Pioneer to maybe get integrated in their next firmware update. Or maybe there will be a jailbreak tweak in the future. Custom backgrounds... 'nuff said!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Extra Mile: Simplicity Exemplified!

The Extra Mile dashboard view is simple and beautiful!
So I was going to do an in-depth review of Extra Mile, the iOS app that recently added AppRadio compatibility. Well the fact is an in-depth review would mean explaining how awesome this app really is. I think it is probably the best AppRadio compatible app out there right now (Also see this previous post on Extra Mile).

Extra Mile is not packed with features but it does a few basic things and does them right. It has

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jailbroken iPhone 4S And DisplayOut On AppRadio

Jailbroken iPhone 4S with DisplayOut to the AppRadio
Update: I have figured out why SBRotator doesn't function properly. The problem lies with Barrel, a jailbreak tweak that gives fancy animations as you scroll across your springboard. On disabling Barrel things seem to work great.

The untethered jailbreak for A5 powered iOS devices (iPhone 4S & iPad 2) was made available a few days ago. I was curious to see how screen mirroring would work with the AppRadio. I tried it out and I must say, it works great. With mirroring you can have all the apps displayed on your AppRadio. But there are downsides.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Extra Mile: The Newest AppRadio Compatible App

Extra Mile: The latest addition to the AppRadio
I took the newest AppRadio compatible app, Extra Mile, for a spin yesterday morning. It is quite beautiful and useful. The app basically lets you log your driving habits. It features an easy-to-use mileage tracker, gas expense logger, driving habit analyzer and even free voice-guided navigation. I used the navigation today and I must say, it's impressive. The maps are very

UPDATE: Latest INRIX Traffic Update Fixes AppRadio Blank Screen Issue

Earlier this week I wrote about an update to the INRIX Traffic app. After getting the update I tried using it with my AppRadio to see if the 'blank screen of death' (blank screen on switching back to INRIX from another app) issue was fixed. I still got the blank screen the first time I used it.

Other users reported to me that this issue was fixed with the latest update. So I uninstalled/deleted the app from my iPhone and reinstalled it this morning to confirm this. And voila! No more 'blank screen of death'. It appears that the latest update has indeed fixed this issue. I'm guessing something was messed up with the app on my iPhone which was fixed by reinstalling.

INRIX Traffic is now good to go as far as the blank screen issue is concerned.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Latest INRIX Traffic Update Doesn't Address AppRadio Issue

INRIX Traffic update now available.
INRIX Traffic is a very useful app and I use it very often together with my AppRadio. But it has had issues for a very long time now. The most annoying is what I call the 'blank screen of death' on the AppRadio when trying to switch back to the app from another one. Force-quitting INRIX on the iPhone and relaunching is the only fix at the moment.

Yesterday an update was made available in the app store here. This update adds landscape mode and cup holder mode (both not very useful if using with AppRadio), improved traffic alerts and better incident filtering. Unfortunately the 'blank screen of death' issue has not been fixed. I was hoping it would get attention but hasn't. At least not for me. Either way, it's almost always advisable to update your apps to the latest version. So happy updating!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pandora And AUPEO! Personal Radio Updates Now Available

AUPEO! Update Available
For those of you not familiar with AUPEO! Personal Radio it is an app (AppRadio compatible) that streams music to your iDevice. What's unique? You can have AUPEO! go to work for you based on your mood. The app received an update to version 2.48. This version adds support for 7 additional languages. Also, four more music stations have been added. And from the app description the app's streaming audio engine 'HiRoQ' has been upgraded for 'optimal listening experience'. You can get the update here.

An update for Pandora Radio is also available now which has 'minor bug fixes and improvements'. Get it here. Happy updating!

Monday, January 9, 2012

AppRadio 2: More Details Trickling Out Of CES

Update: CNET is reporting the original AppRadio WILL have the updated software for 2012. Great news!

If you haven't heard already Pioneer Electronics announced AppRadio 2 at the ongoing CES 2012. Initially very few details were available but as time goes on a little more is being known. It is now being reported that there will be five different models with AppRadio functionality which will be priced from $499 up to $1199. Whoa!!!

The original AppRadio was launched last summer and AppRadio 2 will be available in April 2012. That's a shelf life of 10 months for the first generation device. By today's tech trends and timelines do you think it's fair that Pioneer has upgraded the hardware without really doing much about the issues the first generation device has had?

The new UI looks revamped from screenshots around the web. New fonts, apps on the home screen, a menu and back button and what seems like more screen real estate (although the resolution is the same with increased screen size) are some of the few new features of AppRadio 2. By the way things go with technology it looks like little will be done to improve the original AppRadio as Pioneer will obviously want customers to buy the new device. However, the AppRadio will still be manufactured and sold for the lower price of $399. I'm still hoping for a firmware upgrade for the first generation AppRadio though.

Stay tuned as more comes to light about AppRadio 2.

AppRadio 2 Announced At CES 2012

Pioneer Electronics has announced the second generation installment of AppRadio aptly called AppRadio 2. The announcement came on the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2012 in Las Vegas, NV. The device will be available in the Spring of this year.

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...

Update: AppRadio Screen Glare Issue

AppRadio's glossy screen can be a reflective nightmare
I wrote previously about reducing glare on the AppRadio screen by using a matte screen protector. I still haven't been able to get one that works well. I got an iPad size protector but cutting it to size was a nightmare. I'm still shopping around for one. More on this soon.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

For What It's Worth: Camera App For AppRadio?

Camera App For The AppRadio?
I am not sure what the uses for something like this would be but I recently found a way to have the iPhone's camera display out to the AppRadio screen. Having a native app that does this would have questionable use. Maybe as some sort of a backup/reverse camera option? Or maybe for using your iPhone as a spy camera. Private eyes take note!

So if you have an iPhone and the AppRadio here's how to play with the camera (Screenshots after the page break).

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rdio App For iOS Gets An Update

This recent Rdio update has bug fixes.
If you use Rdio there is an update that was made available recently. The new update 1.3.1 promises bug fixes. Get it here.

I tried out Rdio for a while since it was a AppRadio compatible app. The interface is simple but had a few issues. Sometimes a few tabs would just not click. Rdio is a subscription-based music streaming service and gives the user the ability to download tracks to their device for offline use. A basic subscription costs $9.99 a month. I must mention that I don't have an active subscription anymore.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012: A Year For AppRadio Advancements?

A Very Happy 2012 to you all!

The AppRadio has been out for over 6 months now and has seen few, if any, enhancements in that time. A lot more apps are compatible with it in addition to the original 4 or 5. There is obviously things that need to change.

I think 2012 will see advancements coming. First there is CES 2012