When it comes to new cars, in-dash touchscreen systems with apps are becoming all the rage. However, what if you want something similar in a car that isn’t so new? A very familiar name is offering a solution. Pioneer is offering a solution with their second generation SPH-DA100 in dash unit, but since that’s a little cumbersome let’s just call it by its other name, the AppRadio 2.
For Car Audio aficionados we’re talking about a double din sized head with a MOSFET power amp with four 50-watt channels. If you already have a power amp you’re happy with, the head has two sets of RCA jacks, front and rear, and a subwoofer out. EQ is 5 band graphic with easy presets, and it has AM/FM with RDS. CD and cassette are nowhere to be found, however, if you’re buying this unit, you probably won’t be needing them. It also has connections for GPS, rear-facing backup camera, and hands-free Bluetooth speakerphone with dash-mounted Mic.
However, what you really want to hear about is what happens behind the 7” capacitive touchscreen. For owners of the iPhone 4/4S and select Android phones, the AppRadio2 connects with your contacts, calendar info, photos, and music library, as well as using an API to pass through apps like Pandora, Rdio, BestParking, and turn-by-turn navigation apps, and display them on the large touchscreen. Pioneer has its own App Store-like control over what apps can or can’t be used on this unit, so don’t plan on playing Angry Birds or Draw Something while driving any time soon. Please note though that this unit has no hard drive or cellular connection of its own, so having your smartphone plugged in is essential to it working its magic.
The Pioneer AppRadio 2 is available now at a suggested retail price of $599.99