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Pioneer releases SmartCradle for the iPhone


Pioneer Electronics ( has announced new solutions for safer integration of smartphones into the car environment. It has introduced the Aha Radio Mobile App, which turns social media and traffic apps into audio broadcasts.

Pioneer has also released the first SmartCradle for use with the iPhoneto enhance in-car performance of GPS enabled apps such as MotionX-GPS Drive, a navigation app. Also new is the App Mode feature that’s available in nine new audio/video and navigation models and enables viewing of a connected iPhone’s video content from Safari, YouTube and other select apps directly through Pioneer’s larger, high resolution in-dash screens.

Pioneer’s two new in-dash navigation models are the first to connect drivers to the world around them with on-demand, interactive, personalized radio, according to Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for the car electronics department, sales and marketing division of Pioneer Electronics.

Via an iPhone running the free Aha Radio Mobile App connected to the new AVIC systems, users can listen to the latest traffic conditions on their current road or commute road, listen to Facebook and Twitter updates, access hundreds of podcasts and other services such as the “Hungry” and “Coffee” stations which deliver real-time vicinity search results and directions to preferred restaurant categories listed on Yelp. Aha Radio offers over 100 content and podcast stations that can be conveniently accessed and controlled directly on the touch display of the Pioneer system.

The Pioneer SmartCradle for iPhones is compatible with all GPS enabled apps, including MotionX-GPS Drive and is the first of its kind to incorporate a built-in gyro sensor and accelerometer combined with an external antenna for improved GPS reception and location accuracy, even if GPS signals are limited by high rise buildings and tunnels, says Cardenas. Additionally, the unit features an integrated amplified speaker with volume control for high quality hands-free calling and offers a mini-USB input and audio/video output.

An Eco Illumination light turns from red to green as driving efficiency increases and provides an awareness of driving habits. The unit can be rotated to portrait or landscape views and the SmartCradle will also charge the connected iPhone.

The App Mode feature, which can only be accessed when the vehicle is in park and the hand brake is fully engaged, lets users view a connected iPhone’s video content from Safari, YouTube and other select apps directly on a larger high resolution screen. Audio from these video source and compatible apps, such as MotionX-GPS Drive’s navigation voice guidance can be heard through the vehicle speakers while driving.

Pioneer’s SmartCradle will be available this spring at a suggested price of US$120. App Mode and Pandora Internet radio are available on the new AVH-P3300BT, AVH-P4300DVD and AVH-P6300BT audio/video units and Aha Radio is additionally available on the new AVIC-Z130BT and AVIC-X930BT in-dash navigation units.

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