Pioneer prepares to face Apple CarPlay with AppRadioLive

Pioneer AppRadioLive
Fighting the connected car war on all fronts

Apple is set to shake up the aftermarket car technology market with CarPlay later this year or next, but Pioneer, a leader in the space, isn't about to take that lying down. During CE Week 2014 in New York, the company announced AppRadioLive for iPhone, in addition to CarPlay support for five of its existing AppRadio products.

Developed in-house by Pioneer, the app is designed to enhance the firm's existing AppRadio aftermarket radio products through iOS connectivity. The app is compatible with all existing AppRadio in-dash systems and those with AppRadio Mode.

Basically, AppRadioLive aggregates and serves up music content, events, traffic, weather and news for your persual while in the car. Long Beach, Calif.-based firm has partnered up with services like Yelp, Stitcher and live traffic data provider Inrix among others to serve this information through the app to AppRadio in-dash devices.

Enough to take a bite out of Apple?

While we know just a little about how CarPlay might operate at launch, we know that it does use Siri throughout, though not yet to the best effect. Pioneer, unfortunately, can't say the same for AppRadio Live - at least not yet.

But where Pioneer lacks native voice control, it might beat Apple's long-panned Maps application by supplementing the app with new services. Powered by Inrix, the company's mapping solution offers live traffic data as well as ETA information on destinations, places of interest with reviews through Yelp and nearby events, thanks to EventSeeker.

Pioneer AppRadioLive

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

Plus, the app can gain voice control through exporting destination information to the iOS mapping apps like Waze and others.

Audio isn't as robust natively, with just Rdio and Stitcher support, but may have snagged a win with Feedly for news updates through RSS. Finally, calendar and Facebook events are served up through the iPhone's native support for both features.

AppRadioLive looks like a clever way to help consumers keep up with powerful newcomers such as Apple and likely Google. But will it sway fans of those companies and services into going Pioneer? We'll see later this year. Pioneer AppRadioLive is available in the iPhone App Store right now as far back as iPhone 4.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.