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At least one company is taking the hardware integration features of iPhone OS 3.0 seriously. Pioneer, which announced A/V home theater receivers with some serious iPhone connectivity in June, has just revealed an iPhone app (iTunes link) designed to integrate with two of its brand new in-dash navigation units.
While the iPhone app doesn’t provide iPod control without a hardware cable connection, it does allow you to search for points of interest or trip destinations on the iPhone, which then communicates said information to the navigation unit. Basically, it’s like having an advanced, user-friendly remote for your GPS unit instead of having to fumble with clumsy on-device controls.
You can also access any POI information on the nav system over Bluetooth via your iPhone, so it’s a two-way conversation. Also, the app automatically searches your device for geotagged photos taken with the iPhone’s camera and uses those as custom POI entries. I can see this becoming annoying, since every photo I take with my iPhone has geographic information associated with it. The neat spider I saw when we stopped at that roadside diner isn’t a POI, cool though it might have been.
If you’re in the market for an in-dash nav system, and you already own an iPhone, then there’s really not much of a downside to going with these Pioneer models. The entry-level AVIC-U310BT will set you back $699, while the much snazzier AVIC-Z110BT has a $1,799 price tag. The more expensive model will get you a motorized screen, rear cam readiness, voice control, and A2DP stereo Bluetooth support. Forgive me for also wanting it to drive the car for me at that price.