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Pioneer is launching its AppRadio 2 this year to take apps in the car to a new level.

Ted Cardenas, director of marketing for car technology at Japan’s Pioneer, said at a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show that the car radio on steroids will run a variety of apps that are created by Pioneer and its partners.

The new radio, which improves Pioneer’s first AppRadio introduced seven months ago, has a seven-inch touchscreen and it is aimed at giving you access not only to huge collections of music and other car-related apps such as navigation.

“The connected car will be a big theme at 2012 CES,” Cardenas said.

Apps for cars are turning the inside of your car into the equivalent of your living room, and it’s no surprise that six of the top 10 car makers are displaying wares at CES. But there hasn’t been a killer app car radio yet, and the radios are pricey.

The AppRadio 2 will sell for $499. The original AppRadio, introduced last June, for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S connectivity. The first AppRadio will sell for $399.

You’ll be able to connect an iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and select Android phones that are compatible with HDMI or MHL connectors.

About 70 percent of all of Pioneer’s 2012 radio models will have Bluetooth connectivity. Pioneer is making a software development kit available to select developers to create apps that are created for use inside cars. Those apps have to meet standards for car safety.

Pioneer has put considerable effort into the car internet services known as Zypr. Scion is expected to announce support for the Zypr platform later today.

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