iPod Out is a new car radio feature expected to appear in aftermarket models later this year or early in 2011 as well as in BMW car radios in 2011.
It basically converts your car radio into an iPod/iPhone screen because it uses the same exact user interface of the Apple handhelds on the car radio. So now when you connect your iPod touch or iPhone to the car radio you see the exact same menu and files as you would on your iPod.
Plus the radio also controls the iPod or iPhone.
The benefit is that all car radios can now have a uniform user interface with the same Apple display for song title, artist, etc. The catch is that car radio makers must be approved licensees of Apple that elect to support the feature.
BMW was the first to announce compatibility with iPod Out starting in 2011, shortly after Apple revealed the feature to its licensees a month ago. And many aftermarket radio companies are expected to show iPod Out-ready radios at the SEMA Show later this year and the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Alpine said it is not commenting on the feature and Pioneer didn’t respond to our inquiry but privately, suppliers say the new radios are under development by many brands.
It works only with music from iPhone/iPod touch models running iOS 4, so the nano and classic are not supported. Also the iPad is not currently supported although car radio makers are hoping that may change, perhaps with news issuing from Apple’s press event scheduled for September 1 in San Francisco.