Thursday, July 9, 2009

TomTom iPhone Car Kit

While most of us have been anxiously waiting for TomTom to offer the iPhone version of its popular GPS navigation software, which was announced at Apple's WWDC, it seem we'll have to wait some more.
As a matter of fact, TomTom for the iPhone won't be a software only product, and will be launched at the same time of an accompanying Car kit for the iPhone.

We're all aware of some "unique" challenges the iPhone poses.

The GPS signal reception isn't that good (when compared to dedicated GPS navigation units), something that has been noticed by anyone using the already present navigation Apps in the App Store.
It isn't that hard to lose GPS signal while surrounded by large buildings, or entering tunnels (dedicated units often have gyroscopes and other hardware to compensate for that.)
I hope they'll be able to use the iPhone 3GS digital compass and its accelerometers to mimic that somehow.

Next... most iPhone owners don't have a car stand to allow safe use while driving.

And last but not least, as Apple doesn't allow background running apps, whenever you receive a phone call the App will be forced to close, leaving you... driving without directions.

That's why TomTom chose to develop this TomTom Car Kit.
This kit has its own dedicated GPS receiver, with better reception, that keeps you on track no matter where you're driving through. The TomTom iPhone app automatically uses the enhanced GPS when docked, and reverts to the internal GPS when away from the vehicle.
This car kit also includes a speaker with better audio quality and louder volume, which is appreciated for the voice directions. It also has a microphone, allowing you to use it as a bluetooth speakerphone; as well as an audio out jack.

That's why I'd find it really hard to believe this can come out at an "interesting price"; considering you can now buy dedicted GPS navigation units for under 100 euros, and some iPhone GPS navigation Apps alone cost nearly as much.
With the car kit and all... I'm sure you'll be able to buy a complete unit - that keeps giving you directions even while you receive a phone call - for a lot less than this whole deal will cost you.

But... I hope I'm wrong, and this turns out to be a great deal for everyone.

If you're interested in TomTom for the iPhone just sign-up at TomTom website for further info.

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