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TomTom Prices Car Kit for iPhone App

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TomTom will sell its car kit - a complement to its iPhone app - for $119.95 in the United States, £99.99 in the UK, and €99.99 in Europe. The car kit will ship in October 2009. The iPhone software is not included; TomTom offers several apps, each for a different part of the world.

In what appears to be new information, the car kit will work with every model of iPhone, including the original 2.5G (EDGE) model that lacks an internal GPS radio. That means that TomTom is embedding its own GPS chip and antenna into the car kit, which is good news.

In my testing of the TomTom app on an iPhone 3GS over several hundred miles in the Pacific Northwest recently, GPS lock-on time, signal quality, and refresh intervals were the weakest elements in using TomTom's turn-by-turn navigation, and Adam noticed similar problems with the AT&T Navigator GPS app (see "Comparing Two Early iPhone GPS Navigation Apps," 2009-09-25).

The iPhone plugs into TomTom's dock via its dock connector. The dock, which uses a suction cup to attach to the windshield, includes a microphone and speaker as well as a USB port for charging (via an included power adapter) and an audio output jack.

 

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Comments about TomTom Prices Car Kit for iPhone App
(Comments are closed.)

Shay Telfer  2009-09-29 21:18
Interestingly New Zealand *almost* banned using phones as GPS devices even in a cradle

http://www.tuaw.com/2009/09/28/new-zealand-iphone-gps-ban-considered-then-overturned/

Use of them while driving even in-cradle may be banned in Australia however

http://www.roadrules.vicroads.vic.gov.au/14_faq_using_mobile_phones_and_visual_display_units.html

Which is probably good given how even phone-free conversations interfere with driving

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/digital-life/mobiles/phone-driving--drink-driving-20090618-clp5.html

Although there's not much comment on what happens if the passenger is talking on the phone whilst someone else is driving!
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2009-09-30 05:32
Yeah, it's an interesting problem - it seems painfully clear to me that people talking on mobile phones are significantly worse drivers during that time. And that seems to apply whether or not they're using the handset - it's a mental bandwidth problem, not so much a physical dexterity problem.

But at the same time, things like GPSes make driving significantly safer, I believe, because they provide the kind of directions that let drivers drive more calmly and predictably.

And I can't really see there being any way of limiting phone usage in the car significantly without a serious crackdown, which would probably result in a backlash of its own. People simply won't see themselves as being in more danger for "just a quick call."
Glenn Fleishman  2009-10-03 10:41
Right: until paper maps or map printouts are banned, only criminals will know where they are going.
Vincent  2009-09-30 02:43
And then there's scandals like this: http://binarybonsai.com/2009/09/29/tomtom-apple-i-want-my-money-back/
Summary: Whine whine, apple/tom tom will not refund my money. Well, no, I did not actually ASK for a refund.
Michael Curtis  2009-10-01 01:49
I was really looking forward to the car kit, but 100 is way too expensive. I was thinking around 40 to make the whole package 100 total.

It will be interesting to see how many 3rd parties now step up to the plate and how long TomTom can justify the cost.

Navigon seems to get better reviews and a 3rd party car kit maybe the way to go. Sounds like the iPhone does need some help on the GPS front so the cradles having GPS seems like a good idea.
Any word on if the TomTom car kit will work with an iPod Touch?

There have been rumors that it would since it has a GPS chip that the iPod Touch lacks.
Seems like one of those things that's good in theory but in reality not really worth the considerable expense of both the software and hardware kit. I'd rather stick with my Garmin GPS and use the iphone for car entertainment. Secret agent music from SOMA FM anyone?