Tag Archives: iPhone Car Kit

iPhone Sat Nav for under £5

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

Yes, you read that right! You can now get a fully featured Sat Nav application for your iPhone for less than £5. NDrive have just dropped the price of their iPhone App to £4.99, and despite the budget price tag, it’s actually pretty good and is good alternative to TomTom, CoPilot and Navigon.

NDrive Sat Nav for iPhone

NDrive Sat Nav for iPhone

In terms of features it has pretty much everything that you’d expect to find in the premium apps from TomTom and CoPilot. According to its iTunes listing, the app includes:

  • Fully functional SIGNPOSTS AND INFOLANES
  • Embedded store-inside-store in order to allow an easy download of extra features to your App such as new voices, alerts, etc.
  • Highly effective search engine and rapid calculations allows benefits such as a fast and easy calculation of alternative routes
  • Most important buildings and landmarks are presented in 3D
  • Car, Pedestrian or Adventure Mode, where ADVENTURE MODE will guide your way while trekking, bike riding, off-road in cars, on boats and even on light aircrafts
  • Simple and intuitive user interface
  • MULTI-TOUCH TECHNOLOGY with gesture recognition for menu, zooming, tilting and panning will enable you to control and display maps easily
  • POIs (Points of Interest) and favourites with phone/fax number, description, email and website address
  • UNLIMITED NUMBER of customizable favourites entries and user defined categories
  • Navigating and searching for city center, street names and numbers, crossings, postal codes, favorite places, recent locations, coordinates and nearby POIs
  • Advanced itinerary with multiple waypoints for enhanced planning
  • Keyboard available in either ABC or QWERTY mode
  • INTEGRATION WITH IPOD, listen to music while driving
  • Automatic Day/Night mode
  • Sound and visual alarms for desired and fixed maximum speed levels
  • Automatic Portrait/Landscape display mode
  • Free access to the NDRIVE COMMUNITY to share POIs with other user anywhere in the world
  • Search online from you NDrive using search engines like GoogleTM and find additional POIs in any location
The only feature that stands out as not being present is speed camera alerts, but these are available to download through the application.

NDrive UK & Ireland Sat Nav for iPhone is available in the App store now for £4.99, but given the large file size, you’re better off downloading this through iTunes on your PC and syncing it over.

NDrive UK & Ireland

I’ll be putting this app through it’s paces over the next couple of weeks and hope to have a full hands on review available soon. In the mean time let me know how you get on with it using the comments form below.

Syncing your iPhone contacts to your Car Kit

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Visit unofficialmobileblog.co.uk for the latest posts

Bluetooth Car Kits are getting smarter, and most of them now support synchronising the contacts stored on your phone to the car kit to enable faster dialling, caller display, and enabling voice control – even on phones like the iPhone 3G that doesn’t support voice dialling. As great as this is though, it’s not quite as straight forward as you’d think as there are two different ways that phones and car kits talk to each other. I’ll apologise now if this gets a little confusing, but I’ll try and keep it as simple as I can.

Although Bluetooth is a pretty generic technology, there are a number of different bluetooth profiles and each bluetooth device uses different ones. The two that are needed to synchronise your contacts between your car kit and your phone are either PBAP – Phone Book Access Profile or OPP – Object Push Profile, but in order for it to sync, both the phone and the car kit need to support the same profile.

  • OPP – Object Push Profile – This is an older Bluetooth Profile, so should be supported by most phones and car kits that support contact sync. If the car kit supports the OPP profile then it is capable of receiving information that is sent or ‘pushed’ to it. In order to send your contacts to a car kit that uses OPP you will need to initiate the transfer of your contacts from your phone, either one by one or all at once. The only downside to this is that not all phones support sending your entire phonebook in one go.
  • PBAP – Phone Book Access Profile – This profile is one of the more recent Bluetooth Profiles, so not all phones or car kits support it. The advantage of the PBAP profile is that you don’t need to send your contacts to the car kit, the car kit will retrieve them from your phone automatically every time you connect.

Bluetooth support is limited on the iPhone and although it’s improving, it still doesn’t support all Bluetooth profiles – in particular the OPP profile. There is no way of sending any information from an iPhone over Bluetooth. This means that if you have a Bluetooth Car Kit that only supports OPP, you’ll only be able to use the car kit for calls, although features such as last number redial should still work fine. The iPhone does support the PBAP profile though – in fact it supports it brilliantly, so if you want to be able to sync your contacts make sure that the car kit you buy supports the PBAP profile, it should be listed in the technical spec of the user manual.

I’ve got the Parrot MKi9000 installed in my car and every time the car is started and my iPhone 3G connects, the kit checks my phone for any changes and and updates itself. Like I said before, the iPhone supports PBAP brilliantly, and when paired with a compatible car kit it gives you control over the information that is synchronised with the kit. You can chose which groups of contacts to sync – if any, as well as recent calls and favourites.

iPhone Car Kit Sync Options

iPhone Car Kit Sync Options - iPhone OS 3.1

From personal experience I’ve found that the best car kits for syncing your contacts are those made by Parrot. As well as supporting the iPhone fully, they also feature Text to Speech technology that announces the callers name when you receive a call and some will allow you to use voice dialling – even on the iPhone. It does this by matching the wave print of what you say against the Text to Speech wave prints for the contacts stored in the car kit. Most voice dialling kits require you to train your voice to them or to record your own voice tags for the contacts, and this normally doesn’t work too well. The current Parrot car kits that do all this are listed below. If you want more information on any of the kits, just click on the image or read my post on Parrot Car Kits.

Parrot MKi9200 Fully Fitted Car Kit

Parrot MKi9200 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9100 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9100 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MKi9000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot CK3000 Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot MK6000 Fully Fitted Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Slim Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Chic Portable Bluetooth Car Kit

Parrot Minikit Chic Portable Bluetooth Car Kit