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23 October 2019

More details about TomTom’s iPhone Car Kit emerge

tomtomiphone More details about TomToms iPhone Car Kit emergeI was pretty excited when TomTom’s iPhone Car Kit and turn-by-turn GPS application was announced.  It was a smart move by TomTom to take advantage of the popularity of the iPhone in order to move into the mobile phone navigation market, at a time when phones are taking a big bite out of dedicated PND hardware sales.  And yes, TomTom already produced mobile software but this is the first solution we’ve seen in the PND industry that combines both hardware and software for mobile.

When the Car Kit was recently announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference we didn’t learn many details.  But Macworld recently had a chance to interview Tom Murray, Vice President of Market Development for TomTom, and learn a few things.  I’ve pulled the key points out of the lengthy interview that’ll help us understand what the Car Kit consists of.

  • because the iPhone doesn’t include the GPS sensitivity or gyroscopes typically found in a dedicated PND, the TomTom Car Kit will include a separate GPS receiver to improve reception; especially in crowded urban areas with tall buildings
  • the Car Kit hardware will be sold separately from the application obviously, but won’t be required to use the software
  • the Car Kit will include additional audio features: a built-in speaker, 1/8 inch audio output jack for listening to directions and iPhone music throught the car stereo, and a microphone for using the Car Kit as a Bluetooth speakerphone
  • the software and navigational experience will be similar to that of dedicated TomTom PNDs including IQ Routes, but take advantage of the iPhone’s enhanced multitouch UI
  • contacts can be accessed from within the TomTom app so users can get directions to a contact destination
  • TomTom’s Map Share isn’t confirmed yet; Map Share lets users make route corrections
  • the application will be large for an iPhone app (about 1 GB) though TomTom’s not sure if it’ll be a Wi-Fi only download yet
  • though a price isn’t available yet, it’ll likely be a set price for the software and maps rather than a subscription modelTom Murray, Vice President of Market Development for TomTom
  • Tele Atlas maps of North America and Europe will be the initial areas offered
  • the method of map updating has yet to be determined
  • as for the availability date: still “later this summer”

I’ll keep you updated as I find out more or you can sign up for updates from TomTom.

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