iPhone 4: Is the TT app good enough or is the car kit needed?

Discussion in 'Mobile Navigation' started by wildswing, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. wildswing

    wildswing

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    Hi,

    I've searched but either can't find the correct thread or no one has asked/addressed this specific question yet.

    I'm considering buying an iPhone 4. If I do I'll be getting a GPS navigation app. Most likely TomTom. I understand that TomTom navigation will work as-is using the phone's built in gps hardware. My first question is whether the car kit is required to make it reliable. Is the iPhone 4's built in GPS that bad or does the TomTom car kit's GPS receiver improve navigation performance that much that the car kit is needed?

    Also, I'm debating what mount to use; TT easyport windshield or something like a ProClip that mounts to the dash. Do you find GPS reception compromised, with either phone alone or with car kit, when mounted away from the windshield?

    On a side note, correct me if I'm wrong here. As I understand it, when using an app such as TomTom which downloads and saves the maps onboard the phone, GPS navigation does NOT use the data plan volume. However, some apps like the built in Maps, update/download maps as required, using data plan volume as they run. Do I have that right?
     
    wildswing, Apr 3, 2011
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  2. wildswing

    mikealder Moderator

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    I have used the TomTom Car Kit and to be honest with a 3G iPhone you can't do without it, the 3GS wasn't much better and the car kit again was a better option, with the iPhone4 I have no issues with the GPS reception and I mount the device low down on the dash in a Brodit powered holder:

    [​IMG]

    That was the 3G iPhone but I still use the same Brodit/ Pro-Clip powered holder with the iPhone4, sound is played through the car speaker system via the iO-Play accessory.

    The TomTom app doesn't need a data connection in order to work, the maps are indeed stored on the iPhone, if you use any of the Live services such as Traffic or the Google search options within the app then it will use data but you have control of that - Mike
     
    mikealder, Apr 3, 2011
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  3. wildswing

    wildswing

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    Thanks very much Mike.

    So even down there, your iPhone 4 onboard GPS works ok unassisted. Hmmmm.

    I may fore-go the TT car kit for now. I've also looked at the Proclip solution. Their kit for my Ford Ranger would mount over the upper vent...

    [​IMG]
     
    wildswing, Apr 3, 2011
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  4. wildswing

    mikealder Moderator

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    I have no issues with the iPhone4 low down in the Brodit holder, the 3G I used to use had to be positioned on the vent mount where you can see the 940 PND and even then it would struggle using its own rather useless GPS receiver. The TomTom Car Kit made it useable but the iPhone4 negates the need for such a cradle from what I have experianced.

    You can hide the power cable by putting it through the airvent, OK so doing this means you have to cut a hole in the air pipe but it means no cables in the car assuming you hide a ciggy socket behind the dash for it to plug in to (thats what I have done) - Mike
     
    mikealder, Apr 3, 2011
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  5. wildswing

    wildswing

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    Thanks again Mike. Much appreciated.
     
    wildswing, Apr 3, 2011
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  6. wildswing

    bednorem

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    I'm also using the iPhone 4 without car kit, and my GPS reception has been excellent. You still need to have power to the iPhone; GPS and TomTom suck power!
     
    bednorem, May 3, 2011
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  7. wildswing

    mikealder Moderator

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    Any GPS navigation application running on an iPhone needs power from the vehicle its not just TomTom that sucks the power they all do it - Mike
     
    mikealder, May 3, 2011
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