How far away is the TomTom iPhone app?

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by tombarnes, Jul 12, 2009.


When will TomTom for iPhone be released?

  1. Just around the corner (1-2 weeks)

    8 vote(s)
  2. By August (3-6 weeks)

    30 vote(s)
  3. By Septmber (6-7 weeks)

    54 vote(s)
  4. Beyond Fall, and towards Christmas

    28 vote(s)
  1. tombarnes macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2006
    Surrey, United Kingdom
    Since I bought my iPhone 3G last summer, I have been craving turn-by-turn satnav. I have always had my fingers crossed that TomTom will be one of the companies building such an app. So at WWDC, I was very happy to see TomTom are working on it!

    We were told 'later this summer', but when is that?

    I'm going galavanting in my car over the next few weeks, and I could really do with a satnav (after mine was stolen last summer, I didn't see the point in replacing it, and decided to wait it out for TomTom iPhone).

    So what do you think guys and girls?

  2. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    Does anyone know if the carkit will work with the iPhone 2G? It's supposed to improve the GPS signal, so I'm guessing there's a GPS receiver in the carkit, and in that case it could work with the original iPhone (seeing as 3.0 allows third party accessoires to be used in apps). Anyone an idea? :confused:
  3. Que macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2009
    like you said, it's supposed to IMPROVE the gps, how can it improve something that isn't there?

    oh and well done tombarnes, saying "fall" in the poll. i'm sure you can use your native tongue and say autumn without the americans self-destructing from confusion.

    anybody here got any spare "aluminum"? i need some for the "trunk" of my car. oops, better go, the "faucet" is running.
  4. blaker13 macrumors member

    Jun 3, 2009

    Then just use att nav until tomtom comes, works awesome.
  5. nfl46 macrumors 604

    Oct 5, 2008
  6. dav146 macrumors regular


    Dec 21, 2007
    Get yourself onto ICY and look for iDA.

    You are given a free 7 day trial - the App is under some sort of legal disput at the moment - so you may have to do a google search in order to reveal how to extend the trial......
  7. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    You can't. But my guess is that the carkit doesn't "improve" the signal at all, I think the carkit has its own GPS receiver that is way better than the GPS receiver built into the iPhone. For marketing reasons they may say "improved GPS signal".

    Edit: turns out I'm right:
  8. Que macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2009
    the tomtom car kit having built-in gps is ridiculous. i've been using navigon for a couple of weeks now and it works exactly the same as a dedicated sat-nav. encouraging the consumer to buy the kit and essentially bypass the iphone's gps and use only it's screen is pointless. it'll probably be a bit cheaper than a dedicated unit but that'll be the only reason for buying it.

    a completely shameless attempt to drag more money out of us.

    buy navigon.
  9. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Read the LA Times article from Friday that I posted in one of the existing threads yesterday:

    The TomTom VP says that the 2G and iPod Touch are something they're looking into now since the cradle would give those GPS ability. It's not on their priority list but they're looking at it.
  10. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    So it'll probably work on the 2G I guess. Question is, will TomTom support it on iPhone 2G / iPod touch. Well, it's good news.
  11. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    You don't have to buy the carkit.
  12. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Read the article. Yes, it's possible that it could work. It's on their list of projects to do. If they follow through on making sure their existing software works then, yes, they'll support it. Until they do it won't work with the 2G.
  13. Londonluke macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2009
    why not? if the tomtom cradle switches off the 3gs GPS and uses its own then its possible that a 2g with the cradle and software will work

    But even tomtoms tech advice team cannot answer (so typical of them)
  14. wowipod macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Technically yes but I think there is a hardware issue or something with the iPod touch and the 2G because if I were TomTom I would have launched it on all of them to maximize sales, so I am thinkin it is more complicated than we think.
  15. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Think about what you're saying. They haven't even released for the 3G/GS yet and that's the 'easy' one. They need to get that out of the way first since that's where most of their market it.

    3.0 gave access to external devices so this isn't a huge issue. They need to rewrite the app a bit to account for a device that doesn't have a cellular data connection. If the 3G/GS can see the external GPS chipset through the dock connector then the 2G can as well. It's the same OS.

    Then they can address the Touch. You can't have the software for a device failing because it can't find the cellular radio. They need to be able to tell the Touch not to look for traffic/IQ Routes/MapShare (if they include MapShare) data through a cellular data connection. They also need to eliminate the Bluetooth speaker-phone for Touch use.

    The same thing applies to the 2G. Right now the market-target software can use either the internal GPS or the external dock GPS chipset. They need to hardware flag the software to say 'This is a 2G. There is no GPS to look for. Move along to the external chipset. Is the dock there? Continue.' It's all a matter of getting the different hardware flavors addressing correctly. They're working on a functionally even playing field with the 3G/GS models. They'll get to the others later.
  16. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    Why wouldn't it work? Whenever the iPhone is connected to the carkit, the GPS receiver from the carkit is used. This is because of OS 3.0. iPhone 2G runs OS 3.0. I don't see how this would not work on the 2G. The only way it couldn't work is whenever TomTom decides to block the 2G from receiving a GPS signal. Why would they do such thing?

    To me it sounds like they're debating whether they're going to officially support TomTom on the 2G.
  17. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007

    You need to read the post above your last. I already explained why it wouldn't work. There are differences between the models that need to be accounted for in programming. You just can't dock and expect it to work on an unsupported model when there is a lack of hardware such as an internal GPS chip it's looking for or a cell radio where none exists. It's not a toaster. Things go very wrong in programming when things they are looking for are not found.
  18. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    No. The only difference between the 2G and 3G is the GPS receiver and (ofcourse) 3G. When you dock the iPhone, the TomTom app will use the GPS receiver that's built into the carkit, this is because of OS 3.0, and OS 3.0 runs on both the 3G and 2G. The only way it wouldn't work is when TomTom decides to make an effort to make the software not work on the 2G.

    I also don't understand why TomTom would search for a cell radio. You're reasoning in circles, "It won't work because it won't work". Please explain to me in detail what the difference is between the 2G and 3G that may cause the external GPS receiver not to work on the 2G. Also, please describe to me what do you think would happen when you dock a 2G into the carkit and start up the TomTom app.

    I also tried Navigon on my 2G, just to see what it looks like. Ofcourse it wouldn't work (no GPS receiver), but Navigon only showed an error message that it couldn't get a fix on my location. To be more specific: they didn't account for 2G/3G differences. Apps are developed to be used on OS 3.0, they aren't developed to be used on an iPhone. I hope you see the difference.
  19. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Are you being intentionally dense or do you not know anything about programming?

    Software has to know what hardware is there to know what it can or can not do. As I said before, the article says that they want to work on porting it to the other devices but it's not their priority now.

    I keep explaining this to you but you just aren't getting it. The software running on the 3G and GS are running on an even playing field. They both have the same hardware set available to the software.

    When software such as this starts up it needs to initialize all of the internal devices to make sure everything is running properly before continuing on with the function. The 2G doesn't have an internal GPS chip. Neither does the iPod Touch. The software will has to know if an internal and an external chip are available. By default the internal GPS chip is the standard way for the device to receive a GPS signal and the software can address that and continue running. If the external dock is available it needs to handshake with that and hand off control from the internal GPS to the external GPS. Which performing the GPS check it would sit there and say, "Hello internal GPS?" "Hello internal GPS?" "Hello internal GPS?" but an answer would never come on the 2G and the Touch because there's nothing there to talk to. The software needs a hardware profile to say, "Oh. This is an iPhone 2G. I'll ignore trying to contact the internal GPS chip and move on to looking for the external device." The same applies for the Touch.

    You say you don't know why the TomTom would look for the cell radio. Again, I've ALREADY explained this. The Touch doesn't have a cell radio, only WiFi. TomTom has already acknowledged there will be traffic and IQ Routes in the software. There's also a possibility that they will also integrate MapShare into the software. Those are live data products coming from them. You can't check for traffic on a device that doesn't have a live cell radio to get the information. Do you get it now? The software would be stuck looking for a radio to contact TomTom to get the traffic or IQ Routes information. It couldn't make it past that because it's not there. Again, there needs to be a hardware profile in the software to disable Traffic, IQ Routes and MapShare or to treat it like their hardware GPS units and only allow that to update when docked. That wouldn't do anything for traffic but a pre-calculated IQ Route could be done through docking or WiFi.

    There's also the issue of the dock Bluetooth speakerphone. Calls would need to be there for the 2G but not for the Touch models. Again, if it's trying to make a Bluetooth connection with a device that doesn't have Bluetooth (first generation Touch) then it's going to hang. What about 2nd Generation? Without hardware profiles it would think that the Touch is a phone and try to set up speakerphone handshaking with something that doesn't have a cellular radio to begin with.

    Lastly, there's something that could be a complete showstopper with the TomTom dock. The 2G and the 3G has variations on how the dock connector worked which prevented or flagged charging from previous generation charging devices. iPod charging devices wouldn't work on the 2G. 2G charging devices were getting the incompatibility flag on 3G hardware and there have been posts here that 3G dock connections weren't working on the 3GS. If the dock isn't able to connect and charge the phone then none of this means anything anyhow because the battery will die rapidly.

    I'm done explaining things to you. This has all been very clear about why things would not work and just a few of the things that would need to be changed to make them work. If you don't get it now, move along. As I said, it's not a toaster. You can't just plug stuff in and expect it to work. There's a lot more that's going on behind the scenes. If you want to educate yourself sign up as a developer and get the Stanford University downloads that will teach you how to develop software for the devices. It's free.
  20. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    You edited your post since I was typing my response and you managed to answer your own question. Congratulation!

    There you go. You figured it out all by yourself. You got an error because it was looking for a device that did not exist in the equipment. As you said, they didn't account for the 2G/3G differences. You finally figured it out! Apparently me telling you that three times didn't take. You had to figure it out for yourself and, honestly, it doesn't seem like you've figured it out yet. There are significant differences that the software has to deal with using hardware profiles so you don't get errors. Navigon should have generated a connection message that informed you that the 2G was incompatible with GPS devices right from launch just from polling the hardware.

    If you can't figure this all out now, I'm done with you. Ciao.
  21. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    I concur, but OS 3.0 handles this. Not TomTom.
    Not exactly, 3GS has a compass which might come in handy, but ok.
    Again, I don't think this is true. Applications for iPhone OS run in a sandbox, they don't need to communicate with hardware, there are API's for that. API's which are available to both the 2G and 3G.

    Also, I think you're wrong about how TomTom operates. I think it's more like this: "O hi external GPS receiver, I'll use you even though there might be an internal GPS receiver, I don't care". What's the point of an external GPS receiver if it only works whenever there's an internal GPS receiver? That doesn't make sense. An external GPS receiver doesn't need a second internal GPS receiver.

    Ok, you're right about TomTom looking for cell service, but it's not required. If it were required, TomTom would be useless abroad because data's very expensive. I think TomTom handles this situation as follows: "There's no internet connection available, no biggie, we'll try it without traffic information".

    Yeah, but there's also a 3.5mm jack in the carkit. You don't have to use the BT speakerphone.

    I know this. The difference on the dock connector may be a show stopper, on that I agree with you (never thought of this before), but that's the only thing I agree with you about.

    I think you should realize that TomTom doesn't need to communicate with the hardware at all and that iPhone apps run in a sandbox environment. They have certain API's available to them which they can use as input for their app. Again, apps are developed to be used on iPhone OS, not for a specific iPhone. Despite your long post, I still don't see why iPhone OS would treat the iPhone 2G differently than the 3G when they are both docked into the carkit (assuming the dock connector won't be a problem).
    No, Navigon shouldn't have. iPhone apps can't directly communicate with hardware. And why should they, there are plenty of API's available that can do that. No need to reinvent the wheel (besides the fact that Navigon can't). I don't think you understand how iPhone apps work.

    I still hope you can answer the following question for me:
    I just still don't see why an external GPS receiver would not work on the 2G.
  22. wowipod macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    Well surely they would already have the app check if it was plugged into the car kit and therefore default to the GPS chip in the car kit. So in the case of the touch and the 2G it recognises that it is installed on the touch or 2G and so when it checks if the car kit is connected and it isn't then the app launches a warning message and only allows you to view the maps.

    Is that so hard to think of?
  23. lw9090 macrumors regular

    Jul 31, 2008
    End of July

    I just called tech support at 1-866-486-6866 and spoke to the PDA support and they said they were told that the TomTom app and accessories will be released on the same day at the end of the month. He could not give an exact date. That is around the same time I heard the full navigon version will be released too. I hope they are right. I have a trip planned for the 2nd week in August.
  24. Merkie macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2008
    Is it so hard to read?
    My guess is that TomTom sees a GPS receiver and thus the result is that application works flawlessly. Why wouldn't it? The 2G isn't handicapped.

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