Some Initial comments on TomTom (UK) and a possible cure for bad GPS Reception..

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by AforAndromeda, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. AforAndromeda macrumors member


    Jan 30, 2009
    Hi guys,

    Possible cure for GPS with TomTom halfway down this mesage...

    First, here's just some random comments on using TomTom (O2 UK) after downloading it 2 days ago, and some info that really may help you....

    I have no axe to grind. Apologies if it doesn't work. I've searched but not seen an issue of the lead or adaptor mentioned anywhere else.

    First My 2 day impression of TomTom on the iPhone

    Its ok. TomTom's not a disaster, but it could be better. I just about feel it was worth my money. Nearly.

    Certainly I hope a free update will fix stuff.
    Maybe the connections (read on) or whether you've got a 3G or 3GS (more powerful?) makes at difference ?? - I got a 3G.

    Compared to Windows Mobile on HTC the app seemed initially less responsive/sensitive. (See later)..
    Initially, doing 30mph typically causes voice comments occur just after you've passed a road.

    Lovely clear display. Simple to operate.

    I would have preferred to have 2 types of touch areas: A Map touch area to set map /direction stuff and 'Toolbar' touch area to set options.

    Also I would have preferred an 'EXIT TOM TOM?' confirmation. This means its less likely to exit the applic too easily.

    GPS reception seemed better in the mornings, where I live near Windsor in the UK. (I am aware NASA or whoever saying some satellites are ageing and they are doing what they can).

    I liked the simple way it just said "Poor GPS reception" and made the screen monochrome. What was interesting was that it still worked, but really slowly.

    When I experienced this, I did a reboot and it then worked ok and the poor reception went. I thought I'd found something really helpful here, but when I tried it later, it made no difference and the poor reception remained...
    but read on...

    The Apple connection in the car. This is the important bit.

    I believe there are slightly different iPhone leads in use in cars, and this has an effect on iPhone+TomTom.

    If you have a pre 2008 lead from car stereo to an iPod, there should be no problems with playing iPods in the car.

    If you use the same lead to connect the car stereo to an iPhone it will give you a few problems. As I understand it, the difference relates to the power connection points.

    If you then try TomTom you may, like me, have lots of 'not quite right' problems.

    Firstly as others have said, this is important is because (like the Windows Mobile version) it really drains the iPhone like there is no tomorrow.

    I had a 2008 iPod lead connected to the stereo in the car, to play iTunes stored on the iPhone. This worked fine, except it displayed a message saying basically that it could not recognise the device (Alpine car stereo with iPod socket), and would I want to turn on Airplane mode. (no)

    That message is not particularly important, but what was important was the fact that it did not POWER the iPhone.


    I've just been to Halfords and got a 'Charging Adapter " for my stereo. I am using an Alpine car stereo... but I guess the principle works for all. (The adaptor was expensive at £60).. but, If it helps anyone....

    Put simply, this has made a difference to both sound quality and GPS improvement.
    I now seem get all the features I should on TomTom.

    GPS is not perfect but it's a hell of a lot better.

    The blurb on the back says" The KCX-422TR connects between the dock connector of the iPod cable and iPod. When used with the older Alpine cables and adaptors noted below , KCX-422TR will supply the charging voltage required by iPod nano (4th generation), iPod Touch (2nd generation) and iPhone 3G.

    Picture here. This shows the adaptor thing that fits on the end of the iPod cable.


    Quantifying TomTom changes

    The results improved my iPhone and TomTom GPS. Instead of 'problems as above', the voices are clearer, the music drops and returns without error, warnings sound, voices speak exactly when they should, GPS has not dropped today, athough tonight it went grey for 2 minutes, then the voices popped back on.

    Quantifying Sound quality
    When trying to play back the voices through the car stereo using the 2008 iPod lead, they just came out as a crackle sound or not at all.
    Now the sound of voices and music is excellent, the way it should be.
    (Without the adaptor, my 320 and 256kbps the music quality changes, and sounds more like 128-96kbps.)

    Bad points
    • Expensive
    • Fits flush against iPhone so I had to remove my cover becuuse it wouldn't work if case was fitted. I am now looking for an extension lead.
    • iPhone gets hot


    This might just be a one off. But if anyone is interested in checking out some more car stereos, leads adaptors etc...maybe this will help everyone.

    Let me know if it helps..

  2. Scooterman1 macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2008
    Houston, Tx
    Why don't you do a Search instead of starting a new Thread? Whoops,,,,,, didn't notice the UK.
  3. AforAndromeda thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 30, 2009

    No problem but I did search

    I put this post up for 2 reasons:

    1. Its just another person's viewpoint, and it may help prospective UK & possibly US users gain another impression

    2. I was interested in any replies to the question I asked at the end I could find no reference to leads or adapters affecting stuff.

    Apologies if I've missed something obvious here.

Share This Page