updated 03:20 pm EDT, Mon June 8, 2009
TomTom on iPhone
While Apple announced a variety of new iPhone apps at the WWDC event on Monday, one of the notable additions integrates TomTom navigation. The app will provide many of the same features as standalone GPS systems, such as turn-by-turn directions, voice prompts and route planning. Users will be able to choose routes based on the fastest traffic flow in certain areas at specific times of the day.
Along with the app, TomTom will offer a line of accessories to enhance the GPS and in-vehicle functionality of the iPhone. A cradle will securely dock the iPhone, while allowing the orientation to be switched between landscape and portrait. The Car Kit also provides an external speaker to improve the volume for voice prompts, while enabling hands-free calling.
Reports of a TomTom app have existed for a year, although earlier versions of the iPhone SDK prohibited vector-based (directional) positioning that is necessary for turn-by-turn navigation assistance. The new iPhone 3GS also integrates a magnetometer which works like a digital compass, a feature that is absent from a good portion of standalone systems. Without the magnetometer, the user must begin moving before the app can calculate the heading based on point-to-point data.
The TomTom app and Car Kit will be available this summer, although pricing information has yet to be announced.