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Friday, November 20, 2009
iPhone 1G/2G/EDGE + TomTom app & Car Kit = Turn-by-Turn GPS navigation? Yes. Unpacking…
iPhone 1G/2G/EDGE + TomTom app & Car Kit = Turn-by-Turn GPS navigation? Yes. Unpacking…

When in mid-August this year, TomTom announced that it would design a car kit for the iPhone, many of the old iPhone 2G users wondered if it would be compatible with their devices or whether they could use the iPhone as a GPS navigator, through the car kit.

Almost two months later, the TomTom car kit went on sale. We wondered whether it is a good idea, to take the risk to spend more than € 99,99 for the application (Western edition), and € 99,99 for the Car Kit, without being certain that the Car Kit would work with our devices.

Not much information online about this subject can be found, and some of the info published is contradictory. Fortunately, TomTom Iberia (my sincere gratitude to their PR department), has been kind enough to let us test the Car Kit, to resolve any doubts about this.

It is not my intention in this first article, to test the car kit on the road, but simply to show you the device, and confirm you that it works with a first-generation iPhone. Navigation tests will probably be published next week.

Also, I will try to test the Car Kit with an iPhone 3Gs, and compare the application behavior with and without the Car Kit.

Car Kit box content

• Car Kit for the iPhone.

• Charger for the iPhone.

• Dashboard adhesive disk.

• Documentation.


I like the design and finish of the Car Kit. Sober but elegant. It is lightweight and handles well. It features a built-in speaker, microphone, audio output, hands free (bluetooth) and a GPS receiver.

The dock (cradle where the iPhone is docked) rotates 360 degrees, thus we can use it in widescreen or portrait. The dashboard support has a locking system; this locking system makes the craddle sticks on the adhesive disk.

To not go too much further in this article, I will leave the details and photos of integrating the Car Kit in the car for the next review.

iPhone connection

The process is really simple: connect the charger to the car and then connect the Car Kit’s USB port to the iPhone, now it is docked to the kit. Then synchronize via Bluetooth and you’re all set.

First attempts

Two weeks ago I had already the Car Kit in my hands and TomTom Western Europe v1.1 installed on my iPhone 2G. Unfortunately, the early attempts were not quite right.

When I launched the TomTom GPS application and selected a destination, I got the result you can see in the picture below:

After two minutes you could still see the same message: “Waiting for GPS signal”. I turned on the car and took it for a spin to see if eventually the GPS signal was blocking this. When leaving the garage, a new message popped-up (not giving me enough time to make a screenshot) saying: “This accessory is not compatible with the iPhone.” After ignoring the message I was driving about fifteen minutes to no avail.

Finally, when I got home, I started the TomTom Car Kit tool application with the following results:

As you can see, the devices are properly connected but there is no GPS signal.

If you go for it, you can get it!

After exchanging several e-mails with my TomTom contacts, I finally got everything to work. The result is the following:

You can now see the result, when opening TomTom’s Car Kit application tool and check that the GPS signal is blocked.

It is good to know that when you have a 2G JB iPhone, you’ll find yourself with problems to get all to work (iPhone, application and car kit).

Keep connected to, next week we will post the test drive.


NOTE: The hardware and software tested has been provided by TomTom Iberia.

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