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Car Tech

  • Waze: the app that saves you from traffic and fines [Review]

    Let’s be honest: I drive a car. I hate traffic. I get lost a lot. So when I heard there was an app that combined GPS navigation with traffic updates, it was installed on my phone within the hour. I was willing to try anything. Fortunately, as it turned out, Waze is actually pretty darn good. What is Waze? Waze is an app for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and Symbian -- basically, pretty much everyone with a GPS function on their mobile device. It maps your routes automatically as you drive and sends information about your speed to other Wazers....

  • Review — Parrot Minikit+

    The Parrot Minikit+ is the Bluetooth, hands-free kit you've always wanted, but never knew you needed. Confused? So am I. Talking on your mobile while driving is illegal in some countries, so it makes a modicum of sense to employ a hands-free kit. Some use the voice-free option on their phones, shouting loudly into a tiny speaker as they drive. Other less fashionable drivers use the headphones which come standard with their mobile. But I roll with a different, tech-infused crowd and prefer to embrace the future, yo. Parrot style The look and feel of the Minikit+ is stellar. The device is...

  • Street Bump app detects potholes, couldn’t care less about your tyres

    Pothole reporting apps are nothing Street Bump is different. Over in Boston USA, they’ve figured out a way to report potholes in their city without all the tedious manual labour of, you know, typing and stuff. Through a collaboration by the city of Boston, The New Urban Mechanics and crowdsourcing platform Innocentive, Street Bump uses a smart phone’s accelerometer and GPS to automatically detect and report potholes to the city. The app came to be when the city of Boston collaborated with Innocentive to crowdsource solutions for enhancements to its existing app. With a $25,000 prize incentive, the city of...

  • Future tech: Dash – the awesome iPhone car stereo

    Devium is utilising Kickstarter to bring Dash to life, a car stereo dock that will put your iPhone in the center of your center console. Rather than connecting your iPhone via a cable or Bluetooth, Dash lets you turn your iPhone into a car audio system while simultaneously charging your device. Beyond just an audio system, imagine using all the apps -- especially GPS -- on your iPhone this way. Dash is a simple two component system consisting of a faceplate which connects to your phone and allows you to buy different phones and continue to use Dash, and a body...

  • Rydeen is backing Android to win the in-car infotainment battle

    Almost a year ago, we asked “Will Android dominate the new in-car infotainment battleground?”. Walking around the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) last year, it was clear that cars would be the new battleground for operating systems. Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Automotive was the choice of Ford, Kia, Fiat and Nissan, while General Motors were onboard with Research In Motion’s QNX. We saw our first glimpse of Android in cars with the Roewe 350’s Continental AutoLinq system, and a year later it seems Android is gaining momentum. At CES 2012 a company called Rydeen showed off a close to be...

  • Never lost again. We review TomTom’s GoLive 1000

    Convergence is the combination of similar devices into a single platform. Digital cameras, books and GPS devices are products which now generally exist on smartphones like the Nokia N9 and the iPhone 4. The GPS in particular is at home on the touchscreen display and long battery life of the modern smartphone. So why then bother with a non-converged device? Why should I spend money on a GPS which only does one thing? You do it because the TomTom GoLive 1000 is one of the best navigation systems on the market and a must for your car. Designed well It's built to...

  • TomTom delivers a world-class iPhone app and car kit [Review]

    Last week, I received a mouth-watering package from the good folk at TomTom South Africa -- an iPhone 4 and a Tom Tom car kit. I had been wanting to test their GPS app out for quite a while, as I had only heard good things about it, and after reviewing other iPhone GPS apps, I wanted to see how TomTom stacked up. The latest update to the TomTom Southern Africa app (iTunes Link US$59.99) delivers a much-anticipated feature called HD Traffic (In-App purchase US$37.99 for 12 months or US$5.99 for 1 month), a service which allows you to see...

  • In-car infotainment: Will Android dominate the new tech battleground?

    Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive is the infotainment OS of choice for today's powerhouse car manufacturers such as Ford, Kia, Fiat and Nissan. If you’ve never heard of Microsoft WEA before, it’s probably because each manufacturer brands the system under a different name. Ford calls it MyFord, Nissan has Connect , and Kia has UVO. You can think of WEA as the Android of the car world, with each manufacturer "skinning" the user interface using Silverlight, but essentially offering all the same core technologies such as Tellme, which allows real-time text-to-speech and voice input technology. Car manufacturers haven't exactly been spoilt...

  • Tablets, smart gadgets, balls, blocks and cars rule at CES

    Slick touchscreen tablet computers and smarter devices for the home and the car took centre stage as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapped up on Sunday. The "always-connected" lifestyle was on full display at the annual gadget extravaganza as Internet technology ruled at a show traditionally dominated by eye-popping new television sets. Tablet computers to rival Apple's iPad were the hot new products on display along with powerful new smartphones, ultra-thin laptops and Web-connected...

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