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  • 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...

  • ‘Fifth screen’ emerges for cars, but not yet ready for prime time

    By now, the illustrious “fourth screen” is a common term--that of the mobile device, still the holy grail for media companies and advertisers. At the North American International Auto show(NAIAS) in Detroit, it became clear that the era of the “fifth screen” is upon us: The one inside people’s vehicles.  Unfortunately for consumers, these "mobile" systems tend to have substantial usability problems. Ford, once known for classics like the Mustang, Cobra and GT then emerging with the family-friendly (and dull) Taurus in the 1980s and the Explorer in the 1990s, is helping to lead the charge. It plans to make its MyFord...

  • 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 and 3-D TV sets during the four-day event. "The tablet wars are now launched, with everybody under the sun producing tablets," said Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay. "A...

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