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Thread: Iphone in car navigation - The Death of your PND

  1. #71
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    So this is my first time on the board since probably 4 years ago (pre-iphone). And at that time there were these threads out there predicting the impending doom of the car-pc because of touchscreen headunits from pioneer et. all and car manufacturers. After going 4 years using aftermarket headunits and more recently my iPhone, I am considering coming back to the car-pc gig because of the customizability. That is where the real advantage lies. I could custom-design a touch screen interface for my 10 year old car that looks factory, and has way more features than any aftermarket or OEM GPS nav system or even systems like ford sync.

    And the neat thing too is my jailbroken iPhone is set up to allow USB teathering. So this means I can make a single connection to my iPhone and I now have all the power the internet brings to the equation. I have almost talked myself into spending the money on a carpc !

  2. #72
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    Welcome back to the car PC world

    When do you anticipate your project will be off the ground?

  3. #73
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    Welcome back! Check into the OSDash project - just getting off the ground but trying to bring the power of the net to the car pc.

    Also, for more car pc killing stuff, check the thread in my sig that says "help me kill my car pc"
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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  4. #74
    Newbie mfoxworthy's Avatar
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    I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    I'm willing to bet you that within just a very few years your iPhone will sport that much memory, but it really doesn't matter. With Dot.Tunes you can stream all your media from your house to your iPhone without limit.


    As for controlling the iPhone from your remote desktop, you obviously haven't jailbroken your iPhone. Cause if you did, you'd know that running Backgrounder and screensplitr along with Veency, you can remotely control your phone while you stream Pandora while getting those nav updates you wanted. While broadcasting your position live on the web.

    No question that desktop PC's are more powerful and versatile than a smart device. I don't think there's any disagreement about that. But of all the points I hear about PC vs. smart device (mainly on the capacity and speed side), the only one that holds water is the screen size. And it is important to note that smart devices represent a level of mobile computing that even laptops and netbooks don't provide. It is a real game changer and functionality that will never be matched by a PC.

    Take a look at the trajectory of development for smart devices vs. desktop devices. Smart devices are and will continue to increase in speed, storage and battery life. I'm certain that they will satisfy most consumers within the next few years along those lines. The screen size and interface are issues that will remain but I don't really see anyone saying that smart devices will *replace* a desktop PC. This thread is originally about smart devices replacing PNDs. That is throughly underway already.

    What we are witnessing today is the development of a product and capability that is brand new. A small, powerful, and connected device that changes the computing experience from a device focused one to a contextual one. You don't fire up your netbook to check your email when you're in line for your latte but check your smart phone? You bet. The revolution has only just begun.
    My iPhone is jailbroken. It works great as a Bluetooth Teather device. When I had Backgrounder running the phone was so slow it became unusable. I don't have the 3Gs yet so the jury is still out on speed. None the less, I do love my iPhone. When I am out running around with my family or in the gym the iPhone certainly rocks. I also travel A LOT! So we have the car pc for all that family entertainment and storage. We turned our Toy Hauler into our home away from home. The iPhone will certainly not fit that bill. I wasn't looking for a simple device to do all the basic things. For that, I'm sure the iPhone would be a great tool. When I want full blown entertainment with streaming, Internet access, tons of storage, DVD, back up monitor, big screens, multiple video in/out and so on, I don't think the iPhone is really the right device. So replacing my Infotainment system with an iPhone just doesn't seem feasible. So maybe there are two categories?

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfoxworthy View Post
    My iPhone is jailbroken. It works great as a Bluetooth Teather device. When I had Backgrounder running the phone was so slow it became unusable. I don't have the 3Gs yet so the jury is still out on speed. None the less, I do love my iPhone. When I am out running around with my family or in the gym the iPhone certainly rocks. I also travel A LOT! So we have the car pc for all that family entertainment and storage. We turned our Toy Hauler into our home away from home. The iPhone will certainly not fit that bill. I wasn't looking for a simple device to do all the basic things. For that, I'm sure the iPhone would be a great tool. When I want full blown entertainment with streaming, Internet access, tons of storage, DVD, back up monitor, big screens, multiple video in/out and so on, I don't think the iPhone is really the right device. So replacing my Infotainment system with an iPhone just doesn't seem feasible. So maybe there are two categories?
    A couple thoughts:

    I totally agree the iphone wouldn't fit your needs now.
    The thought is that one day it will. the pace of tech growth is fast.

    I have an iphone 3gs and love all the backgrounding. I also have access to a 3g and notice a big speed decrease when I use that phone.

  6. #76
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    It's a fallacy to think that the iPhone -or any small, portable smart device will straight out *replace* the pc. It is a different device than a pc.

    However, conducting a thought experiment points out the main differences between the smart device and the pc. Pretend for just a minute that your iPhone or Android or whatever smart device you prefer has unlimited storage, memory, processing power and battery power. The audio is very high quality. What is the main difference now between the smart device and the pc?

    Screen size and expandability. It's too small to function as a pc because the screen is too tiny. And it can't be expanded to add new functions. And of course, cost, as the phones require a data subscription.

    I firmly believe that future devices will solve these problems. The evidence already points to it - smart phone run faster and longer than they used to. These devices are virtually brand new in the market and they are popular. So, the storage issues and the battery issues and the processor speed issues will be addressed to the extent that they will be GOOD ENOUGH for most people. Never as good as a pc of course, but good enough.

    And when good enough arrives, I am sure that there will be some type of video arrangement on the devices that will allow you to connect either directly or wirelessly to the screen and have it function LIKE a pc but not exactly as a pc replacement.

    Likewise, some type of bluetooth or wifi USB hub for connectivity. Can you imagine the ecosystem of devices around a standardized expansion capability? It would be a whole new section in Best Buy.

    Multiple video? Probably not. Just buy another iPod or video player. They're already cheap and will get cheaper. In another 5 years, these players will be included in cereal boxes and good ones will be less than $50.

    Will a dedicated device trump a mobile one? Almost surely. But the difference won't be great enough for most people to notice. Mp3's are lower quality than lossless compression but nobody seems to care. It's GOOD ENOUGH for all but a few. And those few buy high end systems that beat standard players. Both sets of consumers win.

    And the one area that PC's cannot compete in - the mobile experience, will continue to evolve with these devices. We are effectively creating computers that are always on, always with people, and always connected. That is revolutionary and a desktop pc can't provide that experience. Even a laptop or a netbook is simply and evolutionary device. The smart phones are revolutionary and disruptive.

    Interestingly, what this original post was about has already come to pass. Tom Tom has released their software for the smart phone. AT&T has released an app for the iPhone. Google has released their nav app for the Android. And prices of PNDs are plunging. If you already own a smart phone, why in the world would you buy a PND? Sure, the screen is a little larger, but the apps on your phone are GOOD ENOUGH to get you there. Yep, bigger screens would be an improvement but until that comes built into the car, well, it will work for today.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    It's a fallacy to think that the iPhone -or any small, portable smart device will straight out *replace* the pc. It is a different device than a pc.

    . . . Never as good as a pc of course, but good enough.

    . . . LIKE a pc but not exactly as a pc replacement.
    I'm right with you on almost all of this -- except the PC replacement part. Phone manufacturers and PC manufacturers are different companies, even if their corporate parents are in both fields (Samsung & Toshiba, for instance). As you say, the smartphone is a disruptive technology, and I'd bet phone manufacturers would be delighted to see their units replace PCs.

    I can see people using their smartphones in the future much as many road warriors have used laptops & notebooks: they dock them in the office. Office data could stay on office servers or in the cloud, and personal data could travel along in the smartphone (or stay in the cloud).

    We've seen laptops expand in capability so they replace desktops. I expect smartphones to do the same thing, and I won't be surprised to see the desktop PC become a dinosaur.
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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdholtz View Post
    I
    We've seen laptops expand in capability so they replace desktops. I expect smartphones to do the same thing, and I won't be surprised to see the desktop PC become a dinosaur.
    Not possible. If a high-end laptop will have 1000TB HDD and a Geforce XYZ2000,
    then the high-end desktop will have 2000TB and XYZ4000. Size matters.
    With the same quality of parts, carPC will always outperform a smartphone,
    as a desktop will always outperform a laptop, simply because there's more place for hardware in it.

    It's like saying, PC will replace pen&paper
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  9. #79
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    You're probably right. I think my posts lately have appeared to imply the PC's will somehow go away rather than mobile devices becoming more prevalent.

    And it's a good point that the manufacturers aren't the same.

    Between reliable internet connectivity and ability to serve data and applications, the outcome to me is that the hardware has diminishing importance (do not read that as "not important"). That includes the smart phone hardware.

    The real difference is what it will mean in the near future as we take computers and connectivity with us wherever we are. We've never really done that before. The interaction in time spaces like awaiting a bus or the subway, waiting in a line to order your lunch and so forth is very different from the application-user interaction that one does at the PC. It's really more of a situation-user interaction.

    The implications of that going forward is, of course, very hard to know. Naysayers maintain that this isn't important. These so-called 'new' devices are just phones with weak computing capability built in and will never overshadow the power of a good PC. So the real question is whether or not 'going mobile' with a smart device will ever amount to anything. It seems logical to me that it is a fundamentally different type of interaction than with a PC but skeptics seem to think it isn't important in the long run.

    Obviously, PC's will continue to evolve during this time but given their traditional form factor and user paradigm, I don't see them evolving as quickly as smart devices. Instead, I see them as continuing to do the things that they do best - serving up music or acting as a digitizer for home video, or a workstation for concentrated work, like information creation activities such as programming, creating spreadsheets, creating written materials or images even better. And to the extent that it applies, moving towards incorporation of some of the solutions that smart devices will drive like cloud data storage or web services and applications.

    According to Christensen in "The Innovator's Dilemma," disruptive technologies are never viewed as disruptive until it is too late. The main objections to the idea of smart devices as displacing (I shouldn't say 'replacing') PC's is the screen size, storage, expansion capability and price.

    Yet among the things I am quite sure of are the following:
    - Declining price/performance for smart mobile devices including
    - Improving speed
    - Increasing memory
    - Increasing battery life
    - Declining data transfer cost
    - Increasing innovation ranging from proprietary to open operating systems

    The screen and expansion arguments I view as almost trivial. It doesn't seem much of a stretch for manufacturers of LCD televisions or monitors to provide an iPod style dock or a VNC type of ability to display the contents of your mobile device on their screen. Or for bluetooth and WiFi to support communication with hardware appliances that provide much of that capability extension. Or to be able to access the same data and applications in a different way via a different device.

    As for speed, the question is - how fast is fast enough? A modern PC running at 2ghz is decent enough for most tasks and smart devices currently operate quite a bit faster than their older pc partners like Pentiums. I don't know quite how fast these phones need to be but I am quite sure that they will become 'fast enough.'

    When that happens, the stage is set for disruptive innovation to take over. What that looks like and how it plays out is a fool's guess. It's much easier to predict evolutionary innovations (smaller, faster, cheaper) than disruptive ones. Even the timing often eludes the best informed (recall Larry Ellison's network computer a decade or more ago? Looks like the time is now, not then).

    Sorry for the lecture, this is way longer than I wanted it to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugbyte View Post
    As for speed, the question is - how fast is fast enough? A modern PC running at 2ghz is decent enough for most tasks and smart devices currently operate quite a bit faster than their older pc partners like Pentiums. I don't know quite how fast these phones need to be but I am quite sure that they will become 'fast enough.'
    There is no such thing as fast enough.
    "No one will need more than 637 kb of memory for a personal computer."
    There will be always new, processor hungry features, that can change your life.
    Like in 1990, we said "wow, a cellphone", now we say: "boo, only 2G?"
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