At the moment there are two approaches to staying connected to your digital world while driving: a dedicated vehicle system with a permanent screen, or a phone in a car dock. (Or you could just be a dangerous jerk and use your phone in your hands while you're driving, I suppose.) JBL would like to offer a more elegant alternative: the Smartbase. This gadget combines a phone dock, wireless charger, and an external speaker for hands-free calls. Even better, it works with existing voice control and safety services - Google Now on Android and Siri on iOS.
We all love free stuff, at least when it's good. So this one is a no-brainer. If you hurry over to Amazon, you might be able to score a free Spigen air vent magnetic mount! Seriously, don't finish reading this, just go now, these probably won't last long. Just add the mount to your cart and use the code XU6JG4A6 at checkout to receive an instant promotional credit that brings the final price down to zero. Even better, this product is eligible for Amazon Prime shipping.
At this point in my life, I never actually know where I am at any given moment. I simply trust Google Maps to tell me, and to get me home with its turn-by-turn driving directions. This kind of incredibly reckless lifestyle requires a decent car dock (like this one) and preferably a homescreen that's easy to use without taking your focus off the road. HTC includes just such an app on its One series phones, and now it's available in the Play Store.
Remember that neato Sony car stereo we checked out at CES, which is basically the perfect receiver for someone who uses their phone for all their in-car entertainment? Well, the XSP N1BT (catchy!) is here. You can buy it from Crutchfield or pre-order it now on Amazon for $249.99, and it will ship out on Thursday the 29th, just barely making Sony's May commitment for release.
If you don't recall, the XSP N1BT is a Bluetooth-powered receiver that foregoes the fancy color screens of modern car stereos for a tiny dock that clamps onto your phone. Once it's in, a combination of an NFC pairing element and a custom-made Sony app will let your phone control the stereo if you're listening to AM/FM radio, satellite radio, or a CD.
As even a brief survey of the world could tell you, we live in the future. As such, isn't it about time to stop plugging wires into all your devices? Qi-compatible charging is showing up in more phones and tablets to make it easier to get some juice by just setting your phone down. Still, there isn't a good wireless solution for the car, but the Air Dock might be the first. This device is currently on Indiegogo with a few weeks to go, and we've got some prototypes to test. So, is this a crowd funding project you need to back?
Amid all the gadgets and gizmos at CES, Sony has quietly announced a new in-car entertainment system, the XSP-N1BT. It was announced so quietly, in fact, that everyone seemed to miss it until @evleaks pointed it out. It seems like Sony should have made a bigger deal, because it looks neat.
Stop holding your Nexus 7 in your hands like a chump and check this out. These industrious modders have built and installed complete Nexus 7 mounting systems in a Subaru STi and Toyota Celica. The Toyota owner even created a launcher skin to go with the mod. The skin, of course, is based on Knight Rider (seen below).
The modder with the Toyota used Nova Launcher, UCCW, and Simple Text to build a simple Knight Rider UI that gives access to the most commonly used functions. Having something like this in your dash is probably not the safest thing, so cutting down on distraction is a good call.
Docks are hard to come by for Android hardware, where very few individual models rise above the pack. But if you're one of 30,000,000 people sporting a Galaxy S III, or one of the considerably smaller number using AT&T's Samsung Infuse 4G, you can pick up an official vehicle mount for a song. Assuming that you can sing a song that's worth five American dollars.
The Infuse 4G dock is currently $29.99 on Amazon, but some wary forum poster over at SlickDeals spotted the same dock at AT&T's online store for just five bucks even. This particular model has been a favorite on XDA for a while, where user "ookba" (who had upgraded from an Infuse 4G to a Galaxy S III) noted that the larger phone fit in the dock just fine, thanks to the gently rounded corners.
I love gadgets. Not only that, but I love gadgets for my gadgets: cases, docks, stands, mounts, keyboards, and pretty much anything else you can think of. There's also a dark side at work here, though: I'm also a perfectionist. As such, I'm always on a quest for the perfect thingy-majig, which, in all likelihood, probably doesn't exist.
Ergo, when I saw the Power Dock Flex from Bracketron (I have to admit, I'm a sucker for most things with the word "flex" in the name), I thought it seems like a fantastic idea.
Over 2 months after the HTC EVO 4G became available to Sprint customers nationwide, HTC has finally made available its official EVO 4G "car upgrade kit." What does it include? When you open the box, you'll find the actual phone "dock" which uses the EVO's micro-USB port to provide power to the phone, as well as the windshield-mountable platform/base. You'll probably also find a lengthy warranty and instruction document of some sort (sorry if we spoiled the surprise).
Take note, no car charger or USB cable is included with this "kit" - they must be purchased separately. There are some additional issues to weigh before you purchase the car dock as well:
The phone's rear camera is blocked by the dock (dock blocked, if you will)
The USB connector is not capable of data transfer (will not work with your car's UBS stereo)
The SD card is inaccessible while the phone is docked (no SD apps, pictures, or music)
The "Car Home" app currently only displays in portrait mode
Given these issues, this may be the most disappointing "Car Upgrade Kit" ever released.