In keeping with their promise to make more apps available for their Android-based line of Asteroid car audio head units, Parrot has added four new apps to the Asteroid’s library: Three navigation apps — including a TomTom app — and a Facebook app.
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Glympse is a clever — and potentially lifesaving — feature that we’d love to see in more smartphone-connected cars.
It started out as a free app that can broadcast the user’s location to selected contacts, Facebook friends or Twitter followers. But it’s become a valuable tool for drivers of smartphone-connected Fords and Merecedes-Benzes, allowing them to broadcast their location without taking their hands off the steering wheel.
Now BMW and Mini have partnered with Glympse, raising the marque total to four.
BARCELONA, MOBILE WORLD CONGRESS — Here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, a company called Paragon is showing off an awesome new tablet dock called the cTablet Docking Station. It lets you mount your device within your car’s dashboard, providing you with a cutting-edge in-car entertainment system that’s already full of all your media, your navigation apps, and lots more.
You know about Magnetyze, right? It’s a system that lets you charge an iPhone 4/S or Galaxy S3 without the need for a cord. Pop your iPhone into the provided case, then drop the case on the magnetic charging base and your iPhone will charge (and sync) — it works kind of like the MagSafe power adapter on a MacBook. It’s really cool on the S3, because the Magnetyze case replaces the S3’s original back, so there’s almost zero extra bulk. Neat.
This is the original Parrot Asteroid Classic car stereo head-unit ($349), and it made quite a splash when it launched last year. The single-DIN, 4×55 watt receiver boasts a formidable array of features: Bluetooth connectivity, powerfully accurate voice recognition for both calls and music, a GPS receiver, a bright, 3.2-inch LED screen and a quiver of apps that run off its customized, upgradeable, early-vintage Android 1.5 OS (all of which require a data connection via a dongle).
Though this model was originally called the the Asteroid (no Classic), the Classic nomen was added to lessen confusion as three new models were announced a few months ago. However, the Asteroid Classic still very much in play; in fact, as this review goes live, the Classic is the only member of the Asteroid family currently available, as its new siblings haven’t shipped yet.
With its Android-based OS, you’d be forgiven if you thought the Asteroid Classic was more friendly to Android phones than the iPhone. In fact, the opposite is true, as I’ll explain later. And while it suffers from something that can probably be described as teething trouble, it’s still a lust-worthy system.
The Jabra Freeway ($100) is Jabra’s flagship bluetooth car speakerphone. The Freeway has loads of top-rung features like hands-free voice commands, caller announcements and FM music-streaming, wrapped around three loud, powerful speakers accompanied by noise-cancelling dual microphones — making it a very attractive option for drivers who want to add a hands-free speakerphone to their cars.