With "In dash iPhone for Car?" I suggested having a dashboard car radio with a slot for an iPhone. Parrot have done something like this with their RK8200 car stereo / Bluetooth hands-free kit. This looks like a dashboard media unit with a small colour screen and removable head. But underneath where you would expect to find a blank panel, there is a slot to put an iPod, MP3 player or mobile phone.
The iPod or phone is plugged into the Parrot with a short cable, the iPod is then slipped into the cavity in the dashboard unit and the control unit placed over the top. The iPod or phone is then operated via the Parrot's front panel controls. The unit includes a Bluetooth handsfree unit for calls and music can be played via the car's speakers.
This is a lot more complex and expensive that I was proposing. The Parrot RK8200 is £278.10 on Amazon UK. What I had in mind was a simple car radio which could use the display and controls of the iPhone for complex functions. Instead of this the Parrot provides its own controls, display and MP3 functions. This makes it a better integrated device, but increases the cost by about ten times.
Another problem with the Parrot is that a mobile phone may not work well when inside a slot in a car dashboard. It is not clear if the Parrot has provision for an external antenna and units such as the iPhone have no provision for one. A phone may not be able to connect to a base station inside a box in the dashboard.
I researched the Parrot RK8200 a lot when I was looking to connect my iPod to the car because my itrip was just not cutting it.
I ended up getting a "direct connect ipod car kit" that just plugs right into my existing car radio integrating it with the iPod.
Some of the advantages over the RK8200 was my dash looked factory (less people to break in and steal it) and my steering wheel controls continued to work.
To find these just search for direct connect ipod car kit I cant remember where I got it, but the thing is great.... I think neo or something.
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