Posts Tagged ‘Tom Tom’

TomTom £8 Voucher is of little use

May 30th, 2009 No comments

I got an email from TomTom proudly offering a free £8 voucher

TomTom £8 voucher

so I thought I’d use it to get an additional voice, but since TomTom now force you to use the TomTom Home software to download voices and most other purchases that you would likely use this voucher for, the voucher is of little use as it cannot be used with TomTom Home.

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iPhone 3G Pairing with TomTom GO 500

March 12th, 2009 2 comments

iPhone TomTom BluetoothIf you’re looking to buy an iPhone and wondering whether it will pair up on Bluetooth with your TomTom GPS, I can confirm that my iPhone 3G pairs successfully with my TomTom GO 500. The firmware versions are: iPhone 3G (v2.2.1 (5H11)) and TomTom GO 500 (v7.903).

It actually pairs up better than my Nokia 6300 which, as noted in a previous post, fails to properly import the phone book into the TomTom, choosing only to offer one number per contact. By contrast, the iPhone clearly tags each number with work, home, mobile.

I also now have names and numbers of incoming callers showing again on the TomTom. Since switching from my SE k750i to the Nokia 6300, I had lost this, as the Nokia did not pass any information to the TomTom about the incoming call.

Haydon Bridge Bypass Complete (according to Google)

November 18th, 2008 No comments

Haydon Bridge is the last remaining village on the A69 to be bypassed and while construction is still underway with a completion date of Spring 2009, Google maps appears to have jumped the gun and seems to think it has been completed:

View Larger Map


I have just updated the maps on my TomTom and the new bypass is also shown on here:

Haydon Bridge Bypass on TomTom

This is not surprising as both Google and TomTom take their map data from Tele-Atlas, who would appear to be the ones jumping the gun here.

Ironically, TomTom’s map update service proudly claims “Tomorrow’s maps today“. I didn’t realise they meant literally.

Further Update (24 Nov)

A representative from The Highways Agency has today confirmed that they were unaware of Google and TomTom showing the bypass as open. They also noted that Google maps has given the old road the number B6319 (as have TomTom) which has yet to be confirmed.

Update (27 Mar 09)

I drove along the A69 today and the bypass is now open.

What value TomTom Traffic?

April 22nd, 2008 No comments

CarsIt’s coming up to renewal time for TomTom Traffic, and I’m wondering whether to bother.

My journey to work involves a motorway and a number of A roads. Depending on traffic, the first part of my journey (on the A6 to the motorway) can take me 20-25 minutes (6 minutes without congestion). That is a considerable delay, yet TomTom Traffic has never flagged it. Similarly, delays on the A666 are never reported.

The only delays that do get a mention are on the M61, but even then the information is next to useless: regardless of the actual amount of traffic or delay, TomTom Traffic will always report the same delay over the same fixed length of motorway i.e. between junctions. These figures are:

Section of Road Delay reported
M61 J5-J4 16 minutes
M61 J4-J3 22 minutes

The traffic could be stationary or just slower than normal but TomTom Traffic cannot differentiate, so the reported delays have little use.

On longer journeys I’ve often been in the middle of a traffic jam before TomTom warns about it, or the location of delays or roadworks are often several miles out. Considering TomTom Traffic is supposed to use the same source as, the two sets of information rarely tie up.

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TomTom Release Home v2.2 (incl. Mac Version)

January 29th, 2008 2 comments

TomTom HomeAccording to, TomTom have released version 2.2 of Home and this release finally includes a Mac Version, just two days before the discounted map offer expires.

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TomTom Traffic has another bad day

January 14th, 2008 No comments

This morning it took me 25 minutes to get to the motorway (a 5-6 minute journey) due to queues on the A6. Was this queue shown on TomTom traffic? No. Has it ever shown on TomTom Traffic? No.

When I did get to the M61 motorway, it was predicting congestion between junctions 5 and 4, but clear after that. In reality there was no traffic between 5 and 4, but slow crawling traffic from junction 4 onwards, but not according to TomTom.

TomTom traffic information is becoming increasingly worthless.

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TomTom Discriminates Against Mac users

January 12th, 2008 3 comments

In the past, if you wanted the latest map for your TomTom, you went to TomTom’s website, paid for it and downloaded it. Now TomTom has changed it so that it is only possible to download the maps using its ‘TomTom Home’ software.

TomTom HomeNot a great problem, except that the latest maps can only be downloaded and installed using the latest version 2 software. Unfortunately, TomTom hasn’t bothered yet to release version 2 for Mac users, who are stuck with v1.5, so Mac users are excluded from using the latest maps unless they can find a Windoze PC on which to install Home and use to download the maps.

To make matters worse, the new maps are currently on offer at discounted rate until the end of January 08, so by the time TomTom get their finger out and release version 2 of Home for Mac, this date will have passed, and Mac users will have been effectively excluded from the offer.

TomTom excludes Mac users

Q: why is version 2 required to install a map, something version 1.5 was perfectly capable of doing previously?

Q: why can’t the map be downloaded directly from TomTom’s website as was the case if the past?

Q: why are TomTom being so slow to release version 2 for Mac?

I contacted TomTom, suggesting that since they’d failed to get a Mac version out in time for the offer, they should extend the offer for Mac users. The response was:

We’re doing our best to come out with an update as soon as possible so every customer could download maps and updates using their own pc or mac.
But for now unfortunately indeed there isn’t much our mac customers can do for downloading maps besides using a different windows based computer.

Which roughly translates as ‘tough’.

The correct customer focused response would have been “we appreciate the inconvenience the delay in getting the Mac version released is causing our valued Mac based customers, so we have extended the discounted map offer to those customer for a period of one month after the software is released.”

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Tom Tom Traffic

May 3rd, 2007 No comments

When I first got my TomTom Go 500, I tried the 1 month free traffic trial and found it to be next to useless, failing to warn of two major traffic jams. I later changed phone to a Sony Ericsson k750i which fails to provide wireless data for the TomTom (it worked OK with my Powerbook and Palm T|X).

Now that I’ve got a new phone which provides wireless data again, I decided to try the traffic function again. Unfortunately, the system remembers that I’d used my free trial, so I had to pay €39.

1st May

The first thing that showed up was ‘lane closed at Blackrod – delay 0 min’. Now there have been roadworks on the A6 at Blackrod since mid-March, but they finished last week. I presume this is still showing because they’ve got some roadworks data which is out of date.
Read more…

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Nokia 6300

April 24th, 2007 18 comments

If you are looking for information on opening the USB cover, see this post.

My Sony Ericsson k750i started playing up recently: locking up requiring a battery removal to reset, but then continuously vibrating on switch on, or going very slow, not responding to key presses, so I decided it was time for a change.

The question was, “what to?”. I had always stuck with Ericsson phones (starting with the analogue EH237, then on digital: GH388, I888, R320, T39m, T68i, T630 and lastly the K750i) because the menu system always made sense compared to Nokia, and prior to Sony getting involved, Ericsson had always made the serious phones with useful features, whereas Nokia had gone the route of appealing to those more interested in silly ringtones and swappable covers. Some Nokias didn’t even have a normal telephone ringtone.

Nokia 6300Unfortunately, Sony appears to be trying to turn all the phones into Walkman clones, and the last three (T68i, T630 and k750i) have all exhibited the common Sony Ericsson joystick failure problems, so I decided to give Nokia a try and chose the Nokia 6300.

A Glaring Omission

Bluetooth smallFirst thing to do on receipt of the new phone was to transfer my phone book from the old phone. Here I hit a snag. Ever since my first bluetooth phone (T39m), I have been able to ‘send all contacts’ via bluetooth to the new phone. Unfortunately, Nokia phones don’t seem to support this. Sending a single contact at a time works, but not the whole phone book. I was not prepared to sit and transfer one contact at a time and copying to the SIM was not an option, as this truncates the names, so I would have to spend time correcting all the contacts. I did find a way round this using my Apple Mac, but I shouldn’t have had to resort to that.

This is a glaring omission on a modern bluetooth enabled phone.

Buried Memory

I had realised that I would have to change from the Memory Stick Duo in the k750i to a MicroSD card, but was at first stumped when I came to look for the slot. Whereas the k750i has a rubber cover for the memory card, the slot on the 6300 is buried away and you have to remove the back cover to get to the memory card slot. This is not some ‘fit and forget’ item like the SIM card. If you are using the phone’s camera on a day-to-day basis, you need to be able to remove the card easily.

Speaking of the camera, it is a shame there is no lens cover to protect it, nor is there a light or macro mode.

The phone does has a mini-USB port on the bottom, (good, so you don’t have to buy a special Nokia lead) so it is actually possible to connect the phone to a computer and access the memory card directly, effectively using the phone as a card reader, but I shouldn’t have to carry an extra lead.

There is also a missed opportunity here. If you’ve provided a USB connection, why not charge the phone using it?

Use with Tom Tom

I was pleasantly surprised that the Nokia paired up very quickly with my Tom Tom GO 500 and the wireless data side also works, whereas my k750i refused to pair up at all under current Tom Tom firmware (6.x) requiring to pair under 5.42 and then upgrade the Tom Tom. Also the k750i wireless data never worked and had to be disabled. Considering that Ericsson developed the Bluetooth standard, it is rather odd to see another manufacturer’s phone working better than an Ericsson phone. Plus point for Nokia.

However, it then goes and falls flat on its face for two reasons:

  • incoming SMS messages do not show on the Tom Tom. Minus 3 for Nokia.
  • Importing the phonebook to the TomTom only brings in one phone number per contact. Nokia was late in the day introducing multiple numbers per contact and it would appear that they still don’t have it properly implemented.

Minor niggles

The following are minor niggles, but show that a little more thought would have gone a long way.

Changing the wallpaper to a colour similar to the menu text makes the menu text invisible. Not very clever! There is no warning about this. Note this is using the supplied Nokia wallpaper, so someone obviously forgot to check this. The k750i would automatically swap the text to a contrasting colour.

Pressing the green ‘call’ button brings up a list of recent contacts, both incoming and outgoing. The icons for in and out are very similar and difficult to distinguish. More importantly, there is no indication against the contact’s name whether the call was home, mobile or work. For this you have to go into details, check, then come back out to make the call. Again, on the k750i, an icon appeared against each entry. You can switch icons on for the main names list, but this does not affect the recent caller list.

There is no tone or message when you get a receipt for a text message (Sorry, Delivery Report in Nokia-speak). You need to open each message in your sent items list and check the message details and scroll down to delivery status – very long winded. On Ericsson, apart from getting a tone and message, each sent item has a tick next to it if a delivery report has been received.

This next one make me think that Nokia just haven’t thought the interface through. Let’s say I have a contact ‘John Smith’ which currently contains only his landline number. He sends me a text with his new shiny mobile number. On my Sony Ericsson, I would simply open the text, select ‘options-save number’, then select existing contact and tell it what type of number (home/work/mobile/other) it was. It would then add the new number to the existing contact. Simple. Not so on Nokia. True enough, there is an ‘option-save number’, but it does not allow you to save it to an existing contact. Never mind, I thought, enter the same name and it will ask if you want to add the number to the existing contact (in much the same way as MS Outlook does). No. Instead I get “contact exists, do you want to replace it?” “No I **** don’t you stupid phone”. In the end, I wrote it down on a piece of paper and manually edited the existing contact. I think it boils down to the fact that Ericsson’s phonebooks have been able to hold multiple numbers against a single name for a lot longer than Nokia’s have, and Nokia hasn’t got the hang of it yet.


Overall, the screen is very good and the in-call sound quality is comparable to a landline.

I’m still getting used to using unlock-* rather than *-unlock, and the different keys for space, and upper/lower case, but that’s to be expected.

Speed Camera sites for Tomtom

July 25th, 2005 No comments

After trying the ‘Safety’ camera trial on Tomtom, it appears that the demo file is severely limited. Most of the the known cameras are missing.

However, I found the website where you can download free POI files for speed camera locations for Tomtom and other GPS units.

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