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  1.    #1  
    I am a big gadget freak, I also use my car alot. So pursuing a perfect home away from home mobile solution in my car is a big obseesion of mine.

    The more time I spend on finding the perfect solution, the more I realize how hard it is to get there. Here is the question, if you want a particular car, can you get handsfree calling, indash music (and maybe video) playback control in a clean installation? Let's
    for the sake of discussion assume we all have a tons of money, what, exactly is the pecfect way to bring entertainment to your car?

    The first candidate is Treo. One of the main reason for me to buy the 650 over the much cheaper 600 is that I knew it plays movie much better than the the 600. I think it solves the music problem very well, either with a 2GB card or a streaming setup. I have never tried stream such as goolnet before but I understand it's very doable. However, once I put my hands on a Treo I quickly realized how hard it is to watch a video on the Treo. It doesn't matter how good the resolution is, it's not going to work if you have a square screen that's 2 inches wide.

    Another problem I have with the phone is that if I use my Treo as my only navigation, music player in my car, it will make a mess out of my dash. I have to run a wire for the audio and I have to run another to recharge it. I am getting a new car soon so it's a huge peeve of mine to get a clean dash. On top of that, it's such a pain to answer the phone, when you are listening music from it. That's why I want bluetooth 1.2 on the new Treo so much.

    Now let's look at something that trys to solve the in-car problem from the opposite side of the spectrum, the Pioneer AVIC-N2. Wow this baby has everything. DVD navigation; DVD and music
    playback; real time traffic tracking competible with XM; rearview camera. You name it they have it. The down side is, of course, this thing is freaking expensive and easily get stolen. Plus it can't play new music I download or the daily podcast.

    So what's something in the middle? Enter the iPod. I think right now, there is no better solution for portable music than iPod and its army of accesories. It's very easy to get new material on the player and the painless syncing software make every penny they over-charge you worth it. It's also very easy to find clean iPod installation, either from OEM or aftermarket. What about in-car calling and video playback? Both the upcoming iPhone and video iPod can answer part of the problem but you know they are not going to make a video ipod that also can make phone calls. Can't image how it that will be.

    There is also the question of when will you see a indash player that can play video from the video iPod. It may take a whole other year.

    Don't forget the Windows Mobile phones. It's very similar to the Treo in their pros and cons but has much stronger streaming capacity. Streaming seem to be the "next big thing". I just don't think it will work every well before most carriers finish their 3G upgrade. on the road when you are driving, you usually has the spottiest data speed. By the time you can get reliable high speed data everywhere, you may be able to buy a 10GB SD card for cheap anyway. Again, the problem is they all have small screens and make the dash look ugly. I wish there is some kind of indash-cradle for PDA phones you can plug in.

    I was wondering what do you guys think of all these. The way I see it, in my perfect aluminum-foil-suit-wearing future, I envision a cellphone sized gadget. It will be smaller than the Treo. It can stream music and playlist from your PC or online storage space, but it will have a large cache to buffer the stream playlist. When you enter your car, there will be a flip-out charger/cradle for you to plug in your phone. It will immeditedly transfer the voice and audio profiles to the car's speakers. It should also stream video to the build-in large screen in your car. The car should have a standalone GPS system since I don't see the point of keeping the GPS in your superphone.

    Any change you make on the phone, should be sync with your online calander and address book immediatedly. Also it should have a decent camera. Any picture you take should be mailed to your flickr account or online storage automatically for future editing. It should also work as a live webcam in a pitch.

    So how many years do we have to wait until we get there?
    Last edited by whatever7; 09/03/2005 at 11:19 PM.
  2. #2  
    I am road warrior with my job. I am a District Manager and my district covers from the N Border of CA through the whole state of OR, SW WA, all of S Idaho and to Jackson WY. As a result I am not only in my car a lot, but mostly changin rental cars a lot. So for the past 10 months I have been VERY happy with this:

    PPC-6600: Big screen (which is great for GPS Navigation), 128 mb internal memory, great reception (but with sprint no data if roaming), EVDO update within the next 30 days or so. (see threads I have started for several reviews on this phone)

    iTrek Bluetooth GPS with iNav software for all my navigation.

    Arkon Vent Mount. Makes it easy to switch from car to car with this dash mount.

    FM Wireless Modulator. Plugs into the earphone jack and then I just tune to the FM station I have it set to and listen to all my MP3s or especially my Audio Books.

    Streaming Audio. There is are internet sites the stream or simple program for $14 called PocketStreamer Pro (only for WM OS) that has already categorized and organized a boat load of streaming audio, radio stations, and TV stations. So I can watch or listen to a lot from Rap to International News. I can also use Orb and stream my whole MP3 and Video collection from my home computer to my 6600. I can also hook it up to my Tivo and watch my Satellite from anywhere.

    Bluetooth Headset. Works create with the two models I have and again no wires.

    The cool thing about all of this, is I only have one 3 inch wire to goes to my FM Mod....and that's it, everything is wireless.

    For me, this phone has been as perfect as I could have expected compared anything on the market at the time. With that said there are several more phones that are coming out, for example the PPC-6700, HTC Universal, etc... that are all considered the next Gen of the phone. For me though the PPC-6700 is not worth the upgrad if you already have a 6600. But the universal has all the bells and whistles (and the size to prove it).

    The PPC-6600 is going to be discontinued at Sprint in the next 30 days or so....so they should becoming really cheap really soon. I am one to usually upgrade my phone every 8-10 months. I am already overdue and still plan on keeping my 6600 until next Spring. And that is saying a lot about how impressed I have been with it.

    But as I always say, each phone has their pros and cons depending on your needs. What I see as a pro (large screen with landscape) could be a con for the next guy. A little research and you will see what phone is right for your needs.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 09/04/2005 at 12:17 AM.
  3.    #3  
    Hobbles, is there any way to display the GPS software and music control on the PPC screen at the same time?

    You know like one of those winamp or itunes floater on XP.

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