TomTom Brings Turn-by-turn Navigation to iPhone

TomTom plans to unleash a long-awaited iPhone app this summer that will give iPhone 3G S users turn-by-turn spoken directions. Announced by TomTom co-founder and CTO Peter Frans Pauwels at the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference, the app will work alongside a new car mounting kit that will be available through TomTom.

The mounting kit provides a speaker and microphone for the iPhone and makes it possible to mount the iPhone on the windshield. The mount uses TomTom’s twist and lock mount that can be folded for carrying. While in the mount, the iPhone can be positioned in landscape or portrait modes. The mount will also charge the iPhone.

The mount and software will not support voice commands for inputting directions. TomTom has not yet announced whether the application will have text-to-speech, which enables the device to announce the street names of upcoming turns. Tom Murray, marketing VP, TomTom, said the new TomTom app will include IQ routes, a technology that uses historical traffic patterns to provide more accurate and timely routes. It’s uncertain whether HD Traffic, a feature available in Europe that uses an Internet connection to track and report live traffic information, will also be available in the new iPhone kit.

It’s being reported that TomTom does not have an exclusive arrangement to provide turn-by-turn applications for the iPhone. This means it’s possible other GPS manufacturers could also sell iPhone navigational applications.

TomTom plans to offer the kit in different packages with different country-wide or international maps. Pricing will vary by package.