Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NAV Update

About the Pioneer AVIC X930BT:

The Good:

Navigation: Brilliant nav that seamlessly gets you to where you're going with near instant re-calculations if you miss something or if it makes a mistake.

AM/FM: It wouldn't work for me without an antenna booster, a $65 extra which seems like it should have been unnecessary. I did not opt for HD radio because of so many other options.

Satellite: The Sirius comes up very quickly, unlike the 2-3 minutes my last receiver took for a signal. That said, the on-dash antenna is weak and loses reception in hills, in heavy traffic, or when a swam of flies goes by. I expect this will need replacement to an on-roof antenna, but it's predictable enough to not bother me much any more. Navigating the interface is painful and confusing, but now that my pre-sets are in, it's a minor nuisance.

iPod: Works well if you've remembered to plug in your phone, the usual place being the glove compartment. I want to re-route this to the center console area where VW has already run an iPod cord. The user interface is vague, but it gets the job done. I'm actually inspired to buy music in iTunes thanks to this nice new edition (that others have used for years).

Pandora: Although it doesn't always come up cleanly, when it works, it works great. Pandora could be a reason not to use satellite radio, but I find myself back to my old habits of news programming. I'm dull that way. How much bandwidth does that thing use? It worries me. My data usage last month had a much larger chunk from a few hours of Pandora listening.

Bluetooth: Works every time with my iPhone 3.  Takes and makes calls without any trouble.

The Bad

Aha Radio: Usually won't load. Is it any good? Don't know but it's definitely sucking. This is where the promised Facebook and Twitter integration is supposed to reside.

AVIC: The package that's supposed to manage importation of addresses and is a buggy, complex, unsophisticated piece of junk. Let me tell you what I need: Navigate me to my iPhone contacts. You can pull up their phone number to make calls, why not their addresses?

Like lots of complicated but useful devices, now that I've got the hang of it, it's pretty useful and I like it. I also have gotten beyond the gizmo worship of our relationship and have settled into using it for what it is. I use the maps when I feel like it, I listen to some newly downloaded iTunes music and listen to my Bloomberg and NPR on my commute. Good device, but.... you could probably get a device that does the basics for a lot less.

Average Fuel Economy: 27.1
Miles: 2362

1 comment:

  1. All of the Pioneer app problems were fixed with an upgrade to the faster iPhone 4S.