LAS VEGAS--Car audio manufacturers often tout some sort of way to upgrade their video receivers to support GPS navigation. However, that has usually meant purchasing an expensive module and paying for a second installation. If you have one of JVC's new KW-AVX series and an iPhone, adding navigation may be as simple as downloading an app.
JVC has announced a partnership with Fullpower, creators of the MotionX-GPS Drive app for the iPhone, to allow its receivers to interface with and directly control the MotionX app. After connecting an iPhone via the KS-U30 USB audio and video cable, you can display a map with turn-by-turn directions on the receiver's large 6.1- or 7-inch touch screen and output spoken instructions through the car's speakers.
The iPhone's A-GPS receiver supplies the location awareness and the handset can be dashboard- or windshield-mounted to display auxiliary information on the smaller touch screen, such as a compass or a list of upcoming turns, or let you select your next point of interest. You also have full access to your iTunes media library.
MotionX-GPS Drive is a 99-cent download, but requires a $19.99/year subscription to access turn-by-turn directions. So look elsewhere if the idea of paying a subscription for your turn-by-turn directions is a turnoff. Even with this recurring fee, it would take about 5 to 10 years of paying the annual subscription to match the cost of the average GPS add-on module.
JVC's 2011 line of KW-AVX receivers includes the 6.1-inch KW-AVX640 ($499), the KW-AVX740, which adds Bluetooth ($549), and the top-of-the-line 7-inch KW-AVX840 ($649), all of which should be shipping in March 2011.