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CoPilot Inside : CoPilot systems with bundled hardware

Date 27th November 2006

Article by Mike Barrett


CoPilotWe have not heard a lot from the guys at ALK since the Gumball Rally earlier this year. So it was nice to receive a call from the CoPilot Marketing Director to see if we could have a meeting... In eager anticipation of new exciting software I made my way to the ALK London office on a cold and wet wednesday morning. Unfortunately the meeting was not to discuss CoPilot Live 7 (honest, nothing was mentioned about any new software).


What I was shown though was a plethora of new bundles of CoPilot 6 and CoPilot Live 6 on a variety of hardware platforms. These ranged from mobile phones through connected PDAs to PNDs. In a move similar to that started by Intel, and copied by a number of others since, we are starting to see a number of boxes with "CoPilot Inside" appearing in a number of outlets.


Possibly the most significant of these are the bundles released by mobile phone operators. These offer subsidised hardware, pre-installed navigation software in a totally connected environment. T-Mobile are starting to offer a fixed price tariff for "all you can eat" GPRS called "Web 'n' Walk" capped at £1.00 a day for pay as you go tariffs for £7.50 on top of your selected talk plan. Unfortunately this does not extend to European roaming, but at least it is a start at freeing up one of the inhibitors to a connected lifestyle.


The T-Mobile MDA Compact III

HTC have been producing PDAs and Mobile Phones for a number of Mobile Phone operators for some tine now. O2 call them XDA, Orange have a number of different names, and T-Mobile call them MDA. There are some slight differences between the different operator brands, but essentially these are normally cosmetic rather than functional.


I was able to examine the T-Mobile package, which included a the smartphone, software, car mount and cigar lighter power supply: All you need to plug in and get going.

This is probably the PDA that everyone has been waiting for. Admittedly HTC are not the first to produce a PDA with integrated GPS, but with their background and the adoption by mobile operators it is guaranteed to be a big seller.


Missing from the phone is 3G and WiFi, but then you cannot have everything. In most cases GPRS is sufficient, and in outer areas has more coverage than 3G.


One of the neat things on this smartphone is the central control device. It is a combination of a circular jog dial and a rollerball mouse. It takes a little getting used to but is a great control system. CoPilot has had some modifications made to allow this to work with the navigation application.


The mount is made by HR in Germany. Those of you who are regular readers will know that I love both the HR and Brodit mounting systems. Having one of these mounts means that you can create a customised solution tailored to your precise requirements. All you need to do is locate a HR dealer in your area.


I haven't covered the CoPilot software in this bundle as it is the same as the standard CoPilot Live software (as used on the Gumball rally). The full T-Mobile press release is included at the end of this article.


For more details visit the T-Mobile site.


O2 XDA Orbit

The highlight (for me) of these bundles is the O2 Orbit which was announced today and is available online from the O2 Business Shop. This features the latest O2 branded HTC 3300, similar to the T-Mobile MDA Compact III. The main difference between the two systems is that the Orbit supports WiFi as well as GPS and GPRS, but still no 3G.


I have yet to see the full O2 Package so I am waiting to find out what accessories will be included. What I do know is that a full version of CoPilot Live.


Quote from the O2 site:


"The latest addition to the XDA range, the Orbit is slim, stylish and perfect for both work and pleasure. With built in GPS and FREE Satellite Navigation software you can easily find your way to any UK destination. The XDA Orbit also has Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 built in allowing emails to be sent and received in real time."


The full O2 Press Release is included here at the bottom of this article.




More from T-Mobile

T-Mobile have really started to bundle CoPilot with a vengeance. The picture to the right shows some of the connected CoPilot bundles that are available with T-Mobile. CoPilot is available on all the common smartphone platforms: Windows Mobile, Symbian S60, and UIQ.


Looking at the T-Mobile pay monthly web page a number of packages offer CoPilot giving a good all round selection. The drawback is that you are committing yourself to a phone contract, but having said that it is a cheap way to obtain a smartphone navigation system.


Acer Personal Navigation Devices PNDs

There are 2 ranges of Acer Navigation systems, the Cxxx and Pxxx.


The C510 and C530 are PDA solutions which will be launched in Jan 2007. The C530 will include WiFi, and both systems will have built in SiRFStarIII GPS receivers. These will be bundled with CoPilot Live 6. I have seen some companies advertising the C510 now though.


The Pxxx range start with the P610 which is a sub £200 entry level system featuring CoPilot 6 (not live). This has a 4" widescreen display and a special version of CoPilot designed for the widescreen format.


This is followed by the Acer P630 which will have the same hardware platform and will feature the full CoPilot live 6 navigation package pricing is expected to be around about £250. The top of the range Acer P660 SatNav system will also feature traffic via RDS-TMC. Both the Acer P610 and the P660 SatNav systems will be available in Jan 2007.



Press Release

The following is the official Press Release from T-Mobile for the T-Mobile MDA Compact III:


T-Mobile launches MDA Compact III

– the first device from a UK mobile operator with built-in GPS


Key features of the MDA Compact III:

  1. The first device from a UK mobile operator to offer built-in GPS
  2. Web’n’walk™ device - Internet on the move
  3. Microsoft® Windows Mobile 5.0 software
  4. 2.5G and GPRS connectivity
  5. Push email-enabled – supports Microsoft Direct Push Email and BlackBerry Connect
  6. Available with CoPilot® Live GPS navigation and real-time traffic alerts

London, 14th November 2006:  T-Mobile today announces the launch of the MDA Compact III, the first mobile device available from a UK mobile operator with built-in GPS satellite receiver.


Available with CoPilot® Live 6 satellite navigation*, the MDA Compact III makes dedicated navigation systems redundant, with turn-by-turn voice instructions, detailed street mapping and powerful route calculation for navigation in-car or on foot. With its integrated jog wheel and touch screen, the device makes it easy to enter a destination and follow the comprehensive door-to-door directions. Web’n’walk customers will be able to take advantage of free real-time traffic alerts and avoidance, delivered directly into CoPilot via the T-Mobile GPRS network.


With one touch of the screen, the MDA Compact III provides faster-access to making calls, surfing the internet, checking emails, downloading music and listening to the radio – making it the perfect multi-media companion for those on-the-move.


The MDA Compact III is web‘n’walk-enabled, providing customers with simple, open Internet access. The device is pre-installed with a web browser that enables users to view web pages as they could on their PC.


The device is based on the Microsoft® Windows Mobile 5.0 operating system, and comes complete with Microsoft Office, providing customers with key applications such as Microsoft Outlook®. Users can view and edit both Word and Excel® documents as well as view PowerPoint® and PDF files.


The MDA Compact III comes with a range of email options, enabling users to stay in contact whenever they want. The device comes preinstalled with Microsoft Direct Push, as well as offering BlackBerry Connect in the box, as an alternative.


Characteristic of the Compact handset range, the MDA Compact III has a large touch screen, which can be easily switched from landscape to portrait mode. The device also includes an integrated 2 mega pixel camera and Bluetooth connectivity.


Derek Williamson, Head of Business Marketing, T-Mobile UK says, “We are seeing increasing demand for handsets which offer a range of functionalities, including satellite navigation, to support our increasingly busy lives. The MDA Compact III is a great device for both consumer and business users who require a handset which is flexible to the needs of their lifestyles.”


The MDA Compact III will be available from T-Mobile stores and online at www.t-mobile.co.uk from 16th November and will cost £59.99 when purchased on the Flext 35 tariff plus web’n’walk (£42.50 per month)**.


Press Release

The following is the official Press Release from O2 for the O2 XDA Orbit:


With over 41 million Britons admitting to getting lost in the UK,
O2 unveils the new O2 Xda Orbit with integrated GPS


London, UK. 27 November 2006: O2 today announces the launch of the O2 Xda Orbit, the first O2 Xda to offer built-in GPS and seamless door-to-door navigation, in an ultra-slim, stylish portable device. Using the latest technology, the O2 Xda Orbit features a 2.0 mega pixel camera, MP3 player, radio and WiFi functionality whilst combining the latest Windows Mobile® OS 5 software, ensuring users benefit from mobile Internet, e-mail and the same easy-to-use format as Microsoft® Office.


With O2’s recent research revealing that over 86% of UK adults get lost on the roads in the UK*, the O2 Xda Orbit’s in-built GPS system helps users remain on course throughout their journey. Bundled with the popular and latest CoPilot Live sat nav package from ALK Technologies, navigation has never been so easy on an O2 Xda.   Simply type in your chosen destination on the large, bright, 2.8 inch colour TFT LCD touch screen and the O2 Xda Orbit will direct you to your chosen destination quickly and safely. Ideal for pedestrians as well as car travellers, the O2 Xda Orbit makes dedicated navigation systems unnecessary.


CoPilot Live navigation software is supplied on an easy-to-install memory card that has complete maps of UK and Ireland preloaded, accurate down to house number, point of interest or seven-digit UK postcode. Detailed routes are calculated in seconds and turn-by-turn directions are provided on-screen and spoken, all the way to the destination. There’s a choice of map views, including ‘non-distracting driver-safety’, ‘itinerary’, ‘where am I?’ and 3D ’bird’s eye’ view. If a turn is missed CoPilot recalculates the best new route immediately.

Advanced navigation features include London Congestion Charge avoidance, automatic day/night settings, avoid toll roads, fastest or shortest routing and walking mode. Planning mode makes it possible to calculate and review complete trips in advance. It’s even possible to enable others to view your location in real time+ using CoPilot’s integrated internet tracking, messaging and destination sending service.


With its WiFi and GPRS features, the O2 Xda Orbit is Ideal for users on the go; it provides seamless synchronisation with Pocket Outlook®. Offering the ability to open, edit and send Microsoft Office Excel® Mobile, Word Mobile and PowerPoint® Mobile** attachments quickly and easily: a true mobile office. Users also benefit from secure and cost-effective real-time+ email delivery and, with Microsoft’s Direct Push email solution, O2 Xda Orbit users can work securely from any place at any time.


John Davies, Head of Marketing, Own Branded Devices at O2, said; “The new O2 Xda Orbit provides our customers with a truly mobile office that offers the latest product innovations, both in terms of navigation and O2 Xda software. Our latest partnership with CoPilot is an important development for our customers and will give them the ultimate navigation experience. With its slim features and lightweight design, the O2 Xda Orbit is the perfect compact device for both business and leisure users, and adds to our already strong portfolio of Xda devices.”


Sleek, compact and weighing just 129g, the O2 Xda Orbit packs in voice and data applications, real-time+ email together with the latest navigation software with safety camera alerts and the ability to support real-time+ traffic alerts,*** all in the one, stylish device. The handheld combines a 2.0 Mega Pixel camera including video capability, FM radio (87.5Mhz–108.5Mhz) and MP3/AAC player, whilst enabling customers to view and play Windows Media® Player 10 Mobile. With the wide 2.8 inch touch screen the O2 XDA Orbit enables users to work in full colour, or watch their favourite videos or downloads.

The O2 Xda Orbit offers quad-band functionality, supported by a battery life of up to 200 hours standby and 5 hours talk time. In addition the device features Bluetooth® support allowing integration with car kits and hands-free headsets.


O2 Xda Orbit with the optional CoPilot SatNav pack is available at a range of prices depending on monthly tariff from O2 UK retail stores and online at www.o2.co.uk, all direct and indirect business channels as well as other leading distributors. 


* Data from Independent Tickbox research of 1,000 people
** Subject to customers’ IT infrastructure, permissions and policies
Microsoft, Windows Mobile, Outlook,  Excel, PowerPoint and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc.
+ Subject to network coverage
*** Traffic Alerts require an additional subscription to CoPilot


Technical Data

  • Weight: 129g
  • Measurement: 108 x 58 x 16.8mm
  • GPS in-built (Global Positioning System)
  • GSM: quad band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • FM Radio: 87.5Mhz – 108.5Mhz
  • Battery life: 200 hours standby time, 5 hours talk time
  • Operating system: Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC Phone Edition
  • Screen: 2.2 x 1.6 inch touch screen
  • Internal antenna
  • Memory: Mini-SD, RAM 64MB, ROM 128MB
  • Built in Bluetooth 2.0
  • 2.0 MP camera
  • Audio: MP3/WMA/AMR/AAC/AAC+
  • Video: MPEG4/H.263/Motion JPG
  • Connectivity: wireless modem, integrated WiFi
  • Navigation software: CoPilot® Live 6 Pocket PC



Manufacturers Websites

ALK - CoPilot



Pocket GPS Contributor

Mike Barrett

Pocket GPS Contributor Website




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