iPad Mini integration

This is a mod I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, the integration of an iPad ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’ve not seen the Brodit MoveClip, iPhone 5S, Parrot MKi9200 & Apple Lightning Adaptor or the Brodit Clip and iPhone 4 Holder and the Parrot MKi9200 kit mods then have a read of those first as they each play a pivotal part of this mod.

First up, here’s how the dash looks with the Brodit MoveClip in place (and no holder attached) and also the screen of the Parrot MKi9200 detached.

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The MoveClip will accept either the holder for the iPhone 5S or the holder for the iPad Mini and switching them over is a ten second job as the clip just needs a one finger push to release the holder. The 30-pin Apple connector cable can be seen behind the Brodit mount.

Brodit make all manner of iPad holders but the one I specifically needed was Part # 514449.

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As this takes an iPad Mini (1 and 2/Retina) and also accepts the official Apple Lightning to 30-pin adaptor cable. Be quite specific about this as Brodit make a holder which takes a lightning USB cable which is a different diameter than the lightning to 30-pin adaptor cable.

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I paid the extra for a genuine Apple Lightning to 30-pin adaptor cable as I’ve read various reports of cheap import cables not supporting audio and video out and I was reliant on the iPad working with the Parrot MKi9200 kit.

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With the Apple Lightning to 30-pin cables attached, complete with the MoveClips, here is what we have.

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As you can see, each holder has Lightning connector mounted in the base for the iPhone 5S and iPad Mini Retina and at the other end is a standard 30-pin Apple connector which plugs in to the Parrot MKi9200 cable hidden behind the mount (mentioned further up in this post).

So all that is required is to simply clip the desired holder on to the dash and plug in the 30-pin connector.

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Sorry, the lighting wasn’t great for these photos.

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The iPad then just clips in to the Brodit holder. It’s rock solid once in place, no wobble or vibration or anything, it’s perfectly and securely held in place.

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The iPad Mini Retina requires a 10W Apple charger. This is a slight issue as the Parrot MKi9200 kit won’t output enough wattage to charge the iPad while it’s on. It doesn’t discharge while in use, there is enough current to maintain the charge, just not enough to top it up. If you turn the screen display off then it’ll charge (so you can still listen to music and Nav instructions etc in the background).

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Once “docked”, the iPad music can now be controlled by the remote Parrot controller. This includes selecting albums, artists, playlists, etc. It is 100% compatible as is the iPhone 5S and iPod (3rd gen onwards).

While controlling the music in the background you can have TomTom in the foreground. When docked the audio from the iPad is now played through the head unit of the car. This means the steering wheel controls are now controlling the volume of the iPad music, TomTom spoken instructions, etc. Very nice ๐Ÿ™‚

TomTom has a cool feature on the iPad version too which I didn’t know about. I’ve been a fan of the iPhone version for years and the Lane Assist is great but on the iPhone it takes over the whole screen.

On the iPad version however, it simply pops up on the left hand side, then disappears again once you are past the junction. The iPad version of TomTom also allows the Traffic HD to stay permanently open on the right hand side too. Another handy feature.

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The arrival of iOS7 gives you a couple of options in terms of brightness too. You can swipe up from the bottom to launch the Control Center and slide the brightness down from there, thus keeping your TomTom display in full colour, or you can flip TomTom over to a different map theme for night time driving (with just two taps of the screen).

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There are other benefits of having the iPad in the car.

One of them being the fact that you can run the CatchUp TV app over 3G/LTE and watch TV while waiting for your other half who’s still shopping. Or you can launch Plex media center and stream TV shows and other media from your home to your car, anywhere in the world. Again, with all the audio being pumped through the car stereo system. Pretty cool ๐Ÿ˜Ž

2013-11-29 13.44.30It goes without saying, it’s illegal to drive and watch TV. Not to mention slightly dangerous…

So there we have it, a pretty useful mod as I now have ALL my music with me, plus a huge sat nav screen, plus remote control via the Parrot buttons and/or the steering wheel controls.

Also worth a mention at this point, the iPad Mini Retina and iOS7 are currently unsupported by Parrot but you’ll be pleased to know, this all works flawlessly together ๐Ÿ™‚