I recently completed a 5400 mile trip to Banff Canada and decided to use my iPhone 4 as my primary piece of electronics. It was my phone, music (using S-Plugs), GPS, computer, camera and video camera.
It was attached to my ‘«÷08 RT using the RAM reservoir mount and cradle. I used the Griffin iTrip Autopilot to keep the phone charged up and also to have basic control of iTunes via the push buttons on the charger. I placed the charging socket right behind the mount.
I purchased the Navigon GPS software on sale for $50 so that I would have a GPS even without a phone signal. VERY impressed with that software and its capabilities. Check out the feature set on their website. There was only one route issue that came up after I detoured for gas but I could see the difference in the distance to go and time. It corrected itself when I turned and returned to the path it spelled out before. As with ANY GPS, preview the route before you go.
Now one of the downfalls of the iPhone is controlling it with gloves on. It was usually workable with my RoadGear summer gloves but forget it with winter ones. FYI, I have heard that people get around this by sewing gold thread thru the finger tips so your ‘«£charge‘«ō will get from your skin to the glove tip.
While that is a nuisance, the truth is that I had little need to control the phone in that manner. I preprogrammed my routes and waypoints in the GPS and kept all of my destinations as favorites, so that was no issue. I had basic control of iTunes with the Griffin and controlled the volume with the ‘«£hard‘«ō buttons on the side of the phone.
Overall this setup performed quite admirably. The music muted and resumed automatically when directions came up and I also got screen notifications of calls and texts. (These would need to be cleared of via a screen tap)
The iphone 4 shoots great photos outdoors, even in extreme overcast conditions. When I had people over to look at my photos, they could not believe that they were taken with the phone. They are that good. However, the performance indoors leaves a bit to be desired and the lack of a real zoom prevents it from fully taking over a standard camera.
The iphone 4 can also shoot 720P video. I was hoping for a little better results with that but its not all the phone‘«÷s fault. I‘«÷m not the steadiest guy in the world so handheld shots were a bit jumpy and the lack of a zoom was a handicap as well. When I was braced, the video was not to bad but I‘«÷m in real need of some sort of image stabilization.
I was also hoping that I could get video while I was riding, but the buzz and bumps thru the bars made that almost impossible, unless I pulled the clutch and let it idle. Again this is not all the phone‘«÷s fault as I got similar results when I tried my Canon HV20 HD camcorder.
Now the other issue with the iPhone is that it is not waterproof, but this was not a real problem. The Calsci screen kept the phone very dry while I was moving and if it started to get wet, I just unclipped it from the cradle and threw it in my waterproof jacket pocket. I was still able to get my music and GPS instructions even though I could not see the screen. Slipping a baggie over it may have worked too but I did not try that.
The iPhone has outstanding internet and if you need a ‘«£real‘«ō computer, I could control my home computer via TeamViewer, a free software to remote control a computer, and yes, there‘«÷s an app for that. (free)
What would I do different? Not much. Maybe move the mount to the steering head to remove some of the vibration that is present in the bars. It did not seem to be a problem but long term buzz MAY be detrimental the phone. Bring a compact camera.
Is it perfect? No, but my advice is that if you have an iPhone 4, give it a try before you spend $500-$1500 on a GPS, XM and the like. Often, space is at a premium on a bike and with the iPhone you have everything you need in one small device. Also, when you are done riding, it is soooo nice to be able to stop and just unclip one small package and walk away from your bike.