Dashbox for iPad!

The last thirty years have seen the integration of computer technology in cars go from simple components which replayed car part performance info, to full blow user touchscreen driven systems which give access to everything from navigation to entertainment under one roof. The latter has only recently appeared, and its price puts it out of reach for most consumers. Fortunately, Lee Black has an amazingly affordable work around that only requires you have an iPad.
Meet Dashbox
Dashbox is a free app that puts your entire music and video playlist, international radio, weather information via widgets, internet access, navigation, the ability to call and a digital speedometer (pro version) all under one roof. If you have a nice stand for your iPad which you can mount on your car’s dashboard, you can give your old clunker some modern appeal.
Dashbox has many screens to work from and the settings menu lets you choose which screen you are brought to by default. From the factory, the default screen displays the time and weather widgets. When first start up the app, you are given a disclaimer reminding you that operation of the app while driving can result in injury or death. This is a necessary disclaimer and kudos to the developer for including it.
The Main Thoroughfare
Regardless of which screen you are viewing, eight large icons appear at the bottom of the app – Songs, Radio, Video, YouTube, Internet, Maps, Telephone and Player. Clicking on any of those icons brings you to its respective area.
From Music To Video
The Songs area gives you complete access to all of the songs on your device. You can search by Song, Album, Artist, Playlist or even Audio Books. Radio is the standout. You get access to international stations, and hundreds of them to boot. Just choose the country and scroll through the radio stations. We had about a 96% success rate. Radio stations almost always played and you will get some surprises. This was a nice touch. “Videos” lets you pull up any video, movie, TV show or podcast stored on your device.
YouTube and the Internet are self-explanatory. We did like how the embedded browser looked within the app (design). Finally, the maps feature lets you search for addresses and uses 2D, 3D and Satellite displays. The Call section lets you make phone calls.
Every time you call up a section, you need to click the “X” icon on the top right corner of the screen to exit and return to the default startup screen.
Go Pro
If you pay $5.99, you get to unlock the Retro Speedometer with Speed Alerts. This gives you an actual speedometer that works! While perhaps not as precise as your inbuilt speedometer, it does work and will alert you if you go over the speed limit. You can set the speed limit in your settings menu.
Dashbox works best as an entertainment center for your car. Everything works as advertised. The interface is nicely designed, and even if you decide not to shell out more for the pro version, you get a nice way to keep you and the passengers in your car entertained. It’s also another reason to not upgrade your factory radio. Dashbox gives you more for free than you would get if you spent a few hundred dollars installing an after-market entertainment solution. Be mindful however to only operate your iPad when your vehicle is not in motion.

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