CarPuter FrontEnd Software
When it comes to CarPuter (Car Computer) software, there are a few front-ends to choose from but the two best choices are Centrafuse and Ride Runner. The latter was formerly named Road Runner. Both front-ends are consistently updated and actively developed and have an abundance of plug-ins, tweaks and customizable features. Each front-end supports GPS Navigation, OBDII, DVB-T TV and/or AM/FM radio, Sirius and XM radio, web browser, voice recognition, bluetooth hands free, local music library, mp3 and iPod/iPad support, and a few other bells and whistles.
Centrafuse recently released an updated version of their carputer software called “Centrafuse Auto” in early 2010 which supports Windows 7, Vista and XP. The Centrafuse interface allows you to listen to satellite radio, communicate with your blue-tooth cellphone, assist in GPS navigation, play music, watch videos, respond to voice commands, display rear view camera, multiple media zones, etc. With it’s strong emphasis on making it easy for programmers to make plugins, it can be used for controlling anything that’s attached to your carputer through one common interface.
Centrafuse Auto with Navigation (North America) can be purchased for $129.99 and without Navi for $79.99 at centrafuse.com. If you choose to purchase the $79 version without navi, you can install Garmin Mobile PC as a plug-in. Garmin Mobile PC is far superior than the default nav software that comes bundled with the $129 version. If you plan to integrate Garmin Mobile PC into your carputer, you will need to pick up a usb GPS receiver such as the BU-353 that is listed below.
In our opinion, Centrafuse is the industry leader when it comes to carputer front end software so don’t bother looking any further.