It seemed like a great idea. The iPad has an optional built-in GPS and you can download some great navigation software for use in automobiles. With its big display screen, an iPad should be a much better GPS than the present device I have with a small screen. Should be... It didn't work out that way.
I purchased a RAM mount for the iPad. It looks like most of the other mounts included with GPS devices, except that it is bigger than normal. The RAM mount has a suction cup for attaching to the windshield, a short arm that holds everything over the dashboard, and a clip-in mount for the iPad. It was a bit expensive at $38.84 from Amazon, but I have other windshield mounts made by RAM and have always been impressed how well they work. They never fall off the windshield in the hot sun.
I thought the large screen of the iPad should be perfect for in-auto use. The icons are much bigger on the big screen, compared to the tiny icons on my GPS' 5-inch screen. In theory, it should be possible to press the appropriate icons without taking my eyes off the road.
This should be perfect, right? Well, once I installed the iPad and placed the mount on the inside of the windshield of my auto, things weren't as perfect as I had envisioned. Look at the picture above to see why. You can click on the picture to view a larger image. You will also see my older GPS with a 5-inch screen to the left of the speedometer.
Admittedly, I normally drive a Mini-Cooper, which isn't the largest automobile on the highway. It's small and the windshield is equally small. Once installed, the iPad and its mount touched the dashboard and totally blocked the view of the right side of the road. If driving in the high-speed lane, I couldn't see the vehicles in the slow-speed lane! Not good.
After two or three minutes of experimenting, I removed the iPad and the RAM mount from the Mini-Cooper. I don't want to use the iPad if it blocks my view of the road. I had planned to remove the older GPS until I saw the results of today's experiment. Never mind!
When I get back to my motor home next week, I'll install the iPad and RAM mount there. Admittedly, I don't have much confidence that it will be suitable. However, the windshield in the motor home is much larger and is also much further away from the driver. When seated in the driver's seat, my long arms won't even reach the windshield. The driver's seat is also much higher so I should be looking over the top of the iPad. Even so, I still think the iPad will block too much of my view. We will see.
Has anyone else successfully used an iPad while in motion in an auto? If so, how? Please post your solution in the comments section below.