Cobra iRadar – Radar/Laser/Safety Camera Detection for iPhone/iPod Touch

Cobra is a company long-known for making radar detectors.  Now they are offering the iRadar system, which combines a Cobra detector unit with an app for iPhone and iPod touch.  The detector unit provides 360-degree protection from all radar and laser guns, and a city/highway mode prevents false alerts.  The iRadar app for iOS devices uses visual and audible alerts to notify you of speed and redlight-camera alerts, known speed traps, and dangerous intersections.  You can see a history of alerts on the map view, and you can control the detector functions from the iPhone/iPod touch.  The Cobra iRadar is $129.99.

Posted in: Car Gear, iPhone, iPad, iPod, News, Travel Gear

13 comments… add one

  • paul April 5, 2011, 11:55 am

    This is really a great idea, but poor execution. I’ve had one since last years sometime, it never really worked well. The bluetooth connection would fail often, there would be no updates on the iphone as to what radar was detected, etc. It doesn’t play nice with any nav units, in that it cannot run in the background. the company HAS produced a number of updates to the iphone app, but still has some issues. I think it simply isn’t ready for prime time.

  • Larry Trimble April 6, 2011, 9:48 am

    @paul Thanks for the mini-review. I’m not really sure why the Gadgeteer bother to promote something when they haven’t actually used it. I can get press-releases on stuff like this in dozens of places…what I WANT from the Gadgeteer are product reviews. Your comments are valuable and have given me pause to do a little more investigating.

  • Janet Cloninger April 6, 2011, 9:59 am

    @Larry Trimble Posting a news item about a device or application that might be of interest to The Gadgeteer’s readers isn’t “promoting” it. The Gadgeteer has a mixture of news items and reviews, and full reviews are always identified clearly by using the word “Review” in the title.

  • LarryT April 6, 2011, 10:11 am

    Well, a conscious decision to include a product press release on The Gadgeteer is in fact a form of promotion. As I said, I can get press releases in dozens of places..my RSS feeds are full of them. Much more valuable are product reviews. I’m pretty sure Julie used to do an actual product review before anything ever made it to her pages. Such is progress on the internet I suppose.

    • Julie April 6, 2011, 11:51 am

      @LarryT You must not visit this site very often… We post several news items a day along with one review each day. We’ve been doing this for years and years… If you don’t like news posts, then don’t read anything that doesn’t have the word Review at the end of the title :)

  • tivoboy April 6, 2011, 11:53 am

    What is funny is, this product has been out for OVER A year, so the question is, WHAT is the press release, or WHY would it be “announced” now, here.

  • tivoboy April 6, 2011, 11:54 am

    and if you want one, get it at amazon. it’s more than 25% cheaper. When I got it in January 2010, it was only 90$. :-)

  • LarryT April 6, 2011, 12:53 pm

    @tivoboy So what’s your review of the product? Paul has had a lot of issues…your thoughts?

    @Julie. Daily. In fact I have your Gadgeteer RSS on my iGoogle homepage. I’d just rather see a real product review than a rehashed press release. Probably just my advanced years but it seems there used to be more reviews. :)

  • tivoboy April 6, 2011, 1:11 pm

    I would say the same as paul above. the company has put out a number of software updates to try to resolve some of the issues on the iphone app side of the solution, but there are still some issues. For the money, it seems a decent solution but in order to get everything working it requires the phone to be using GPS constantly, for redlight camera alerts and other user reported alerts. This information is not in the device itself and relies on the iphone (or android). That’s fine, but it means you have to have your iphone plugged in constantly or the battery dies quickly (GPS uses inherently massive amounts of power compare to anything else the phone does)

    I like not having to have the device in clear drivers view, since the information is displayed on the iphone (which is normally in clear view) that said, it does not work well with other navigation systems on the iphone, the cobra app needs to be the frontmost application in order to work. For most navigation software solutions that is sort of okay since most will continue to offer audible direction information even if THEY are not the active application. But, you don’t get to see any of the navigation information then, you’re focusing solely on the cobra app.

  • bitNine June 10, 2011, 11:47 am

    Just picked this baby up a couple days ago, and while it’s not perfect, it works very well. A whole hell of a lot better than people are giving it credit for. The app does need to be running, sure. BUt if you don’t like that, then go pay for that $500 Escort 9500ix. You do have a choice. Besides, with the crowdsourced features coming within the next few months, you’ll be alerted to a threat that someone else ran across only minutes before. For a savings of $360, I think I’ll deal with the imperfections. Just this morning on the way to work, it successfully detected two different POP traps.

    The app works just fine when it’s sitting in the background, even when the phone is in standby and in my pocket. There’s even an option to turn background on and off. As long as you make sure it’s running, it doesn’t need to be frontmost. I did make a suggestion to Cobra that they have a way to determine whether or not the device is communicating with the app, and not just successfully connected to the phone via bluetooth. Other than that, it’s a great deal. I also found the 9500ix to throw a massive ton of false alerts, and was sometimes so overly sensitive that it would alert things that weren’t even there, in the middle of nowhere. It was like the thing was detecting radar detectors.

  • paul June 10, 2011, 3:45 pm

    I don’t find that the application actually does ANYTHING in the background. The RADAR unit will of course give RADAR information about RADAR/LASER even if the app is off or in the background, but the app doesn’t report either GPS based, traffic/redlight cam, POP or anything else that requires the APP when not being the FRONT most app. Are you experiecing something different, or maybe is the android app different?

    If the app actually RAN in the background, keeping alert, popping up alerts so one could say RUN A NAV APP in parallel, it would go a long way to increasing the usability of the app itself.

  • Shane August 23, 2011, 4:58 am

    It would be nice if the audio alerts would go through the iphone audio to my stereo in the car. I have the music up loud and listening to my iphone and watch the audio alerts to stop the music and warn me. This is an important option that we should have to choose from.

  • paul December 12, 2011, 9:05 am

    I figured I’d circle back now after the last couple of iphone app updates. At this point, the product and APP integration is pretty darn solid. The bluetooth integration works essentially flawlessly even when pair with another item in the car like a car kit or headset. The app responds quickly to the radar and/or GPS location data and prompts the driver immediately and the community integration is tighter and more developed out. It is now VERY easy to add updates to the community network information and cancel or confirm local reports. The app on the iphone doesn’t crash really anymore at all. I don’t know if this is the app itself of ios 5 that is making this integration better, but as of now I would say this unit is a good buy and delivers on the promise and expectation set.

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