Peugeot plots 3G dongle and apps upgrade

Peugeot Connect
Peugeot is prepping an apps upgrade for its Touchscreen system

With French rival Renault making headlines with its Android-based R-Link platform, it's Peugeot's turn to shake things up with 3G-dongle and connected apps upgrades for the Peugeot Connect touchscreen system.

The basic touchscreen system has been available on various Peugeot models for a while, including the 308 and RCZ coupé. But things are about to get a whole lot funkier with the addition of a 3G dongle to enable internet connected apps.

Highlights include the usual litany of convenience apps, including a parking assist app that navigates you to car parks with available spaces and can also prioritise by price.

Appy days

Tellmewhere, meanwhile, is a part crowd sourced points of interest database that claims to show you the best local eats and ents with tips provided by the user community. Confusingly, there's a further points of interest database provided by Michelin, though it's not clear if this is online or locally stored.

In a similar area, the Fuel-for-Less app helps you locate the best local prices for fuel and plugs your chosen petrol station straight into the navigation system.

Peugeot Connect

Next up is real-time traffic data provided by Michelin. With any luck, it will be more timely and accurate than the rather low resolution RDS-TMC broadcast data used by most in-car systems.

Then there's the MyPeugeot app that helps you track you car's servicing schedule, provides a digital copy of the user manual and even the status of your HP contract.

3G dongle

All this is displayed on the Peugeot Connect touchscreen, which on the new 208 hatchback is a seven-inch item. But the enabler will be a new 3G dongle that plugs into the Peugeot Connect USB port. At launch, a total of 10 apps will be available.

With several other manufacturers choosing to rely on smartphone syncing to provide internet connectivity, for example MINI Connected, the immediate question is whether a dedicated internet connection is a good idea.

Peugeot 208

On the one hand, you'd hope a fully integrated solution like Peugeot Connect will be more seamless and reliable. And it certainly doesn't require that you've remembered to bring your phone.

On the other, it's yet another contract to keep on top of in terms of maintaining that mobile data service.

UK availability

We'll be hands on with the new Peugeot 208 later in week, so look out for our first impressions of the touchscreen system, though sadly without the connected features.

Peugeot Connect in all it's appy glory goes live in France in late November. UK availability hasn't been finalised, but we're hoping for early 2013. We're also hoping to find out if there's any chance of a software upgrade for existing touchscreen owners.


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