Griffin iTrip AutoPilot for iPhone review

The first iTrip that's compatible with your iPhone

The first FM transmitter to be officially iPhone-endorsed

TechRadar Verdict

When it's powered up, it does what it says on the tin - the plasticky power-plug controls are disappointing though.


  • +

    Small and light

  • +

    very pocketable

  • +

    good autoscan


  • -

    Plastic feel

  • -

    bad power plug

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Even before FM transmitters were legal in the UK, iTrip had become the byword for the device - the Hoover for the iPod generation.

But by the time the legal restrictions were lifted by Ofcom, Griffin's iTrip had many competitors. However, until now none have been compatible with the iPhone.

And that's a problem, since the iPhone is temperamental with accessories - if it's not a certified 'Made for iPhone' product an annoying message appears on the screen to warn you of potential interference and asking if you wish to switch to airplane mode.

Frustrating, but that's why not all iPod products are compatible with the iPhone. They can charge it usually, but they can't always control it.

Now in the UK

So Griffin has made its AutoPilot iTrip available in the UK. The basic premise is that of an iPod charger with no power except that from your car's power socket. That's fine, but it kept slipping out of ours - hence the unit would lose its frequency each time. Mind you, this is a problem with many such devices - though strangely not with TomToms we've noticed.

The premise of the device is that you can control the tracks on your iPod or iPhone from buttons on the end of the power plug-bit of the device while you watch track names scroll across your RDS radio display.

This is great in theory, but unfortunately not so brilliant in practice - the buttons on the plug are slippy and plasticky, while if your AutoPilot doesn't fit into the power socket/cigarette lighter properly, then you have a problem getting purchase on the buttons (which are handily illuminated).

Otherwise, the AutoPilot is a highly functional, if not stunning, piece of kit. But then it's not really supposed to be. The AutoScan feature works perfectly and it can preset three frequencies within the device. It also works with every iPod since the 4th generation version.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.