Automatic is an interesting hardware-software combo that makes information from your vehicle accessible on your phone via an SDK and a series of apps. It's an interesting idea (even if the nondescript name makes it nearly impossible to Google for), and thanks to a standard OBD-Bluetooth setup and a relatively decentralized structure, it doesn't require any subscription fees. You do have to buy the adaptor, of course, and it's relatively pricey at $99.95. Read More
Not too long ago, I took a look at the Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth dongle. It was a solid product that delivered on its goal of allowing people to connect over Bluetooth in cars that don't have the functionality built-in. But at $49.99, it's a little on the pricey side. For that cost, you can get a Kinivo BTC455 that not only delivers the same capability, it supports two devices at once, hands-free calls, and controlling music playback. Frankly, it's more bang for buck.
That said, after trying out the Kinivo BTC455, I occasionally longed for the Griffin iTrip AUX. Let me tell you why. Read More
Coming a few days after Hyundai's announcement, Viper has shared its plan to bring remote start and other functionality to both Android Wear and the Apple Watch. This means that anyone willing to have the technology installed can take advantage of the feature, rather than wait around for their manufacturer to jump on board. The goods are coming as part of Viper SmartStart 4.0.
Viper is known for providing car alarms and remote start systems, which you can get from auto shops or your local Best Buy. It already lets users start, lock, unlock, and track their cars through a mobile app available in the Play Store, but soon people with Android Wear watches will be able to perform the same tasks from their wrists. Read More
The American dream of owning a car is on the decline, and depending on which part of the country you live in, there's no shortage of ways to get from point A to point B without reaching for your own set of car keys. Getaround is one company that has carved a niche for itself, allowing drivers to rent vehicles from private owners, who are able to set their own rental price. This car-sharing approach, as opposed to ride-sharing (think Lyft or Uber), helps cut down on the volume of cars on the road by reducing the number that need to be purchased in the first place. Read More
Honda and NVIDIA have partnered up to supply future 2015 Civic, Civic Tourer and CR-V owners with a Tegra-powered infotainment system for them to totally not interact with while driving. The interface will be based on Android, but it's utilizing the aging (or at this point, we can just say old) build of 4.0.4. We may be excited to see Android work its way into more cars, but Auto, this is not.
Aside from looking dated, ugly, and just like any other car infotainment system, there isn't much we can say about the actual UI. It hardly looks Google-y, though the app drawer icon in the bottom right corner sure seems familiar. Read More
aCar is a one-stop shop of an app when it comes to keeping track of car-related details. The app can record servicing, parking fees, and, yes, fuel. The last thing on this list attracted the eye of Fuelly, a company whose website helps users calculate their vehicle's fuel economy. It purchased aCar back in May, and now the Android app is receiving its first update since the acquisition.
Version 4.8 doesn't shake things up too much, but it does take some steps towards integration. The pro version of aCAR can now import more formats from Fuelly.com. Fortunately, it can still pull information from other sources as well. Read More
Dash is one in a slowly growing number of Android options that lets you track where your car is, where you've traveled, and how much gas you've burned up. To make things simple, it combines everything into a basic scoring mechanism - though this is only part of the app's appeal. Those of you with older cars can see why your check engine light came on without having to go to a mechanic, and the enthusiasts among you can turn to the app as an extension of your dashboard that provides more information than your vehicle manufacturer deemed necessary.
Not too long ago I took a look at Automatic, a $99 onboard diagnostics tool that plugs into your car and, working with a similar app, can help you save gas and better keep up with maintenance. Unsurprisingly, this drew immediate comparisons to Dash, considering it beat Automatic to the punch with more features and a drastically lower price tag (free, assuming you have Bluetooth-enabled OBD2 dongle lying around) earlier this year. Read More