It seems like everyone these days has a smartphone. Children, adults, teenagers, and even our grandparents tote around the new iPhone, and whether we like to admit it or not, our smartphones are a big part of our life. They give us a world of knowledge at the touch of a button, stay connected to the people we love, and now we can even use them to help make our car-owning experience that much better. Move aside Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, because these car brands go above and beyond to enhance our smartphone integration in our cars.
Cars that go beyond CarPlay
We’ve all become used to standard Bluetooth features and phone integration with our car’s infotainment system. In fact, it’s almost become expected that your car will have Bluetooth capabilities in 2020 regardless of how low-end the model might be. There are some brands that not only allow you to pair your phone and your car for music, calls, and messages but have even developed manufacturer based phone apps that will tell you specific details about your car.
Acura, for example, has an app that pairs with the new MDX and other models, and it does a lot more than play music. Download the app and you can lock and unlock your car from your phone, allow you to sound the horn and flash the lights, and can show a few other statistics about your car as well.
BMW and Audi, of course, take their apps a step further by allowing you to see useful information about your car’s mechanical system and control other various features like your car’s sunroof – you know, for when you accidentally leave it open and it starts to rain.
Not just high-end luxury cars
You can find applications for just about any car brand these days, though the usefulness varies. You don’t have to spend money on the newest high-end luxury car to get a cool car app, because Ford and GM have their very own versions too.
The list doesn’t end with the big manufacturers either, as we see Infiniti, Hyundai, Land Rover, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Volkswagen all stepping up with their own car-integrating smartphone apps – if you’re willing to pay that premium for a newer model. Of course, you won’t be surprised to hear that Tesla has an app as well, because if there is one thing that Tesla does right, it’s keeping its car’s modern – and what’s more modern than a smartphone that connects to your car?
It seems like having an application subscription is required to get the most out of these features, but the cost varies for each brand as you’d expect. Not all of the apps are as useless as others unless you are really that concerned about making sure your car is locked and your sunroof is closed. Phone apps are just another way we can stay more in control of our car, and if anything it’s just a cool trick that you can show off to your friends.