January 16th, 2017
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In-Car Tech: Apps to Make Your Drive Better
The landscape of driving has changed so much in the last ten years we’ve realised some of our ancestors’ dreams – take the self-driving car for instance. To boot, we now have so much capacity with our smartphones, Ofcom have declared us a ‘smartphone society’.
But how can we marry the two biggest everyday tech advances for an even more connected and futuristic society? In-car apps, of course.
Connectivity with both Apple and Android smartphones is available with most newer cars on the market today as older models are phased out. Where the in-built systems fall short, innovative new car mode phone apps are there to pick up the slack.
You can create personalised dashboards with control hub apps are at your beck and call to give you better features and display essential data. What you’ll find:
- MPG calculators
- Drive/Stop time
- Music control interface that syncs with other apps
- Weather display
- Traffic alerts
- Dashboard driving-camera functionality
The demise of dedicated satellite navigation hardware is marked by the success of inbuilt multifunctional touch screen computers in cars, and connectivity of smartphone apps like Google Maps. But what else is out there to help us on our travels?
The app allows users to alert others driving of real-time traffic incidents, the cheapest fuel nearby, and best alternative routes and diversions.
- TomTom Go
In response to moves away from dedicated satnav, TomTom has kept its head above water by developing a comprehensive smartphone app to perform the same tasks.
- Nokia Here
This app rivals Google and Apple map applications for its digital mapping and location services, and was sold to German manufacturers Mercedes, BMW and Audi.
Apps for Music
If you like music on while you drive but despair at poor sound quality, you can get EQ apps that make great use of car audio systems, improving the sound of MP3 and AAC file format compression.
If you have a music collection on your phone, an EQ app can improve it for use in your car, improving levels and dynamic range. Some cars have pre-set EQ functionality built in that work really well with apps like Deezer, Spotify and Apple’s CarPlay.
Miscellaneous Apps to Check Out
What about the apps that fill the gaps in our lives that we never knew were there? Here are those things:
- ReadItToMe – the app that will read your notifications for you so you don’t take your eyes of the road to check.
- MyCar Locator – does what it says on the tin – helps you find where you parked.
- Torque Pro – the car diagnostics computer you can fit in your pocket.
What’s on the Horizon?
We know some people who’d definitely benefit from apps to park their cars for them, but without a Tesla motor, or something equally as a decked out with tech, what is realistically on the horizon for in-car apps?
It is expected that manufacturer’s preoccupation of late with in-car connectivity will continue to fuel app development. We might in the future see apps on the market that can improve the way you drive, are able to be even more in sync with the goings on of the car itself.
As it stands, we’re waiting for current innovations like all of these to be rolled out more comprehensively in manufacturers’ new releases, as well as improvements on what we have. So let your imagination run wild – we’re all ears.