Remotely start, unlock or track your car? There are apps for that (Ford vs Honda vs Chevrolet)
Most car makers now have an app to go with their newest models, which offer a bevy of options - from trip logging to keyless entry, and everything in-between. We look at a few options that are available to you with your newly-minted smart car of sorts, and that are accessible right from your smartphone's screen.
This is maybe our favorite feature that a lot of new cars come equipped with. Being able to start your engine from a distance is the difference between freezing to nuggets while trying to scrape your vehicle's frosty windows in the winter, and casually lighting up the engine through the window of your warm home with a coffee mug in one hand while you prep to go out. Ditto for coming to the crowded beach with no shade to park the car under, and starting the engine from the sand when its time to go, cooling things down with the A/C left on.
Kids locked up in the car and can't find the key? No worries, just press a virtual button on the car app, and free the little rascals, but don't forget to ask something in return, or they'll start thinking that life is fair.
Forgot where you parked? Need to track your daughter's whereabouts after she borrowed your car to go study with friends? It's all right there on your phone screen, complete with route and miles traveled.
Real-time info and diagnostics
Not that you can't access most of these with a $10 OBD transmitter, but the ability to see vital stats on your phone supplied directly by the manufacturer, and from a much larger distance, can't be beat. The new apps offer you to have your fuel level and efficiency, oil life, the tire pressure and odo readings at a glance.
We've rounded up a list of what the connected apps of some the most popular brands in the US offer in terms of features, and bare in mind that a lot of these options would only work with a newer vehicle model, as the smart/connected car trend is just taking over the auto industry: