the state of the app: we test five automaker apps to see if they make car ownership more convenient - car alarm and remote start
According to the Pew Research Center, as of February 2016, 72% of American adults had smartphones.
This figure is more than double that in 2011.
Half of the past
For ten years, smartphones have moved from a toy technology
The savvy and wealthy of ubiquitous tools like watches (
Many of them are "smart" now ").
Automakers are equipped with Wi-for their vehicles-Fi hotspots (
See GM, etc)
Integrate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features into their vehicle infotainment system and develop their own downloadable apps for smartphones, tablets and watches.
These apps are designed to improve the convenience of customers, common features include remote keyless input, GPS tracking, vehicle diagnostic reports, and the ability to send destinations from the phone to the inside
Dashboard navigation system.
We have collected mobile applications from five automakers as well as cross sections of compatible vehicles to test the breadth and capabilities of this new technology.
These are BMW connections to North America (
Test with 2016 BMW 740i), myChevrolet (
2017 Chevrolet Volt)
Infiniti Connection (
2017 Infiniti QX30)Tesla Motor (
2015 Tesla Model S)
And what was previously called a modern blue link (
2017 Hyundai elante Limited).
While we will call it by modern name, please note that we have finished testing with the app previously titled "Modern blue link, the general functionality of MyHyundai is basically the same as that of the "modern blue link" app.
These five car apps are by no means the best and not the only manufacturer.
Mobile applications that can be supported today;
However, the quintet of this hopeful option does show some of the more useful and/or state of the technology --of-the-art functions.
Some of the features on these mobile apps are limited to higher featuresend models.
For example, my Chevrolet and Hyundai offer remote
The startup feature, which is not available to some competitors.
Meanwhile, Infiniti Connection and MyHyundai are the only two apps we have tested that offer real functionality
Time speed and location alert.
To compete fairly, we interact with the app on both phones: an Apple iPhone SE 64 gb and a Motorola Moto X (
The former represents Apple's iOS and relies on AT&T as an operator;
The latter runs Google's Android operating system, using Verizon.
Of all our test objects, except for the BMW connection North American app that was not available on Android at the time, we used two operating systems to find out if there were any users-
Experience or interface differences exist.
We can report that the gap in business is small.
Any notable changes are mentioned in the text below, which are organized by function.
From left to right: BMW connects North America, my Chevrolet, my Hyundai, Tesla.
Since the remote command of the Mercedes-Infiniti Connection of the vehicle is not available on the QX30
Mercedes-Benz hardware procurement;
However, Infiniti offers this feature on other products.
With the exception of Infiniti QX30, each vehicle app we test contains some kind of key-
Infiniti generally does not exclude this feature from Infiniti's connected mobile app.
But in the case of QX30, a car that relies heavily on Mercedes
Mercedes-Benz accessories, Infiniti's connection software can't communicate --
Apps for the rest of the vehicles-
Key-based fobs work much like a standard, keyless digital version
Enter the system: Lock the lock of the lock door, unlock the lock.
BMW North America Internet recently added the unlock feature, but can only remotely control the lock when we test it.
In theory being able to unlock the car remotely means that the owner can leave the key behind and still have access to their vehicle.
The four apps also provide some form of lighting and horn control via digital fob, giving users the opportunity to find their vehicles in a crowded crowd.
Each app also has its own quirks.
BMW, Hyundai and Tesla usually need some form of confirmation before executing commands that are launched through the app.
In the case of BMW, this means that the user has to hold down the fob "button" on the screen for two seconds before they can take action.
Modern requires users to enter a PIN, Tesla's app requires iOS-But not Android.
If the user is sure to unlock the vehicle,
Some operations through the Tesla app need to enter a password.
In the meantime, my Chevy has been working on an action until the app acknowledges this fact (
We know this because we hear the car lock or unlock when the app is still registering the request).
In most cases, apps's fob feature shows a pleasant and quick response time between requesting action and seeing the car Complete said action.
Response time is less than three seconds, myChevrolet is the fastest response to our appeal on iOS and Android devices, BMW is the slowest, about 11 seconds.
As a former owner of GM, the author can attest to the slow response time of the company's previous OnStar remote telink app.
Interestingly, GM said its data did not show any difference in response time between the previous app and the current one, but we noticed a significant improvement.
Maybe it can be summarized by dynamic factors such as location or carrier.
In short, the response time can vary regardless of the app and vehicle.
Left-to-right: BMW's connectivity to North America, Mai Hyundai and Tesla all offer some form of remote climate control.
Unfortunately, BMW connect North America Limited can only use the fan function, while MyHyundai and Tesla offer air conditioning and heating options.
Two of our test subjects also provided remote testing
Start the function.
Both our Chevrolet Volt and Hyundai elante limited test cars can be launched (and stopped)
From the comfort of the couch, provided by their respective apps.
In the case of myChevrolet, the user receives a quick warning when requesting a remote start
But before stopping
This reminds them: "Use remote startup in case of security and legality.
"Both myChevrolet and MyHyundai require the user to enter four
Before the remote start and stop is approved, the digital PIN, this command takes longer to lock and unlock by Bobby, and the response time of myChevrolet is about 8 seconds, the response time for modern applications is about 30 seconds.
After pressing the "start" button of the application, MyHyundai directs the user to a page that allows them to set the running time of the engine before the defrost is turned off, turned on, and adjust the internal temperature settings before submitting the request.
However, the latter feature is not unique to MyHyundai.
BMW North America internet also allows users to adjust the interior climate;
However, since the engine cannot be turned on remotely, BMW's system can only operate the fan, not the air conditioner or the heater, which makes it less useful.
Similarly, Tesla allows users to adjust their internal climate settings from the car's mobile app.
Using an Android app can respond quickly to HVAC commands, while the loading loop appears briefly before completing the operation using iOS.
Although Tesla Model S does not have a formal remote start or stop feature in its mobile app --
After all, it has no engine-This car is very big.
The capacity battery pack is ready to put in electronics at any time to complete the application functions.
In addition, Tesla's app also offers keyless driving, allowing users to drive away without a key.
After clicking on the launch button within the app and entering a personal password, the driver has two minutes to get into the car, press the brakes, and then drive away.
While these features may be useful, security hacking is indeed a concern.
Hackers entering the vehicle app have access to the above remote features as well as location information for the vehicle and/or user.
Ken Munro, partner of Pen Test Partners, a network security company, said: "There are a few meanings here . ".
"You can find where the car is, which is obviously very useful.
Once you get on the bus, you can enter the [line]
And other systems].
"Pen testing partners specifically identified bugs in the Mitsubishi Olander PHEV app, as Munro called cars dependent on Wi-
Fi replaces GSM networks to communicate information between cars and mobile applications.
However, the GSM network is not an impeccable attack by hackers.
Take Nissan Leaf as an example, a car that uses GSM networks to rent communications between applications and cars, and security researcher Troy Hunt is able to invade.
As far as the leaf is concerned, its app provides Hunt with information such as the distance of each trip and the date and time of each trip.
With this information, the hacker can theoretically figure out the owner's day-to-day pattern: Morning departure time, commuting time, when he or she will be home, when the vehicle may be left unattended.
"If you have physical access [
System to the vehicle]
"You can rewrite the software and then you have a problem," Hunter warned . ". “[A hacker]
In fact, you can stay [digitally]
In the car, waiting for a strike.
"The auto industry is now taking steps to avoid future issues related to hacking.
Last year, a number of auto manufacturers jointly created Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (Auto-ISAC)
Share and track threats and bugs in various car systems.
Recently, Fiat Chrysler announced a "bug bounty" plan to pay up to $1500 to independent researchers to expose safety defects.
While all alerts on MyHyundai must be set on the MyHyundai website, most of the alerts for InfinitiConnection can be set in the mobile app itself.
However, you don't need to be an expert hacker to keep an eye on your vehicle.
Some manufacturers allow app users to set speed and location alerts for their vehicles
This is a boon for those who tend to use valet parking or lend their car to friends or family.
However, only MyHyundai and Infiniti are connected in the five apps we are involved in (
Only as part of Infiniti Connect Plus package)
Provides a function of this nature.
Unfortunately, we found that both brands have work to do to improve the user experience of these features.
To use a reminder from MyHyundai, users must first download a separate application in the vehicle's infotainment system, which we can hardly find without the help of modern experts. (
Given the general intuitive nature of Elantra Limited's infotainment system, we find it quite surprising. )
Our setbacks are just beginning.
We soon learned that alerts can only be set through the MyHyundai website, not through the MyHyundai mobile app itself.
Once on the site, the user can choose to set an alert that exceeds a specific speed (in 5-
Increments per hour range from low to 25 miles per hour to 100 miles per hour)
Or driving within an unapproved time.
In addition, the user can set the location boundary (
Only one mile or 99 miles)
Around a particular address or point of interest.
The user can choose whether to include a boundary (
This means that an alarm will be sent if the vehicle leaves the virtual barrier)or exclusive (
This means that an alarm will be issued if the vehicle enters the virtual barrier)
If the boundary is square or round.
Alerts are sent to the mobile app and are displayed very simply on the car's infotainment screen.
We prefer if-
The vehicle alert shows longer, so that the offending driver has the opportunity to see when he or she has done something against the wishes of the owner.
Similarly, the Infiniti Connection allows the user to set a speed alert (
Between 25 miles per hour and 200 miles per hour, and the specific time frame that should not exceed this speed)
Curfew and location boundary.
In addition to these features, the Infiniti Connection also allows the user to set an alarm for the arrival of the vehicle.
Like a modern car.
The vehicle alarm is displayed on the infotainment screen too fast.
Almost all available Infiniti Connection alerts can be set up in the app or through the Infiniti InTouch Services web page.
The only exception is the location boundary that can only be set through the web.
Once online, the user has the option to radiate the boundary one mile or 3000 miles from the selected address.
Similarly, the user can choose whether the boundary contains the boundary or the exclusive boundary.
All alerts in the Infiniti Connection are sent to the Notifications tab in the app, but users can also choose to send them by phone, SMS or email.
Given the revolutionary nature of the Tesla Model S, we are surprised to find that mobile applications for electric vehicles are quite common.
Granted, it runs a factory like an experienced CEO.
This app has an exceptional user experience that makes it simple and logical to navigate and use many of the features available.
However, Tesla's app does have features that make it different, such as allowing users to remotely open or close the car skylight (
We used to torture our drivers. term Model S).
There is also a map that points not only the location of the car, but also the direction the car points in.
And, of course, Summon, which allows users to drive Tesla forward or backward remotely.
Still, to be honest, unless you actually Park Tesla in a very, very tight parking space (
Say a narrow garage)
More of a trick in the living room.
Using a call is as simple as pressing the call button of the app and then using the forward and reverse buttons to move the car remotely in said directions.
Summon can also be launched without the Tesla touch screen or key chain.
We found it to be responsive;
However, when we called it one time, the car did turn to the left (
It will automatically boot to avoid perceived obstacles, which must be an error it detects).
Tesla's summoning, modern and Infiniti reminders are not the only future features in the app we test.
Like many GM products, our 2017 Chevrolet Volt test vehicle has 4g LTE enabled and is able to function as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Start with three freemonth or 3-
After the GB trial, the consumer can purchase the data plan, once the trial period is over, $10 per month, 1 GB per month, 10 GB, $40 per month.
Through myChevrolet, the owner can manage and track the data, name, hotspot activation, etc. of the vehicle and set the network password.
Just like a skylight or SiriusXM satellite broadcast, the mobile app for your car or truck is a handy feature.
Treat it like this.
If you can afford the space on your mobile device and/or any potential cost of using the app's features, you may appreciate the features it offers.
To be sure, future automotive applications will become very important.
In fact, they may even be the main key fob, or critical to the performance capabilities of your car or truck, just like the engine under the hood or the infotainment system located in the center stack
For now, though, communication between cars and mobile devices is good --not essential—to have.
From left to right: BMW connects North America, myChevrolet, Infiniti, MyHyundai and Tesla.
Only BMW's GPS function is connected to the user's mobile phone, not the car.
Tesla also shows the direction of the vehicle and the input of speed and acceleration if the car is in motion.
BMW connects North America (
Test with 2016 BMW 740i)
/-BMW connect North America is one of the simplest applications we have tested, offering interesting features like the ability to sync a phone calendar to a car, send the location information in the app to the car and share the information to predict the arrival time via text or email.
Strange is the remote climate
Only the control function of the fan is working, not the air conditioner or the heating.
Not to mention, so far, the United StatesS.
The version of the app is limited to iOS only.
In addition to the ability to unlock from the iOS app, BMW has only recently added lock capabilities.
$ App for free download requires users to have 2014 or newer BMW (
2014X6 not included)
With navigation, and an active BMW Connected Drive/Assist subscription-
BMW has offered four years of free service in its new car.
After the initial service period is over, the consumer must pay for at least one of the many separate BMW Connected Drive/Assist features to maintain access to the app.
ConnectedDrive/Assist Safety costs $199 per year for the security program and an additional $199 per year for the increased convenience program. myChevrolet (
Test with 2017 Chevrolet Volt)
/-MyChevrolet provides a lot of convenience.
The most impressive thing is that it can remotely control the 4g lte Wi of the vehicle-
Fi hotspot and track data usage.
There are only a handful of charging tools for Volt.
User can insert (pun intended)
Their departure time, plus optimizing the way cars charge: immediately based on the departure time, or a combination of the best rate and departure time.
$ MyChevrolet can be downloaded free of charge;
However, in order to get a more notable feature of myChevrolet --
Fob remote key-
The user must have an active OnStar account.
Fortunately, with the purchase of a new GM, OnStar Basic has been included for five years, and after that, users will need to purchase OnStar plans if they want to continue accessing the app's feature array.
The current planned cost is only $19.
$99 or $199 per month.
$90 or up to $34 a year.
$99 or $349 per month.
According to the required features, 90 each year. MyHyundai (
Testing with 2017 Hyundai elante Limited)
/Like myChevrolet, MyHyundai (
Front modern blue link)
It stands out because of its large number of features.
This app provides a fantastic climate-
Control function via remote controlstart system.
The user can choose to turn on the front defroster, adjust the internal temperature, and even set the time when the engine is idle during remote start-up.
At the same time, a series of alerts that can be pushed to the mobile app can be used to let the owner know whether his or her car or truck is driving at a speed that exceeds the specified speed, within the restricted position specified by the owner, wait.
The biggest complaint is the inability to make alert settings from the mobile app.
$ Blue Link consists of three packages: Connected Care, remote care, and guidance.
Each one can have a limited trial period on a vehicle supported by MyHyundai: a one-year connected car, two other options for three months.
After the trial, the packages cost $99 a year, a total of $297 a year.
Connected Care is described as the modern OnStar for GM, offering convenient features such as automatic collision notifications and maintenance reminders.
Remote gives app users access to the digital key fob and the guide adds Google destination-
Search function of car information entertainment system.
If all you're looking for is the convenience of the smartphone app, you can download it for free and then spend $99 to fully access the remote package.
Infiniti Connection (
Test with 2017 Infiniti QX30)
/-Every vehicle app we test contains some kind of key Except Infiniti QX30-fob-
Like a function.
As far as Infiniti is concerned, this feature is included with its Infiniti connect mobile app, but our test vehicle QX30 relies heavily on Mercedes-
Infiniti connects Mercedes-Benz electronics and other hardware that the software cannot communicate.
On the other hand, Infiniti makes up for the lack of a remote fob for qx30, including an alert to compete with MyHyundai (if not the best ).
With the exception of one alert, almost all alerts can be requested via the app.
Sadly, the user interface of the app is a bit confusing.
$ Buy new Infiniti, Infiniti Connection free for six months.
In order to enjoy the reminder function, the customer must pay $308 for the Infiniti Connection Plus package after the trial;
However, $179 per year gives users access to a simpler Infiniti Connection package that sacrifices alerts but retains features such as automatic collision notifications, maintenance alerts, and alert notificationsTesla Motors (
Tested with 2015 Tesla Model S
/-King of users-
Of the five apps we sampled, Tesla's apps lacked many overused features that made the manufacturer's vehicle so interesting --
In addition to Summon, it allows users to move Tesla forward or backward using their phones.
To be honest, unless you actually Park Tesla in a very, very tight space (
Like a narrow garage)
This feature is more of a gimmick than anything else.
Using a call is as simple as pressing the call button of the app and then using the forward and reverse buttons to move the car remotely in said directions.
Summon can also be launched via Tesla's touch screen or the car's key chain without smartphone interaction.
The more mundane features that stand out include the ability to open or close the car skylight, as well as the app's map feature that shows the location and direction of the car.
The $ Tesla Motors app is available for download and use with your Tesla vehicle for free.