The Apple Watch and Your Car

The Apple Watch has just been released. This is significant for car enthusiasts, as it’s reasonable to assume that before long we will use this gadget to operate functions in our car, just as we currently use smartphones to this end. Car companies are racing to bring out apps for the Apple Watch so that their customers can remotely check on their cars by looking at their wrists. Such apps will only work when both the given car and the user’s iPhone (that the watch is paired with) are online—not a hard condition to meet these days.

As of yet, Porsche and BMW are the only car companies that have made official apps specifically for the Apple Watch. They’re more or less lighter versions of the apps each company already have for smart phone users. Here’s a look at what they do.

BMW’s “i Remote” app works with the i3 and the i8 hybrid sports cars. Some of its features include telling you where you parked your car and remotely operating its temperature and door locks. With the i3 the app can tell you the battery charge status and can generate a range map to show you if you can make it to a given destination with the car’s current charge. It can also analyse driving efficiency with CO2 output estimates, recommend departure times and can function as a service indicator.

Porsche’s “Car Connect” app works with the new Cayenne, Panamera, 918 Spyder and Macan models. It doesn’t have the impressive map function that BMW’s i Remote has, though you can still check your driving range. In fact, overall it’s a more powerful and feature-rich app. You can use it to lock/ unlock the car, check the tire pressure and fuel level, fold in the mirrors, check that the windows, roof and doors are closed, adjust the climate control and locate where you parked the car.

Before long Hyundai and Volkswagen intend on entering the fray, with the latter promising to better existing apps with some novel features, such as the ability to set alerts for when the vehicle exceeds a certain speed or drives outside of a stipulated area, and the ability to send addresses from the iPhone’s contact list directly to the car’s GPS system.

With all of these options, and the success of Apple’s other ventures, it doesn’t seem too far fetched to say that the Apple Watch (and the equivalents brought out by other brands) will be replacing our key fobs.

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