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GM’s New App Turns Smartphones into Virtual Key

New app uses OnStar to access vehicle functions.

by on Jul.22, 2010

Well, does this have anything to do with selling cars? Comments requested.

The automotive world is going smartphone app crazy.

The latest to join the fray? General Motors will roll out smartphone apps – specialized apps geared for customers of its four remaining U.S. brands – this fall.

GM will release a new app for smartphones that will allow owners to access all of the functions of a traditional key fob. No longer will the car owner have to be within a certain distance to control vehicle.

Apps, Apt or Otherwise!

Say you park the car at the mall, but realize you forgot to lock it while shopping at Aeropostale. Just log in and send a remote lock signal to the vehicle.

This could also eliminate many of the calls subscribers make to have their vehicle unlocked by an OnStar advisor. So long as you don’t lock your phone in the car, you could just unlock it yourself.


Ford Syncs With Smartphone Apps

Pandora, Twitter and other "apps" will be available to motorists.

by on Jan.07, 2010

The latest generation of Ford's Sync infotainment system will allow a motorist to access smartphone apps including Pandora, Stitcher and Twitter.

If “electrification” was the hot topic of 2009, this year, the buzzword is “connectivity.”  Even as more and more states wrestle with bans on in-car calling and texting, automakers are looking for new ways to keep motorists linked to the outside world.

“People have become addicted to connectivity,” suggests Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product development chief.

The Detroit maker took a plunge into the digital pool, several years ago, when it launched its new Sync infotainment system.  Developed in cooperation with Microsoft, Sync is a voice-activated package of audio and navigation services that can be voice operated.

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But in sharp contrast with General Motors’ OnStar, Sync is a relatively open system – “the electronic equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife,” according to Kuzak — which means it’s easy to update and add features that weren’t necessarily developed by or for Ford.