AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Android Auto is the latest product from Google that’s designed as an alternative to CarPlay but for Android users. Similar to the Apple infotainment solution, Android Auto will use your Android smartphone to enable apps and extra features while driving. Continue Reading…
Google announced a partnership today with four automakers and chipmaker Nvidia.
Google Glass has been rules an official no-no for drivers in the U.K. before becoming commercially available.
Lodging official complaints about your car just got easier.
It may be a little early to be shopping for Christmas, but Desk Pets has released its CarBot which allows users to fully control the toy car with an Apple iOS device, or an Android-powered device.
Adding convenience and confidence to the used car buying experience, today Carfax announced a mobile app for Android users.
The latest version of Palmer Performance Engineering’s DashCommand app was just released and promises to improve on previous versions by pairing with Pioneer’s AppRadio 2 device, though the entire setup is very expensive.
The New Jersey branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has teamed up with app developer OpenWatch to offer a new ‘Police Tape’ app for free, allowing users to secretly record video and/or audio during a police stop.
We’ve seen some pretty silly car sound apps in our time, but oh boy… this one might have just taken the top spot on our list.
In order to attract buyers, car manufacturers have had to ramp up the amount of technology offered in their cars. Infotainment systems do a lot, like help navigate, set cabin temperature, adjust audio settings and more, but they tend to be a neat party trick, falling short in real-world use.
Gentlemen, start your felines. In a hilarious marketing campaign, the developers behind the XLR8 app that makes acceleration noises as you drive, strapped an iPhone to their kitty and sent it running.
Have you always wanted a muscle car or exotic but budget and necessity mean you end up driving a compact or minivan? Well, 2XL Games has a solution, namely in its XLR8 smart phone app.
By downloading it your smart phone, XLR8, reproduces the sounds your vehicle’s engine makes under acceleration, cornering and braking but with a twist. Instead of a buzzy four cylinder, the exhaust note sounds like a muscular V8 running a high-lift cam and open exhaust, perfectly matched to your car’s acceleration, cornering and braking.
It does this via accelerometers and a GPS system inside your iPhone, Android or other portable device. By hooking up the phone to your vehicle’s sound system in much the same way as a MP3, simply choose the app and press the button.
Any car from 1996 and newer can have a real-time gas consumption meter thanks to an Android app, but you might not want to pay for it.
OBD Mileage is now available for Google Android smartphone users who want to watch their car’s mpg change during hill climbs, highway driving and schlepping around town. The developer says the app can display “55 different kinds of information,” hopefully that includes switching between kilometers and miles per gallon. Unfortunately, the program looks sketchy at best and costs a boatload.
The picture you see above is a shot of what OBD Milage looks like while running — you can be the aesthetics judge here. Not only that, but running the app requires a plug-in bluetooth device to bridge communication between your phone and car. The device recommended on the OBD website costs $99.99 and that’s on sale.
The app itself also seems to cost something, though the site doesn’t make it readily obvious how much you’re spending. Instead it says discomforting things like: “We use the Google wallet for the payment,” and “When you purchased the validity period, it is not possible for the refund even if there is any reason.”
The validity period is also more-or-less unexplained but it seems like a temporary license to use the program. Worse yet, uninstalling the app and changing your phone’s date and time both render your purchase void.
So much for customer service, it’s probably better to use the in-dash fuel gauge and avoid all the nonsense.
If you want a phone that says “I’m too good to take your call,” Tag Heuer’s new Racer mobile will let you screen your calls in style.
Although Tag Heuer is best known for making luxury watches, the company has turned its attention to the lucrative handset market. Inspired by Formula 1 and GT racing, the Racer smartphone features carbon fiber, titanium and a shockproof rubber chassis. Making it super smart, the Racer also comes with latest Android software, as well as a customizable 3D user interface.
Fashionistas and trend setters can pick up their Racer smartphone in July, when it will be available at better luxury mobile boutiques and jewelry retailers for $3,700. Until then, enjoy the Racer smartphne promo video below.
Japanese automaker Nissan has just released a new global app for Google Android phone users. The user-friendly app provides Nissan news from all around the world in addition to the history of Nissan, and content about its latest technologies.
Last year, Nissan released their global app for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) users and that app has already been downloaded by customers in more than 100 different countries. Both apps will be regularly updated with new content to make it easy for all Nissan customers and fans to access information about the automaker and its many activities.
The Nissan Android app currently works for Android phones that are running Android OS 2.3 – otherwise known as Gingerbread.
Download the app on the Android Market here.
A new Kickstarter project looks to make your smartphone the center of your car stereo needs in not only a painless and effective manner, but in one that won’t break your bank account.
Compared to any traditional, high quality head unit, the Devium Dash is complete steal right now for just $250. The retail pricing will be around $300 when it’s completely released to the market in July, but what exactly does $250 get you? Well it’s a fully-functional head unit that uses your smartphone to access GPS, send texts by voice, play music, etc. Everything that you’re used to doing on your phone will now seamless integrate to the rest of your car’s stereo system.
The head unit itself will pump out 4×50 watts of power and has two preamps for front and rear subwoofers. In addition, it supports a video pass through so owners can also play video on external monitors. Best of all, the head unit will keep your phone charged while it’s in use. To make everything less distracting while you’re driving, Devium includes an app for your smartphone that will allow you to quickly bookmark your most-used automotive applications onto a quick-access home screen.
That’s not all it can do however. The Devium Dash also has your typical FM tuner and AUX input, but will also allow users to eventually connect to their vehicle’s computer.
The first Dash will be shipping out in June 2012, and will initially only support the Apple iPhone 4 and 4S, but Devium hopes to support additional smartphones in the near future including your collection of Android units out on the market now.
Watch the video here showing how the Devium Dash will operate.
The Android mobile operating system from Google has become Apple’s number one competitor in the mobile smartphone market, but now Android’s open-source philosophy is really flexing its muscles.
Integrating Android into vehicles is now the target for many aftermarket car stereo companies, and Rydeen recently showed off a cool prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Rydeen is very close to having a complete double-DIN stereo head unit running Android 2.2, otherwise known as Froyo and can be seen running within the rear-view mirror.
Rydeen is currently treating this project as a learning experience, but hopes by next year it’ll have a finalized mirror with a simplified interface more appropriate for drivers. Those that have had the chance to use Android sometimes complain that it’s not as user-friendly as Apple’s iOS, but the great thing about Android is its versatility to be customized for an entirely new user experience.
Of course by the time this technology is ready to be consumed by the public, Android should be well into its fifth iteration that is rumored to be called Jelly Bean. Mmmm, jelly beans are so much better than frozen yogurt.
Check out a video of a hands-on with the Android integration after the break.
Ford is taking a clever approach to virtually revealing the new 2013 Fusion sedan before its official debut at the upcoming 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Using an app, now available on Android and iOS systems for smartphones and tablets, is an augmented reality game app where users can virtually drive the new Fusion through a series of worlds that unlock to reveal the car.
Each track is loaded with video clips featuring insight on technology and design from key Fusion team members. A daily video clip will unlock more content to the app every day with demonstrations of key vehicle features on the new 2013 Fusion.
When the vehicle finally debuts at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, users will be able to unlock access to the full image of the car. At that point, they will also be able to drive any of the four Fusions on the virtual track in addition to creating a custom image of the car to share via Facebook or Twitter.
The all-new Ford Fusion will also be the Official Car of the 2012 CES show.
Check out an app walkthrough video after the break.
Take the brand new Volvo FH16 out for a spin… but be careful of obstacles. That’s the idea behind Volvo Trucks’ new game for smartphones and tablets.
Released to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Volvo’s flagship truck, FH16 750 is an exciting and entertaining game that tests your lighting fast reflexes. The object of the game is to get rid of various obstacles that pop up and get in your way. To move to the next level (there are eight to get through), you need to accumulate enough points… and not crash your truck. The game also offers some interesting facts about the Volvo Trucks’ FH16-750.
“It’s easy to learn, but hard to master. If you’re good, you can get onto the high-score lists and boast about your results on Facebook or Twitter. There is also a contest on Worldtrucker, our online truck community, where weekly prizes are awarded,” said Niclas Hermansson, Digital Marketing Strategist at Volvo Trucks.
You can download the FH16 750 game for free at the Apple App Store, Android Market or Volvo Trucks’ game site To download the game, you need the iPhone 4/4S or iPad 2 or Android 2.3 phones or tablets with 480×800 screen resolution or higher.
Be sure to check out the game trailer after the jump.