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.
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.
Good news Android users and Mazda owners – you can now download Mazda’s MyMazda app.
The MyMazda app had previously only been available for iPhone users, but now Android smartphone users can use this app to get real-time information about their vehicle. This free app updates you as to service offers personalized to your car, scheduled maintenance reminders, factory maintenance schedules and other information.
Using the MyMazda app, you’ll be able to scan vehicle identification numbers (VINs) when you want to add new vehicles to the application. You can also update your contact information and upload personal vehicle photos for each vehicle you register.
If you’ve forgotten where you’ve parked your car in a busy parking lot, use the vehicle locator feature – it uses GPS to find out when you left your vehicle. As well, the “MyMazda” app is linked with the “Mazda Assist” app, so you can get hooked up with immediate roadside assistance should you need it using only the app on your smartphone, no 911 call necessary.
The MyMazda app for Android is available for free download at the Google Play Store.
Oh no – what does that flashing light on your dashboard mean? Now there’s an app that will tell you exactly what’s wrong.
The new Actron InfoMobile Lite app for iPhone and Android smart phones lets you easily reference data from an Actron diagnostic scan tool. The On-Board Diagnostic (OBD II) trouble code definitions (they are collected by the engine when a check engine light is lit up) are delivered right to your cell phone. The OBD II code definitions are relevant for vehicles built in 1996 and newer when used with an OBD II code reader.
“Our Actron InfoMobile Lite app is a very convenient option for auto enthusiasts because it eliminates the need for a computer – simply access trouble codes from your Actron PocketScan Code Reader or other diagnostic code reader, download the app to your iPhone or Android, and discover the trouble code definitions,” said Jennifer Grabowski, product manager for Actron Diagnostic Scan Tools. “We are providing accurate and reliable information that automotive DIYers can use to understand why their check engine light is on, and we’re offering it for an electronic product that nearly everyone carries.”
The Actron InfoMobile Lite app is free… and you can’t beat that price. Download the app now from the iTunes or Android Marketplace stores. There is one downside, though. The app doesn’t function by itself, you need a code reader. Guess what, Actron makes those and they aren’t exactly cheap. Even at Amazon’s significant discount, it costs $59.95.
There’s one other thing to keep in mind before placing an order, trouble codes are good, but they aren’t perfect. A single blown fuse can cause dozens of error codes capable of puzzling the best mechanics. On the upside, arming yourself with more knowledge before visiting your local grease monkey puts a lot of leverage in your corner when he tries to tell you the transmission is shot.
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.
You can never have enough racing games on your iPhone or iPad, so it’s a good thing the new Mercedes-AMG 0-100-0 Challenge is ready to be downloaded. This app puts you behind the wheel of the Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster, so you can tear up the track and test your mad racing skills.
Available for free on iTunes, the Mercedes-AMG 0-100-0 Challenge game puts you on a closed course and challenges you to go from stop to 100 mph and stop again in the shortest time possible. This game is more than just speed – it’s about control and reaction time. How long will it take you to clamp down on those six piston caliper brakes to bring your Mercedes-AMG to a complete stop? Your acceleration and deceleration times will be combined with your reaction times to give you a total score and determine your position on the leaderboard. After a few test runs, you can brag to all your friends via Facebook or Twitter by posting your times and see if any of them can beat it.
You can download the Mercedes-AMG 0-100-0 Challenge for free at the iTunes store.
BMW Financial Services has jumped on the social media bandwagon with both feet and has introduced a new social navigation mobile app called “The Ultimate Drive.” Created to give drivers a unique mobile and social experience, this app lets users submit their favorite routes and have them shared via other social platforms.
The idea of The Ultimate Drive is that drivers in over 50 countries can rank, comment and share roads and routes on Facebook, email and other GPS devices. Already thinking ahead, you’ll be able to use the app in the future, if you’re a BMW Financial Service customer, to access your points and garner high rankings.
“A social app succeeds when it forms a community of users with similar interests. A mobile app succeeds when it shrinks that large community into something local and familiar,” said Pawan Murthy, General Manager of Online Business for BMW Group Financial Services. “Within a few seconds of opening the app, ‘The Ultimate Drive’ connects you to driving enthusiasts who have discovered great roads in your neighborhood – roads you may have overlooked. Sharing that joy of discovery is why we are eager to launch this app to everyone.”
The Ultimate Drive prides itself in being simple to use – just download it, find your location and poof… you’ll get the stretches of road that others have rated as the best ones in the area. If you want to contribute your own opinions on a road, just tap three times to share it via email or Facebook or send to your GPS device or app.
You can down The Ultimate Drive on iOS and Android devices for free from Apple’s App Store and the Android Marketplace.
Do you miss your Nissan Leaf the moment you walk away from it? Now, you can stay in touch with your Leaf no matter where you are at any time, thanks to the new Nissan Leaf app.
Available for use on Blackberry and Android operating systems (the app has already been available on the iPhone since the car’s release in 2010), the Leaf app lets Leaf owners manage and control tons of vehicle features right from their smartphone. To get this app, all you need is a Leaf (of course) and an active CARWINGS subscription. Even if you don’t own a Leaf but want to know more about it, you can download the app. It’s a handy tool that lets you check the state of the battery charge or begin charging. With the app, you can check when battery charge is complete, see estimated driving range or turn the climate control system on or off.
“Nissan understands that telematics and other communication services are important for consumers,” said Trisha Jung, director, Vehicle Connected Services, Nissan North America. “By providing accessibility and functionality to the Nissan LEAF through all major smartphone platforms, we are truly delivering ‘Innovation for All.’”
Everything is coming cartoon with ToyToyota’s Backseat Driver app, made just for kids. Designed to make any road trip go smoothly, Backseat Driver will keep kids occupied and let you keep your sanity.
A new brand from Toyota, ToyToyota’s first offering uses a GPS and accelerometer to match the game play to what’s going on while you’re driving. Basically, your child is following your vehicle (called the Papa Car) in their own car. The idea is to pick up stuff along the way by driving over them. Let’s just say you pass a restaurant – your child is able to pull over in their virtual car, grab something to eat and get some points.
There’s a social aspect to the game as well – players can post their high scores on Twitter, and can compete with others via the game’s online ranking system. And as you collection more points, you’re able to use them towards pimping out your vitual ride.
If you’ve got an iPhone (3GS and 4), iPod Touch (3rd and 4th generation models), or iPad, you can download Backseat Driver for free at the iTunes store. If you want to see it in action before downloading, you can watch the video after the jump.
[Source: All Car Tech]
It’s spring, and it’s time to do a little spring cleaning to your garage. You need to get rid of your old ride to make room for new toys. But you don’t want the hassle of putting up a listing, fielding calls all day from people who are looking for that type of vehicle, just in another color, and waiting around all day for interested buyers who never show. What are you going to do? For starters, you can download the new Copart app.
An online auction company, Copart sells over 1 million cars each year, and they are making it super easy to sell your vehicle with the Copart Sell My Car app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. This free app lets you fill in contact and vehicle information details and upload photos. Once all those details are taken care of, a Copart rep will send you follow-up questions or even offer to purchase the vehicle right then and there.
Once all the details of the sale are finalized, you just drop off your car at one of the 100-plus Copart locations nationwide. This whole transaction can take place in just one day and you get your money instantly. For added convenience, they will even arrange to pick up your car from your house.
If you drive a hard bargain, sell your through the company’s Copart Direct division. This online auction can be accessed by a worldwide base of registered buyers, and it usually takes about a week to get offer on your vehicle.
You need to run errands, or visit a friend, or meet a client, but the thought of find a parking spot gives you a great reason to procrastinate. There’s no need to fear the uncertainty of parking space scarcity anymore, thanks to the Navigon Help2Park app.
The free smartphone application works for iPhone and Android operating systems and helps you find a place to park in most U.S. cities. With the Help2Park app, you can choose from private and public parking areas, as well as the radius size near your destination (depending upon how far you want to walk).
It also comes with a list of options to choose from and displays them on a map. If you’ve already shelled out some cash for Navigon’s MobileNavigator navigation app, Help2Park can work with it to provide turn-by turn directions.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
Show of hands: who has actually read the owner’s manual that came with their car? Yep, that’s what we thought… not that many of you. Because so few of us actually get around to reading it, Dodge has come up with an app for that.
Dodge and Mopar make it easier for owners by offering a free, new smartphone application that puts the information at your fingertips. You can bring up vehicle operation, maintenance and warranty information, product feature video demonstrations, connections with fellow owners via the company’s brands on social media sites and access to customer care and 24-hour road-side assistance. This is one owner’s manual you won’t shove in the glove box.
Another bonus: since it’s a digital system, any changes Dodge makes to the manual are made in real time, so you’ll get them the moment they are updated.
In the US, owners of the new Dodge Durango and Charger can download vehicle information applications to select personal smartphones. The app will be available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices on major mobile carriers.
Speeding is easy to do – sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing it until the cop pulls you over. You know how it happens… a good song comes on, you get caught up in the music, singing along, while you’re unaware that the speedometer is creeping up. Well, now there’s an app for that too.
The Slow Down app is the product of Belgian organization OVK, Parents of Children Killed in Road Accidents. It works on a pretty simple idea: if you drive too fast it slows down your music (watch the video below to see it in action).
When you’re driving and you’ve got the tunes blaring from your Apple iPhone, the app will keep an eye on the local speed limits. As soon as you go over the posted limit, the music will slow down. If your ignore that and keep going faster (more than 10 miles per hour over the limit), the tunes will go mute. To keep the music going, you just have to slow down.
Watch the video after the jump.
The Fiat 500 is coming soon to the U.S., and to celebrate, they’re giving you a cool app for free.
The Talking Italian Phrasebook app by Coolgorilla can now be downloaded for free in iTunes, courtesy of the FIAT 500. Offering over 500 professionally translated words and phrases in both text and audio, the Talking Italian Phrasebook give you the Italian basics, making it easy to get around on vacation or impress your date at that little Italian restaurant.
This app doesn’t need an Internet connect to work, which comes in handy if you’re overseas and don’t want to pay those pesky roaming data charges. It also means it will work in those off-the-beaten- path areas that aren’t listed in the tour books.
You can choose from 40 different categories, which include travel, food, shopping and romance. It also comes with an easy to navigate menu system and search facility. You can download the app here.
Get more Fiat 500 news and info at Fiat500Owners.com
Anybody who’s anybody has their own app, and now you can add State Farm to the list of trend setters. This one will hopefully cut down on a few claims, as State Farm’s Android application automatically responds to text messages while you’re driving.
The new widget, called the “On the Move” widget, lets Android smartphone users to compose and preload customized messages that are sent as automated responses to incoming text messages. That means you can keep your eyes on the road and let the app respond to text messages for you. It tells texters that you’re busy at the moment, but will get back to them as soon as you can. It’s free to anyone with an Android smartphone as part of State Farm’s updated Pocket Agent for Android application.
“It is our hope that this widget will prevent crashes and save lives,” said Laurette Stiles, Strategic Resources vice president at State Farm. “This new service will help drivers manage the temptation to read or respond to text messages when they are behind the wheel. We wanted to make this widget available free-of-charge as just one of the ways we’re working to keep our roadways safe for drivers.”
With the app, Android owners can compose their own responses and save them for future use. It works with all incoming texts, or can be directed at those in your address book. Before you drive you car away, just activate the service and catch up on your texts when you get to your destination. Activating the service prior to driving is just one way to use the widget.
To activate the auto-response function, just turn on the widget and write or pick an auto-response message. Any text messages you get still come through and can be accessed in your inbox at any time.
Check out a video demonstration of the App after the jump: