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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Connect to Your Car with the Apple Watch

As reported by SlashGear: When Apple Watch lands in April, droves of people will be trying to snap one up. As lines diminish, users will start to discover all the neat things they can do with their watch. While Apple has plenty of use-cases listed on their website, there are also an endless number of iOS Developers hard at work, finalizing their Apple Watch-ready apps for distribution or update. Does Apple Watch make sense for the connected car, though? Automatic says it will.

The result of a ‘hack day’ project the team holds internally, Automatic’s Apple Watch features will respect Apple’s wishes of quick-glance features instead of scrolling and reading. That’s especially important in a car, where distractions can lead to catastrophic results.

Set for launch right around the time Apple Watch is a reality for all, Automatic’s app will have two features available for Apple’s wearable. First, you’ll be able to find your parking space with ease, without needing to look at your phone. Automatic’s app can already tag your car’s location, and Automatic tells us their Apple Watch feature will feed that info to you on your wrist.

Second, when you’re done with a trip, Automatic may ask if you want to log it as a business trip. This feature is only for those who enable it, so those who don’t use their car for business as well as pleasure won’t be bombarded with notifications every time they turn the car off.

If you do use your car for business, affirming the trip you just took was for for work will automatically cobble together info about the trip like mileage or time spent in the car. However you’ve chosen to save that info (it can be fed to a spreadsheet or linked to another app, for instance) will remain stable. Your Apple Watch simply lets you tag the trip as one for work with a tap.

Though they tell us more features will likely come as users provide feedback on what they want, Automatic wants to keep their interaction with you via wearables brief. While you shouldn’t expect to see a readout of your diagnostics on the small screen, a quick buzz when you accelerate too quickly might happen.

BMW was also briefly featured during the Apple Watch event with the BMW iRemote App. The popular app for the new BMW i3 and i8 is available today on the iPhone, but it will soon transition to the Apple Watch as the first car app.

Just like the iPhone version, the iRemote watch app will give insight into the car charging status, as well as performing functions like pre-conditioning the car and battery, locking the doors, flashing the headlights, honking the horn, setting pre-defined departure times and finding nearby charging stations.

And it even tracks your car on a map.

The BMW iRemote App for Apple Watch is free of charge and it’s expected to be available soon in the App Store.