olly - Fotolia

Evaluate Weigh the pros and cons of technologies, products and projects you are considering.

Should I be creating apps for car manufacturers?

There are several platforms available for creating apps for improving the driving experience. Expert Matthew David discusses why it may be easier than you think.

Today you will spend 101 minutes in the car. What will you do? Flick through the CDs and brush over a few FM channels? No, of course, you won't. You will connect your phone to the car radio and choose an app to provide entertainment for the next hour and a half.

The car radio is morphing into a full-fledged entertainment system complete with touch display and apps. The problem: There are a lot of platforms competing for your development skills. First, there are the platforms involved in creating apps:

  • Google's Android Auto: As you would expect, Android Auto is a modified version of Android for the car. Hugely popular due to the number of Android phones and ease of connecting.
  • Apple's CarPlay: CarPlay requires an iOS device to connect with and is very familiar with the iPhone crowd.
  • Ford SYNC: Ford open sourced AppLink (now named SmartDeviceLink), the foundation of Ford SYNC, and have partnered with Toyota to compete with Google and Apple.
  • BlackBerry QNX: This is currently used by many manufacturers.

The second challenge you have with creating apps is that each manufacturer is known for swapping in and out different platforms. If we look at the top companies selling cars we have the following challenges:

  • GM: Older GM cars with OnStar use QNX as the operating system for creating apps.
  • GM: New GM cars now use Android Auto.
  • Ford: Ford vehicles running SYNC 2.0 use a Microsoft solution, whereas Ford SYNC 3.0 is on 2016 and later cars.

The final challenge is a limited audience. Today, not every car comes with an app-driven ecosystem to build solutions. Indeed, if your vehicle is more than three years old, it is more likely your car does not have a touchscreen infotainment system.

So, why bother creating apps for cars? The opportunity is not today, but tomorrow. Remember, we spend 101 minutes per day in a car. The era of the self-driving car is starting and will be mainstream in five years. For an industry that is 100 years old, we are experiencing an almost overnight change in behavior behind the wheel. With a self-driving car, you can watch a movie, buy clothes or text a friend in complete safety. The 101 minutes in a car is captive to the entertainment system and the passenger. If you want to see how this can look in the future, all you need to do is get into a taxi and be forced to watch TV in the cab.

If you know how to develop for the web, iOS or Android, then you are halfway to creating apps for the auto platforms listed above. Why not develop a version of your app specifically for a driving experience and open a new way to entertain your audience?

Next Steps

Guide to mobile app development

Platform options for mobile app development

Easing challenges with mobile app frameworks

Dig Deeper on Mobile app development

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

What tools have you used for creating apps?
Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. exotic car blog
Wow, this is fascinating reading. I am glad I found this and got to read it. Great job on this content. I liked it a lot. Thanks for the great and unique info. Full Movies Online
It is a great website.. The Design looks very good.. Keep working like that!. Ki Residences floor plan
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. royal green price

I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? midwood
I know your expertise on this. I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information. Avenir condo price
Share your commThanks so much for sharing this awesome info! I am looking forward to see more postsby you! penrose showflatent
There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. Thank you for your clear information. forett at bukit timah price
This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. kopar at newton price
Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. hyll on Holland price
Excellent post. I was always checking this blog, and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part, I care for such information a lot. I was exploring this particular info for a long time. Thanks to this blog my exploration has ended. klimt cairnhill showflat
You understand your projects stand out of the crowd. There is something unique about them. It seems to me all of them are brilliant. midtown modern Singapore
I think this is an informative post and it is very beneficial and knowledgeable. Therefore, I would like to thank you for the endeavors that you have made in writing this article. All the content is absolutely well-researched. Thanks... ola ec sengkang
i was just browsing along and came upon your blog. just wanted to say good blog and this article really helped me. the m showflat
Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also perfect ten
Thank you very much for this useful article. I like it. verdale condo price