The not-so-humble smartphone has quickly permeated our lifestyles up to the point where we are partly lost when we find ourselves without it. It’s these moments when you finally find it within the folds of your blanket that we not only realise how much we rely on them but also how much value they really do add to our lives.

The benefits are as varied as they are useful. It’s simple to organise tasks with a tap and a swipe, to waste time in a doctor’s office and, of course, it makes it so easy to contact our friends around the world in a meaningful way. At the same time it clear how personal this piece of technology is to us, this rectangular shaped assortment of aluminium, plastic and circuitry. We’ve chosen it out of the thousands available to store our lives in and become our gateway to the rest of the world. We personalise it with cases, apps, wallpapers and fill it full of reminders of our favourite things in the world.

It crazy to think about how we relate to our cars on the same level. we hop in most days and they greet you with a familiar feel, that same scent and everything is where you left it (maybe you should have taken that coffee cup with you last night?). You turn the key and the lights on the dash glow as they always have and the radio plays a familiar tune, ready to take you where you need to go. It’s interesting when you think about it how slow the merger of these two major life elements, the car and the phone, has been. Neither phone nor car company has been building their products with the other especially in mind . There are theories as to why this is of course, one being that each would prefer to keep the customers information for themselves rather than share it. So because of this it is good to know that developers and product manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to fill this demand of singularity for the consumer. Here’s a list of some of the most ingenious ways we’re able to merge the two right now.

Bluetooth Connection

A staple in the connected car. With flexibility, adaptability and a huge array of functions. Hands-free calling, music streaming, turn-by-turn navigation, all this is available to you through a Bluetooth connection. It’s super simple to install and designed to be really intuitive to control as well.

Phone Bracket/Charging Station

With literally thousands of types and colours there is definitely one that will suit your style. Try installing it in a location in a convenient line-of-sight but doesn’t stand out in and obtrusive way. Try running the charging cable behind interior panels for a clean professional look.

Android Auto/Apple CarPlay

Most have heard of at least one of these by now. These apps interface with a compatible radio and streamline the user interface of popular applications commonly used in the car. They are then organised on the screen’s simple “dashboard” which helps prevent distraction while providing entertainment and information for you drive. It’s an incredibly cost effective way to get things like Navigation, hands-free and the best music streaming options in your car

Blackvue C

Accidents happen, when they do all you really want to do is get the aftermath over and done with as quickly as possible. With this app you can connect to your Blackvue dash cam and view High Definition footage recorded immediately prior. This seems to help move things along from the blame game to the exchanging information pretty quickly. It also means you might be able to provide footage to Dash Cam Owners Australia which is a lot of fun.

Maps

Probably the most used app in the car aside from maybe your music. Your navigation app is a powerful tool to help find your way on a trip, the best route to take on your commute (with live traffic updates and rerouting) and to find places around you like food and petrol stations. It does use some data but it’s estimated at about 5-10MB/hr. It’s a few songs if you were streaming music so not much at all.

 

Until Google or Apple start building their driverless cars I don’t believe there will be massive leaps forward in smartphone integration. In saying that there is still a massive array of apps and products available already to make things more convenient or at least a bit more interesting.

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