Automakers are jumping on the Apple Watch app wagon.
This is to be expected. After all, it’s common to see luxury cars connected to the cloud through iOS and Android apps that let you do things like unlock your ride, keep track of routine maintenance and even find the damn thing in the parking lot. Everyone from Alfa to Volvo offers smartphone apps these days.
But the Apple Watch shipped Friday, providing a new platform for the tech-obsessed (and the automakers eager to woo them) to embrace. And so Porsche and BMW released Watch apps that keep the well-heeled from having to dig out their phones to make sure they locked the car.
The Watch apps offer much the same functionality as smartphone apps, but from your wrist. Porsche’s Car Connect lets owners track travel time, distance driven, average speed and fuel use. It’ll also alert you if the doors are unlocked, or the drop-top is down. It even lets you fold in the exterior mirrors from afar, because why not? Owners of plug-in hybrid Porsches (yes, they exist, and they’re pretty sweet, actually) can track the car’s state of charge and turn on the climate control to cool (or warm) the interior while the car’s still plugged into the wall.
Wondering how much gas you’ve got in the tank? Or the best route back to your car in an enormous parking lot? Want to flash the lights? Done. Just check your wrist and fiddle with that cool Digital Crown. It’s pretty much the same story and features with the Watch app BMW’s got, but that one’s limited to the electric i3 and (amazingly awesome) plug-in hybrid i8.
Knowing how much gas you’ve got left in your Porsche 911 or how much juice is in your i8 is all fine and well, but if the automakers wanted to make their Watch apps truly helpful, they’d have them warn you when Johnny Law is closing in…