Automatic’s new dongle takes your car from junker to Jetsons

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Automatic's new Adapter brings useful apps for your car.
Automatic's new Adapter brings useful apps for your car.
Photo: Automatic

Apple’s engineers might be busy building the smart car of the future, but Automatic’s new second-generation dongle can already turn your dumb hunk of junk into an intelligent auto with tons of apps.

Automatic unveiled its new Adapter dongle today that takes the original’s smart driving assistant functionality to a new level by adding support for third-party apps. Over 20 apps are available in the Automatic App Gallery at launch, including offerings from IFTTT, Nest, Jawbone and Expensify.

Perhaps the best thing about the Automatic App Gallery is it’s also available to first-gen adapter owners through the Automatic iOS app. The new adapter works on any car with an onboard diagnostics port, and supports both Android and iOS. And of course, they’ve got an Apple Watch app too.

The dongle logs trip details, like mileage and time, and decodes the dreaded check engine light if it happens to pop on. Instant feedback can help you improve your driving skills. And Automatic can help you locate a lost car or even get help in the event of a crash.

Other new features include Bluetooth 4.0 with support for two streams simultaneously (one for the native Automatic app and one for third-party apps), native GPS and 128-bit AES encryption. Pricing for the Adapter is the same as the first-gen ($100), with orders being accepted for those in the U.S. and an option to preorder if you live elsewhere.

Source: Automatic