Feb 232013
 February 23, 2013  Posted by at 11:33 pm Not So Stupid Questions  Add comments

[To celebrate my first year of programming I will ask a ‘stupid’ questions daily on my blog for a year, to make sure I learn at least 365 new things during my second year as a developer]

In-car-apps, the latest fashion in apps

In-car-apps, the latest fashion in apps

Referred to as the infotainment revolution, in-car-apps are getting more and more popular and will soon be found in every modern car.
In a month or so we are getting a new car, a beautiful Volvo V40 in the famous rebel blue. It will have the Connected Touch, google maps, voice driven Spotify and more. Frivolous apps aren’t welcome, not by Ford, GM or Volvo.

So what are in-car-apps?
These are apps that are for the touch dashboard found in modern cars.

How common are they?
Not all modern cars have them yet, but by the looks of it according to the app-trend most modern cars will soon have dashboards that support in-car-apps. Some companies, such as Volvo can retrofit these dashboards and even ‘older’ cars can the dashboard and with that in-car-apps.

How are they distributed?
Some dashboards have certain apps pre-installed, some manufacturers will have their own ‘store’ and even when distribution can be done through the ‘ordinary’ channels the manufacturer might have a catalog site such as the Ford App Catalog, and GM will have something similar, and some ‘ through all of your normal channels including app stores such as iTunes, Google Play, GetJar, Handmark…and others, your own website, or any other method you currently employ to get your app in the hands of your customers’ (Ford). The apps have to first be approved. Vovlo has a selection of apps that can be installed on their Sensus Connected Touch.

How do I get started?
Ford has opened up their developer program as I signed up there not to long ago. I haven’t gotten around to get started on my first car app, but I have a few ideas and hope to get started before the summer 🙂

A note on Volvo

I had a chance to have a talk with the department responsible for the Sensus Connected Touch for Volvo and asked a few questions in regards developing apps for their system.
At the moment applications are made by contractors and there is no open developer program, but if you have a great idea you are more than welcome to contact them and see if the app can be included in the app-list for the touch dashboard. An open developer program will probably come, but due to the obvious potential safety issues with distractive apps they want to make sure that the way they go about it with an open program is well thought through before they go ahead with that.

For more of a read:
Ford Developer program
Automakers rush to offer apps in cars
Ford brings smartphone Web apps to cars
Cars Are The Next Playground For App Developers

  One Response to “Stupid Question 158-162: What are in-car-apps, how common are they, how are they distributed and how do I get started?”

  1. This is a great community to be in. I would first suggest mp3car.com. About 10 years ago I built a small carPC, software using .NET. It was a lot of fun. There are a lot of ready to go PCs now you can replace your in car info-tainment systems with in this site, and the forums are great. With WPF and Windows 8 now, I can’t wait to see the first Surface installed in a car (I might be working in that too). Good post!


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