Remote Car Starter is Cool, but Engine Starter App is Cooler

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By now, most of you probably have seen the Volkswagen Passat Star Wars commercial that ran during the Super Bowl. The ad featured a kid in a Darth Vader costume trying to use the Force around the house when he finally succeeds with the 2012 Volkswagen Passat. I thought the ad was funny, but I also like the Lightning Edition version uploaded by panzerNEWB (I embedded the video below, but at some point YouTube might remove the unauthorized version). The remote engine starter is a cool feature for a car, but I don’t think it’s as impressive as the OnStar MyLink Mobile App. It’s an iPhone and Android smartphone app for remotely starting your vehicle. Plus it can also lock/unlock the car doors from any distance and activate the car horn and lights.

Volkswagen Commercial: The Force (Lightning Edition)

(YouTube video link to the Volkswagen Super Bowl)

With the OnStar MyLink Mobile App, you can view real-time fuel information (fuel range, gallons of gas remaining, and lifetime MPG), current lifetime mileage, remaining oil life, and current tire pressure information. According to OnStar, it takes up to a minute to perform an action like starting the car. All communication between the app and your automobile is powered by OnStar. As a result, you have to be an OnStar subscriber to use the app. You can connect up to five mobile devices per vehicle to the OnStar MyLink App. To prevent unauthorized access (you don’t just anyone starting your car, do you?), OnStar has implemented a number of safeguards as part of the MyLink application, such as a robust registration, login and PIN verification process. In addition, car owners can change their login and/or PIN number at any time.

OnStar MyLink Mobile App for iPhone and Android smartphones

The OnStar mobile app is available for most 2011 GM vehicles (requires automatic door locks, factory remote start, and tire pressure monitoring system). BTW, Chevrolet Volt drivers can also use the app to manage vehicle charging, read the state of battery charge and review vehicle history data (such as odometer readings, miles per gallon and miles driven in EV mode). It’s a shame there isn’t an app like this for other car manufacturers.