Well hello there friends and neighbors. We are days away from the crazy time of year that is CES. A gathering of tech companies and geeks from around the world in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Your staff from Life On My Mobile will be on hand to check out all the latest and greatest in the tech world, and we will pass that information on to you. We may not be the first to get things posted, but it will get done. For quicker updates, please follow our Twitter account at @LifeOnMyMobile.
Have you ever wanted to get some of the cool new features of today’s connected cars, but just can’t afford the price tag for that vehicle? Well, now you just may be able to get those features added to your existing vehicle for a much smaller price tag. What are these cool features I’m referring to? Well they are: Remote Access, Vehicle Health and Diagnostics, GPS Tracking, Geo-fencing, and Vehicle Alerts to name a few.
Vehicle Diagnostics by Delphi, or VDD for short, is currently available to Verizon Wireless subscribers only. It is priced at $249.99 with month-to-month service of $5 per device with a shared data plan. When you think about what features VDD has to offer, the price tag is really pretty reasonable. I’m hopefully that other carriers will get in on this action and begin to offer VDD in the near future.
Delphi sent me a VDD unit to test for a few weeks and I must say that I am impressed. The device itself is very simple to install. Once you remove it from the packaging, you simply plug it in to the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port in your vehicle. Done. Device installed. Follow some simple instructions and have the device activated and you’ll be up and running.
Once properly installed and activated, you will now have access to several features of today’s connected cars. Not every car will be able to take advantage of every feature. I discovered that I was not able to use the KeyFob feature of VDD because both of my vehicle have Push-to-Start, and VDD is not compatible with that yet. They say updates are coming, and I’m hopeful that will be one of them. My only other issue with VDD is location. Each vehicles OBD port will probably be located in a different area. For my 2013 Ford Escape, I had to remove a panel from the lower part of the dash to get to the OBD. Once I plugged in the VDD the panel would not go back on, and it just looked odd. It would be nice if Delphi included some kind of extension cable for the OBD port that would allow you to connect with minimal obstruction and move the VDD out of the way.
Now on to the testing… A few of the options you can do with VDD are set up alerts, such as speed alerts and geo-fence alerts. I started with speed alerts and had it set at 80mph. I quickly discovered a problem here, and it had nothing to do with VDD, and everything to do with my daily commute. I routinely drive a toll road that has a speed limit of 80mph. I was setting off speed alerts left and right. It does work as advertised, but I had to change that alert to save my email box from being flooded with messages.
The geo-fence settings allow you to pick a starting location, and then set a radius from that point as the “fence” area. I created my geo-fence to be 15 miles from my house, and just like the speed alerts, every time I crossed that boundary I would get an alert sent to my inbox.
VDD also allows you to monitor your vehicle health and get a history of your recent driving trips. If you happen to have any warning lights come up on the dash, you can refer to VDD for a reading of that code before you go to see your mechanic.
There are so many other things I found useful while using VDD, but I just don’t have time to keep rambling on about them. If you are a Verizon subscriber, I’d suggest going by your local Verizon store and checking this out in person. If you want to see a quick demo of the web control, click on this link.
Overall, I was very impressed. I think VDD is a great device for any parent with teenage drivers, or maybe even business owners needing to keep an eye on their fleet of vehicles. The price point is low, and the number of good uses is high. Sounds like a win-win to me. Go check it out!
UPDATE: Delphi contacted me and pointed out that there is an extension cable available for VDD, and that it just was not included in my demo unit. This is good news and makes me like the product even more! Now if it was just on AT&T…
It’s almost that time of the year when all tech geeks travel to Las Vegas and get lost in a sea of technology and people for several days.
CES 2015 officially starts on January 6, 2015 and your team from Life On My Mobile will be on-site to cover all the new technology as it is unveiled. If you want to keep up with what’s happening at CES, make sure you follow @LifeOnMyMobile on Twitter.
Looking to help put you in the Holiday spirit, TeleNav released an update to their turn-by-turn navigation GPS app Scout. With the new update, you can now choose your vehicle icon to be a Santa’s Hat, an Elf Cap, Rudy the Reindeer (Rudolph) and a New Year’s topper.
On the non-holiday side, this update also includes the following enhancements:
Adaptive Routing – Scout looks out for timesaving options as you drive, automatically shows you if a better route is available, and helps you reroute around incidents and hazards.
Traffic Speed Indicators – See live traffic speeds on a map and along your route, so you know exactly what to expect when you hit the road
Improved One-Box – Now gives you more intelligent suggestions to help you find what matters faster
Scout has become my favorite GPS-Navigation apps to use, especially to avoid traffic. Throughout the year, it became the #1 download GPS-Navigation app in the Apple App Store and stays in the top of the charts week to week.
The new Holiday icons are also available on Scout for Android. Below is a quick video of them action.
If you are just hearing about Scout, you can download it for free for iPhone or Android.
TeleNav has announced that company will bring some major updates to their free version of Scout. These updates will provide 3D representations of buildings and improvements to its traffic content and user interface. These updates will push out over the remainder of the year.
With 3D integration being added to Scout maps users will be able to see buildings and landmarks in 3D throughout their route allowing them to have more realistic feel of the landscape along your drive.
“Our primary goal in adding 3D integration into Scout for Phones is to help drivers navigate unfamiliar areas, ” said Ryan Peterson, director of production management, traffic and navigation at TeleNav. “With that goal in mind, we are focusing on ease of use, realistic but subtle graphics, and intuitive views. It’s about providing drivers with additional content on the road so they can so they can better navigate their surroundings with just a quick glance.”
Part of the major traffic update allows users to report an accident they run across. You’ll even be able to report road hazards, traffic jams and police presence with just a simple tap on your smartphones screen.
Other improvements include:
Expanded overall traffic coverage by five times – through the addition of traffic and congestion information for arterial roadways
Improvements in updating drivers on upcoming traffic and alternate routes
Update mid-route – Allowing drivers to see traffic flow information for longer portions of their trip. Read more
Scout, the turn-by-turn navigation solution from TeleNav has landed in the #1 spot in the Navigation Category in the Apple App Store. Also, as we speak right now is climbing it’s way up the charts in “Top” free applications sitting at the #4 spot.
If you’re an iPhone user and unaware of Scout, here’s the chance to get familiar. The free version of Scout provides voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation along with personalized GPS navigation that gives you information that is needed in a fewer clicks.
Scout also comes with:
My Dashboard – Get home faster with personalized commute times
My Places – Save and share the places you love
My Search – Find it faster as Scout learns your friends, favorites and recent places
My ETA – Let your family and friends know when you’re going to get there by sharing your ETA
Traffic – Avoid traffic without distractions
Nearby – Discover things to do near you, including restaurants, food, cheap gas, music and movies with one tap. Discover and plan ahead online at www.scout.me and sync your favorites between the website and the app.
Now stop playing around with other navigation applications and download Scout for iPhone now. You can follow this link to download the app. Scout is also available on Android!
Scout for iPhone users, just keeps getting better as an update to the app has been released that allows users to share their location with family and friends and also send turn-by-turn navigation.
If you want to share your location you can with a tap on your iPhone screen. You can choose to share via text message, e-mail or Facebook.
The best part about sharing your location with family or friends is that they don’t have to have the Scout app. The shared location has a link to Scout’s HTML5 browser-based turn by turn navigation. As long as the person you are sending the location data to has a smartphone with iOS, Android or Windows Phones they can fully interact
“We’re always on the go – whether it’s our morning drive to work, taking our kids on an adventure for the weekend, or going out with our friends,” said Dariusz Paczuski, general manager of Scout at Telenav. Being able to easily discover local bands and venues, share them with our friends, tell our friends that we’re on our way, and know when they’ll arrive, are great examples of how we’re focused on making Scout even more helpful and more personal for each of our users.”
The update will also allow for you to share your ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) by sending out a text message through the app when you set your route. Scout even takes into account real-time traffic data.
TeleNav also updated their Scout.me homepage so that it is easier for users to search, save and share venues with family or friends. When saving favorites to your Scout.me account they will also save on your Scout app for you to access later.
If you don’t have Scout, check out the video below to see how it works and you can follow this link to the App Store to download the app and check it out yourself.