What can you do with a tablet in the car? Well you can Tweet your current 20 to your legion of followers, or you can listen to or watch the last release from Slayer, but really that’s pretty bush league.
While an iPad or Android tablet can do a pretty stand up job replacing a normal stereo head unit, as long as you don’t need local FM, really that is just the start and the combination of cars, computers, and wireless internet opens up huge possibilities. Auto manufacturers aren’t slow on the uptake and already Kia has a test mule/show car on the circuit where the traditional instrument panel has been replaced by 2 Android based tablets. But once again, that is really just the starting point. The best things haven’t even been thought of yet and the fun won’t really begin until 4G.
A number of hardware and software platforms DO already exist, however, that allow you to take advantage of some of these unique possibilities and the number of apps and hardware applications is sure to expand rapidly from here on out.
A few of the more interesting things you can do today are download and monitor live weather radar information, data and warnings, internet based radio and other media, monitor your engine and vehicle status and warnings from your cars on-board diagnostics, use the geo-location functionality to replace a GPS, or have your friends and family track your progress on a cross country road trip.
Now that we have our iPad mounted and installed in OUR test mule we will be putting a few of these apps and accessories through their paces. And just to be fair we will be adding an Android tablet to the mix, hopefully soon, because not everyone has swallowed the Apple kool-aid.
Our next review is an amazing automotive interface from PLX Devices, a device that lets you connect to your cars on-board diagnostics in real time like a pro mechanic. With the right apps do a whole bunch of cool stuff like track your skidpad results, plot out a race track and time your runs, check your timing and your intake temperatures and more. You can even monitor and plot your fuel economy to increase your mileage. We will be reviewing lots of cool hardware and software for the car. If you would like to see your product reviewed drop us an email.