What are the car apps and how to develop them?

Roman Katerynchyk
Roman Katerynchyk Founder of ARTJOKER
13 min read

In this article we are describing what is actually a connected car, what are the best car customizer apps and what is it possible to do in order to develop your own car app, which will help you on the road.

The development of numerous mobile apps for smartphones and tablets caused not only the emergence of numerous games, dating apps and messengers. They also led to the creation of lots of useless additions and extensions for the majority fields of our live, including even the vehicles we use almost everyday. In that particular article I am going to describe you, what is actually a connected car, what are the best car customizer apps and what is it possible to do in order to develop your own car app, which will help you on the road. Hope, that an article downstream will be useful not only for the drivers, biy also for those programmers and startuppers, who are interested in that rapidly developing field of cyber products.


To be honest you can describe the notion of a connected car in a pretty simple way. Connected car is an intelligent vehicle, which has an opportunity to connect automatically or thanks to the actions of the driver to the Internet resources, websites and to the background technical structure of the car, which namely gives you an opportunity to examine the most vital flows within an engine, use GPS system, prevent accidents and operate with the majority of systems within a car, using a remote control approaches.

The most widespreaded approach, which could be used for the implementation of such an additional system to your car is the OBD2, what particularly are codes used to request data from a vehicle, used as a diagnostic tool by lots of drivers and especially service centers. The usage of OBD 2 may help you to acquire certain information about the status and conditions of your car, such as:

  • Current data;
  • Freeze frame data;
  • Stored Diagnostic Trouble Codes;
  • Oxygen sensor monitoring;
  • Pending Diagnostic Trouble Codes;
  • Fuel consumption;
  • Emissions and many other technical options, which are vital for diagnostics of a car.

Now, let me enlighten the most popular and widespraeded car apps, which have already got enough popularity and proper feedbacks among the users in the world.

What are the car apps and how to develop them?


One of the brightest examples of the usage of special car applications could be seen in the wide range of those technologies, which have been presented by Apple throughout its history. This tool is called CarPlay. It was designed by Apple in order to implement the entire variety of different special car applications into the system of iOS and make it possible for the users of iPhones and other similar devices to operate with different essential extensions, which are available for drivers. To be honest, the system of the usage of that system is pretty simple, everything you need for that, area your phone and your car.

Using CarPlay apps with your car could be managed in an easy manner. For instance, first of all, you can connect to the system, while using a lightning connection or even a wireless system, depending on your iOS version and technological capabilities of a smartphone. Furthermore, the system of CarPlay is designed in such a way that you can use it safely. For example, due to Siri, setting main commands with your voice without endangering yourself. We may also argue, that the best CarPlay apps usually include lots of different tools and additional features, such as: messengers, maps, navigation systems, podcasts and even audiobooks.


To be honest, lots of the beginning developers, who are willing to take part in the creation of various applications linked to CarPlay. First of all, we have to consider the fact, that various iOS applications are pretty difficult to build sometimes, and from time to time it does not matter, how big are they and what are the key aims of these extensions. Then, because of the fact, that there are lots of different special features of the iOS applications, the process of their development may take a lot of time.

But, let us proceed to the main topic of CarPlay. In order to create a CarPlay app you must consider several special aspects. The APIs for the creation of an app, based on CarPlay, are not available for any developer. Furthermore, in order to get these APIs, you must have access to special Apple?s MFi Licensing Programme. This additional formality, despite of being just a formality plays an enormous role for you as a potential developer. Finally, in order to get an official access to the APIs, you must be a representative of a company with its own manufacturing facilities and developmental potential. All in all, I can argue, that the creation of an application for CarPlay is not the easiest task and this option is definitely for real profis.


Examination of the car conditions, using an OBD2 system requires the usage of special scanners or obd car doctors, which are pretty difficult to use, because of the complicated interface, existence of trouble codes (usually common drivers do not clearly understand them). So, for now, the development of special simple apps for the users if s a highly prospective field. For now, I believe it may be useful to describe those additions and extensions for the cars, which may be highly useful for the future examination of the status of your car and its engine.

1. Torque pro

It is one of the most popular car apps, which has ever existed on the app market. Thanks to a high level of usability of that app you are now may be able to collect any needed data a manner you need. Furthermore, the developers introduced to that app a pretty simple interface, which allows you to acquire the whole bunch of vital information in an easy and clear way. Now, let me give you a brief list of those positive features and tools which are included to the background system of that useful app.

First of all it allows you to analyse the core data such as the real horsepowers and dynamometer for your car. Thanks to that, you clearly understand how powerful is your car and what are the key capabilities for it. Furthermore, you can drive your vehicle going from the obtained information about your car and avoid the reckless decisions on the road, which are made, while relying on the ?power? of one?s car.

Secondly, there are also plenty of other data, which will be useful for you, For instance, the temperature of an engine, balance of coolant and speed timing will help you to avoid overloading of an engine and the car particularly. Then, thanks to the CO2 sensors you will get an opportunity to control the fuel system and the conditions of your tank. For instance, in case of an increasing level of the CO2 emissions you get the first sign, that something is going wrong with the fuel system of your car or that the patrol, which you are using is not only dangerous for the nature, but also for your car?s system. Moreover, you also have an opportunity to see the fault code database and the fault code history, which may help you to quickly detect the very recent breaking? within the car.

Finally, Torque pro is also staffed with several other beneficial additions, such as:

  • HUD mode;
  • Voice alarms;
  • Car document maintenance;
  • Custom dashboard and others.

However, there are several drawbacks. For example, the main negative aspect of that app is the high level of the battery consumption, because of a big variety of opportunities, numerous calculations and analysing processes. Anyway, the highlighted extension remains the most popular and widely used application for the car analytics. Vital to remember, that TorQue for android as well as TorQue for IOS is a free app, which can be equally installed by any user.

2. iOnRoad

For any driver, who is interested in his safety on the road, the most vital thing is prevention of the crashes and accidents. Especially, the skill of managing the distance between the cars, feeling the balance between speed and time is important for the beginning drivers, who still do not have enough experience for the usage of their vehicle on a professional level. So, that is why, the team of american developers has built a pretty useful app, called iOnRoad. That extension is a high-quality app, which allows you to manage any dangers, while driving and make decisions according to the data, which it gives you in the process of moving.

What are the car apps and how to develop them? - 1

iOnRoad can be used in the smartphones and tablets based on Android as well as on iOS. In order to operate with that application, the most important must-haves are powerful camera and a proper internet connection, due to the way in which the highlighted system operates. The app is using the already implemented GPS system within your mobile device, which gives the app an opportunity to detect the location your car on the road. Furthermore, it also uses the camera of your phone to monitor the situation in front of the vehicle. Thanks to the calculations, made within an app, you are able to see the distance between you and another car ahead. Moreover, the app shows you the best real-time speed, which will prevent the crash and leave you in safety.

While using the iOnRoad app you are also able to get other beneficial features of that programme, such as:

  • Sound warnings;
  • Remote control;
  • Notifications about the cars behind;
  • Notifications about the overtaking;
  • Notifications about speeding, etc.

3. HobDriver

HobDriver is another useful app, which is quite similar to the highlighted earlier torque. Functionality of these applications are also pretty similar. However, despite of the fact, that HopDriver also gives you lots of information about such parameters as for example engine temperature, CO2 emissions, patrol spendings and an average speed, it also has several highly useful features for those drivers, who are using the hybrid cars. For instance, it shows you, what is the level of your battery and how much time do you have for driving on your electric engine. Furthermore, it also shows the main electricity spendings and depicts those devices, which can be turned off in order to reduce the battery spendings.

Moreover, the app itself is consuming much less battery comparing with those, highlighted earlier. In any case, the HobDriver app has its own drawbacks. One of the most vital of them is the lack of opportunities in the demo version of it. Usually, the free version, for sure, has a pretty limited level of functionality, but in case of HobDriver, while using the demo version of an application you get almost nothing. While an upgraded version costs money, and comparing with other similar extensions, the sum is pretty big. Besides, the obd2 bluetooth connection could be pretty poor from time to time. But, everything depends on your opportunities and demands. Let me highlight once again, that in case if you have a hybrid car, HobDriver is the best you can get, even if you have to pay money for that.

4. Engine Link

For every driver, patrol is one the most vital things in their cars. Each person, driving a car, I believe, would like to control the key petrol flows and know, how much gas and for how long does he have. Furthermore, for everyone it would be nice to know, what is the quality of the gas he uses and what are the outcomes of it for his car?s engine and the whole system of it. Everything highlighted is now possible with the IOS based app for a carr, called Engine Link.

That app is focused predominantly on monitoring the main changes within your fuel tank and the fuel system. Thanks to it you are now able to:

  • Check the level of emissions;
  • Monitor the level main harmful components within the emissions;
  • Choose the needed data;
  • Read all the OBD2 codes with definitions;
  • Use the HUD regime;
  • Check your:
  • Speed;
  • RPM;
  • Load and coolant;
  • Have a full ECU support.

However, as in any application there are several important drawbacks. For example, you may have some wi-fi connection and language problems, while using that extension. Furthermore, in order to have it working properly, you are needed to have ELM compatible Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Low Energy adapters, due to the fact, that only with them an application can work as fast as needed and give you the valid real-time information.

5. Waze

In case if are willing to go pretty far away or even in case if you are driving around your home-city, it is important to know the situation on the road and find out, what is the shortest way to get to your destination, spending as much patrol and time as possible. All of that is possible with an application, developed in 2006 by a group of Israeli programmers, called Waze. According to its main developer, Ehud Shabtai, Waze in a new word in the GPS technologies, within the portable devices. And, to be honest, he is absolutely right. Waze is an application, which gives you an opportunity to examine the road situation anywhere you want, even in the most remote areas in a state, where you are driving.

What are the car apps and how to develop them? - 2

Waze shows the most dangerous parts of the road, shortest ways, gas prices , traffic jam rates and the location of the nearest police stations. Even more, Waze is able to draw the way, according to the capabilities of your car, traffic pressure, level of fuel and road conditions. Furthermore, Waze has a pretty simple interface and also shows you the nearest Waze users driving their cars in the closest surrounding. However, Waze now includes only 13 top-notched full maps of the states all over the world. But, according to the developmental team, in two-three years they are going to include all the maps of the European states and some of the countries overseas.


Because of the rapid development of auto diagnostics apps in the app market, more and more developers are deeply interested in the creation of new, more simple and useful auto apps, which will fit any driver and any car under any possible conditions. However, there are lots of special nuances, related to that issue, which any developer will face, while creating his own app and promotion of it on the market.

So, in that part of an article I would like to give you several tips on how to develop a reliable and useful extension, which will acquire a high level of popularity on the field of app creation and will be widely used by the drivers in different states and cities.

First of all, you have to remember, that there are several key features of any existing car apps. They could be separated on several main types:

  • Interface;
  • MVP;
  • Safety;
  • OBD2;

What are the car apps and how to develop them? - 3

When we talk about the interface and MVP features it is vital to know, that the success of that field depends on the simplicity of the design and the key features of it. In that case you must remember, that a driver is not usually interested in the colors, design and forms of your app, because of the fact, that he is always concentrated on the road. So, stop thinking about the color of that or this button, your main developmental ideas has to be based on the simplicity and usability of your application for the driver.

What are the car apps and how to develop them? - 4

Then, remember about the controlling features of an extension. Again, you have to remember, that the hands of a driver have to be free in case to avoid an accident. Because of it, one of the most useful and important thing will be to implement a remote control features and especially the voice control of any functions within a car and an application in a car.

Usually, nowadays there is a pretty widespreaded idea, that a car is your second home. So, the security level of an app is also plays a pretty important role. So, while building an application you must include a good administrative system within an extension, in order to make it possible only for you or those, who have a login and password from an app. Moreover, you must develop a good obd diagnostic interface in order to have an app accessible for any system. So, in case of it, you will be able to avoid the min drawback of one of the apps, namely HobDriver, highlighted earlier.

However, there is a pretty important problem for any developer. It is concentrated in an issue, that lots of car manufacturers build their vehicles in a way, that the intervention to the background system of any produced car will be highly limited. So, the proper decision may be to establish a win-win agreement with a car producing company address to the professional team of the developers, who will be able to fulfil any of your demands, one of such famous companies is Artjoker, which main focus is the development of high-quality software, apps and websites. Artjoker is not only a reliable partner, but a team, which really cares of, what it is doing and which really respects those, who come to them. So, you can contact us here.

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