Smart? There’s An App For That

How do you make a Smart car even smarter? You guessed it: Create an app for that.

Smart's new Smart Drive App for the lilliputian Smart Fortwo is more ingenious than most. Developed by Mercedes-Benz software engineers, the forthcoming application for the iPhone not only adds features such as navigation to the car, but also does something the iPhone usually can't do on its own: multitask.

Demonstrated at the New York Auto Show, the software is part of a package that will include a cradle than needs to be installed by dealers. The application itself divides the iPhone screen into larger, legible quadrants, rather than using tiny icons that might tend to distract the driver (or distract the driver even more). The four on-screen buttons cover media, phone, map and assist functions.

The best part: like built-in navigation systems, it will mute a call in favor of spoken directions instructions, and it's here where the multitasking function comes in handy. Unlike other navigation-only applications for the iPhone, you don't have to choose between chatting on the phone or following the navigation system. It can run both simultaneously because the developers built both functions into a single application.

For more on the Smart Drive App, see The New York Times.


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About jquain

Technology reporter, writer, and television correspondent, JQ has been covering the computer, communications, and consumer electronics industries for more than 25 years.A contributor to The New York Times, Popular Mechanics, PC Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and many other publications, JQ appears on CBS News television program Up to the Minute and on Fox Business.
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