Automatic Pro is a powerful app and OBD-II adapter that lets you monitor your car from afar, log your trips, and even get assistance in an accident. Best of all, you can expand its capabilities by connecting it to third-party apps and services designed to enhance what Automatic Pro already does. Some of them are pretty niche, but these are the ones that are probably worth your time.
Ask Alexa About Your Car
Automatic Pro has its own Amazon Echo skill that lets you find out information about your car from any Alexa-enabled product in your home. The Alexa skill isn’t super robust, but it offers a few key voice commands that are handy from inside your home:
- Say “Alexa, ask Automatic where my car is,” to find out where your car is currently located. This is particularly handy if you’ve installed Automatic Pro in your kids’ car to monitor their driving.
- Say ““Alexa, ask Automatic how much gas I have,” to find out if you’ll need to fill up the next time you leave the house.
- Say ““Alexa, ask Automatic how far I drove last week,” to get a brief report on how much time you’ve spent in your car recently. You can also ask for how much you drove in the last month or year.
If you have an Amazon Echo in your home, this is the essential app to set up. You can enable the Automatic Pro Alexa skill here, or find it in the Automatic Pro app gallery.
Get Your Home’s Temperature Ready With Nest
Your Nest can already detect when you’re away from home and turn itself off automatically, but out of the box it can only tell when it needs to turn back on once you’re already home. It could learn your habits over time, or you could just tell it when you’re leaving work directly. Automatic Pro’s Nest app can help with this. Automatic’s Nest app has a special feature that allows you to precondition your house on the drive home so it’s ready by the time you get there, using your location at work and traffic data to gauge how long it will take you to get home.
The Automatic Nest app also has some special tools that give you a bit more control than the regular Nest app. For example, you can schedule your Nest to start warming up the house when you leave work between 4PM and 8PM. This means that when you leave the office at noon to get lunch, Nest won’t assume you’re on your way home and turn on the air conditioner. You can connect to the Nest app for Automatic Pro here.
Use IFTTT and Stringify to Connect Your Car to the Rest of Your Digital Life
IFTTT and Stringify can both connect to Automatic Pro for some pretty powerful automation. For example, you can turn on your lights when you arrive home, or you can log every trip into a spreadsheet to calculate your travel expenses. Stringify in particular lets you do more complex things like find out when your kids have been speeding and keep a record of when and where it happened. You can connect IFTTT to Automatic here and connect Stringify here.
Create Your Own Driving Dashboard With AutoDash
AutoDash is a side project created by Automatic that you can find in the Play Store for Android. This app will launch automatically when you turn your car on. You can add shortcuts to the apps you need while driving, or add any Android widget. For example, you could add navigation shortcuts to the places you commonly travel, a widget to control your music, and a shortcut to find gas stations nearby. All of these will pop up for you as soon as you’re ready to leave.
The app can also text your contacts to let you know how long it will be before you arrive. Enter your destination before you start driving and you can tap a button to send a canned message to any of your contacts that will tell them how long your trip will take.
Split the Gas Bill With UnMooch
Whether you’re taking a long road trip or part of a daily car pool, it shouldn’t be unreasonable to expect everyone to chip in for gas. UnMooch helps automate that process by acting as a go-between for Automatic and Venmo, the bill-splitting service. Automatic logs each trip you take and how much it costs in gas to get there. UnMooch then lets you adjust the price per mile you want to charge (to account for things like your time and other expenses) and indicate who was in the car with you. Once UnMooch has settled how much you want your friends to pay, it sends the request for that amount to Venmo, where they can easily pay you. Head here to connect UnMooch to Automatic.
Find Out How Much Time You Spend In the Car With RescueTime
As you sit in traffic, forgetting what the outside of a car feels like, it’s easy to lose track of how long you’ve spent in your vehicle. RescueTime can connect to Automatic to log just how much time you spend driving. If that’s the kind of thing you really want to find out. If you have to travel for work, you can also use this data to log your trips for expense purposes. Automatic also connects to actual expense apps like Concur, but if your company doesn’t use that, RescueTime can at least help you log the basic information you need to fill out expense forms later.
When you’re not driving, RescueTime also tracks how much time you spend in apps on your phone or desktop. Assuming you don’t already have a time tracker, it can help you find out how you’re wasting time in other areas of your life. You might not be able to cut down your commute, but at least you can get some of that time back by cutting down your Facebook addiction. You can connect RescueTime to Automatic here.
Get Detailed Data Charts and Gauges With OBD Fusion
If you want to get some really detailed information from your car, OBD Fusion gives you all the readouts, gauges, and charts you’ll ever need. It can diagnose error codes, display your car’s speed, RPM, fuel rate, battery level, and more at a glance with live gauges, and it can log that information to give you a chart of that data over time. For example, you can see how your engine’s RPM compares to your speed over your trip. This tool is going to be more handy for diagnosing and fixing problems with your car or tweaking performance. Unless you’re getting under the hood, you probably won’t need it, but for those who do, OBD Fusion is a powerful app. You can download it for Android and iOS or head here to find out more about how it connects to Automatic.