Drivers today have more options at their fingertips than ever, whether they want to share rides, save at the pump, or research automotive models before making a purchase. A number of car manufacturers are also jumping on the bandwagon by producing in-car infotainment apps. To this end, Lexus Australia has just unveiled a new app for the brand’s IS and CT200h models, called Enform. With Lexus often ahead of the curve with new technology, it’s certainly worth taking a closer look at these and how they stack up to other in-car apps.
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There are actually five different apps that are included within the new Enform service, with the overall goal of providing live information to drivers. One app is called Destination Download, which allows drivers to download their destinations to a smartphone device and transformer this to the app. The Fuel Finder app is useful when you’re on the road and want to save money on fuel, by giving the details of the nearest stations and their prices. There’s also a weather app, as well as a Concierge service which provides voice links to Lexus if you need live directions, assistance in the event of a breakdown, or to connect with someone in the call centre. Finally, the Local Search function allows drivers to request details and directions for any local restaurants, shops, or other businesses. You can click here for a full review of these various apps in the Enform service.
By providing five separate apps into one overall service, Lexus is directly competing with individual apps like iGasUp that only provide one service at a time. These apps can be downloaded into the car directly at the dealer, or drivers can access them at home by using the Lexus website. Rather than using a smartphone to access different features, everything is smoothly integrated into the vehicle’s infotainment screen. This puts the new Lexus models one step closer to full in-car connectivity. When upgrades are available, drivers can automatically and wirelessly upgrade their software as they would with an existing laptop or smartphone.
The apps are able to provide such a range of information by accessing third-party sites including Google Places and motormouth.com.au. This allows drivers to access information from a single source rather than connecting with each third-party site separately.
Signing Up for Enform
Are you intrigued by the possibilities of Enform? You’ll need to be able to pay up for a new Lexus IS model or a CT200h equipped with a sat-nav. The Enform service will be available for free in these specific models. Drivers also must have a 3G or 4G data account and a smartphone in order to provide the link for data transfer. Although it’s just been launched in Australia, Enform has already been available in the USA since 2012 where it uses the satellite network.
The Enform service may be new for Lexus drivers, but it points to a future where in-car connectivity will be more streamlined for drivers of all makes and models. Many other auto manufacturers are providing direct links to call centres and wireless connectivity, so you can expect to see similar round-ups of apps accessing third-party sites in the near future.