Starting your car from your smartphone is very sexy apparently, and consumers want an app for that. So Auto Page is now the latest remote start company to switch to iPhone and Android apps even though its C3 can already control the car from a cellphone.
The free apps will be “100 percent ready” by remote start season and will offer all the same features on the current C3 system including smartphone control over remote start, tracking and security, said Auto Page. The main difference is that the apps can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Android Market for the iPhone and Android phones, instead of from the Auto Page website (as is required presently).
It’s clear that consumers like and understand “apps.” Auto Page competitor Directed is getting a lot of attention since the launch of its SmartStart app for the iPhone and then BlackBerry.
That notoriety is even rubbing off on the C3. “Our business on the C3 has picked up tremendously in the last 90 days—probably more than double what it was before. It’s a combination of the awareness level among consumers plus it may be people are not feeling as bad about the economy,” said Auto Page president Mike Northup.
It also appears the remote start and GPS tracking markets are quickly switching over to smartphone control via an app as Audiovox, CompuStar and Guidepoint are offering or planning to offer apps. Crimestopper said it is watching the sales results for app-based remote start before jumping in.
Auto Page may also lower the price of the basic C3 module that installs in the car and communicates with the cellphone from its current $499 suggested price later this year. And the $149 annual fee (after the first free year) may also change.
The C3 already lets you use any cellphone with a data plan to remote start the car, track it, check the tire pressure, lock and unlock doors, etc., from an unlimited distance. It lets you set a speed limit that your teens can’t exceed or set a geofence. If someone steals the car, you know where it is.