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Home Reviews My Android phone as a car key? Yes please!

My Android phone as a car key? Yes please!

Apple recently announced something at its WWDC live stream conference that really caught my eye. No, not those things that Android has had for years like better home screen management and widgets. As a matter of fact, it was the concept of digital car keys.

I’ve been on a crusade lately to find a great organizer for my keys. There’s something about what Apple has going that gets me thinking that this could be the final step to my pocket euphoria.

The new partnership between Apple and car manufacturers will allow users to unlock or start their vehicle via Near Field Communication, or NFC. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the technology has been around for a while now. It’s used for beaming files from one phone to another or for tap-to-pay at checkouts.

From the looks of it, this will work almost identically to how wireless payments are processed. Cars will have a receiver built into the door handle to unlock the car and another one in the dash area to allow for ignition.

It’s not necessarily a new idea as companies like Hyundai, BMW, and Tesla have offered this with proprietary apps. What makes this different is that Apple bakes it directly into the operating system. No app to download, open, or learn; just Apple Wallet.

Hey Google, copy Apple

I sincerely hope that Google is working on a similar development path. I would love to have my next car have the ability to be locked, unlocked, and started by my Pixel.

As we move towards a world without a physical wallet or at least one where we’re less dependent on one, digital car security seems like a natural progression.

Google has a great working relationship and blueprints with car OEMs to follow with Carplay and Android Auto. Much like BMW will be Apple’s first, premium carmakers were the first to adopt pluggable infotainment like Android Auto. Google can take these baby steps with high-end cars to hone this new feature and morph it into a standard feature for all vehicles.

Google can also partner with manufacturers that are always looking at technology as an advantage no matter the sticker price of the car. Hyundai and Kia specifically have in-house app solutions with similar features and were also early adopters of Android Auto in the US. I could easily see both brands interested in a feature like this as a unique and compelling selling factor over its (much) more expensive rivals.

Tread Lightly

As we see in all forms of emerging tech, especially those around mobile devices, security measures, and extra precaution will be paramount. Similar to self-driving cars and other areas where we hand permission over to technology, we’ll have to move at a deliberate and measured pace.

With that said, Google has plenty of experience in the area of security. I’m sure face unlock and the new Titan chips for Pixels can both be leveraged. Apple has a quick feature turned on by default but face unlock can be turned on for added assurance in the settings.

Tomorrow Can’t Come Soon Enough

With all that said, I can’t wait to see this as an option for Android. I long for the days for fewer things to carry when leaving the house. An encrypted digital device that never leaves my hands seems like the right place for them to land.

I can already unlock my house, set my alarm, and check my wifi network all from remote locations. Why wouldn’t being able to start and unlock my car on the go be the next frontier?

How About You?

What about the rest of you out there? Do you hope this is in the next version of Android? Do you trust the concept enough to consider leaving a physical key behind?  Let us know in the comments.

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VIP SALE! Final day to get extra savings on products and services

We’re in the final day of our VIP Sale which sees us discounting products, services, and other items at a much bigger rate than usual. Indeed, you can visit the AG Deals Store any day of the week and find great prices on all sorts of great things.You’ve got until midnight tonight (September 21) to take advantage of an extra 20% off physical items. Moreover, we’re dropping the prices of online courses by an additional 60%.VIP SALESave an extra 60% on these online training coursesSave an extra 40% on apps and softwareUse this promo code to save an extra 20% in our storeCheck our coverage from the last few days to see highlights of the most popular options from each category. Below, we’ll also outline some of the best sellers from the AG Deals Store.Dragon X5 Wireless Bluetooth Mobile Phone Gaming Controller – $32By simply pairing this gamepad to your phone, tablet, smart TV, consoles, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, you can now enjoy up to 10 hours of immersive, wireless game control. This gamepad features analog, turbo acceleration, and multimedia functions for total playing experience.Gotek Wireless Charging Music Station – $37.60Gotek Music Station is capable of both streaming music and charging your Qi-enabled smartphone wirelessly. Carefully designed with creative elements such as a big glossy LED display with 3 levels of lightness, the built-in FM radio and alarm will let you enjoy the versatile functions beside your bed, on your desk, or working place. You can easily charge the speaker via Type-C port, or use its own battery which could support 8 hours of working time when you play music.Zone 47″ Wide PC Gamer Computer Desk – $200The Zone 47″ Wide PC Gamer Computer Desk by Offex features a large 47″W x 23.75″ deep gaming surface with a simulated carbon fiber finish and a beveled front cut out that keeps you closer to the monitor without sacrificing room for your accessories. It also provides gamer specific features: a cup holder and headphone hook that saves desktop space, a power console with 3 grounded outlet receptors and 2 USB charging ports, and a cord management hole with cover for organizing your electrical cords.The Ultimate Data & Project Management Certification Bundle – $16Make project delivery and data analysis more efficient with 49 hours of guided content on Java, SAS, SQL, Power BI, Jira, Agile, and more. Spread over ten courses, you’ll have more than 650 lessons at your fingertips.The Complete Python eBook & Video Course Bundle – $12Start your programming career and sharpen your skills with 17 hours of video content and five eBooks on Python, AI, Deep Learning, and more.The Complete Microsoft Azure eBook & Video Course Bundle – $12Lead your business towards success with 15+ hours of video content and six eBooks on Azure Cloud Solutions, Integration, Networks, and more.

Mobvoi TicWatch C2+ Review

Mobvoi has garnered attention from the wearables market in the past with its innovative use of a secondary LCD display on the TicWatch Pro line. However, the TicWatch pro also has a more stylish cousin in the form of the TicWatch C2.Recently, Mobvoi released an incremental upgrade that doubled the RAM. Dubbed the TicWatch C2+ and was kind enough to send us one out for review.DesignThe TicWatch C2+ is quite the looker featuring a stainless steel frame, leather strap, and a plastic underbody. It comes in three different colors–including the Onyx version I have here–as well as Platinum and Rose Gold models, if that’s your thing.Compared to some of Fossil’s latest offerings, the TicWatch C2+ is slightly thicker at 12.7mm. However, that’s actually good news, because it houses a larger 400mAh battery. What that means is, longer battery life–and I’m sure every smartwatch owner can agree–the longer the battery life the better.One of my biggest complaints about smartwatches made by Fossil and all of its sub-brands is the massive useless bezel around the display. The TicWatch C2+ does a much better job in this regard by using the metal frame to hide the majority of the bezel, leaving only a small black ring around the display. It looks much better and this is something I wish their major competitor would learn from.On the flip side, I think Mobvoi could take a page out of Fossil’s book by adding a rotating crown to its smartwatches. That would have been a huge upgrade over the original C2, by not only adding an additional button, but also providing a way to scroll on the watch without your finger blocking the screen.The display itself is a 1.3 inch AMOLED screen with a 360 x 360 resolution. It is sharp with good color and plenty bright enough to see outdoors in sunlight at max brightness.The TicWatch C2+ comes with two straps, one is made of leather, while the other is soft-touch silicone. Out of the box, the watch will have the leather band on it.The leather strap is not near as premium or comfortable as the one on my first-gen Moto 360– it actually feels rather stiff and cheap– but it gets the job done. The silicone strap, on the other hand, is softer and more comfortable to wear. It is a much better option for those looking to wear the watch while working out.User ExperienceOne of my favorite features of the TicWatch Pro 4G is the sleep tracking. Unfortunately, Mobvoi has not seen fit to add this to the C2 series, and that is a pity. It’s a valuable feature that adds a lot of value to the watch.An ambient light sensor is another popular feature the C2+ is missing. Without this handy sensor, you are forced to change the brightness of the display manually. This process can be very tedious if you spend a lot of your time going between the indoors and outdoors.Finally, the TicWatch C2+ doesn’t have a speaker, which means taking phone calls on your watch will not be possible. Personally, I’ve never enjoyed taking phone calls on my watch and don’t even use that feature on smartwatches that support it. Regardless, it’s something you should be aware of if you’re in the market for a new watch.Even without all the bells and whistles, you’d expect from a smartwatch in 2020, the TicWatch C2+ still manages to cover the basics for most smartwatch wearers. It tracks several exercises with the Mobvoi app, shows your notifications, allows you to control music playback, handles mobile payments, and with access to apps on the Play Store–it can do much more. Plus, it has one of the most accurate pedometers I’ve ever used.PerformanceThe TicWatch C2+ is rocking the same Snapdragon 2100 processor as its predecessor, which is a big disappointment, especially considering the Snapdragon 3100 was announced back in 2018. However, Mobvoi did upgrade the RAM with an additional 512MB, for a total of 1GB of memory overall.Despite using the now ancient SD 2100 processor, I found the performance on the C2+ to be rather snappy for a Wear OS device. That’s all thanks to the 1GB of RAM, which makes a huge difference. After using some watches with an SD 3100 and 512MB of RAM, I believe the additional memory makes a bigger difference than using a faster processor.AppMobvoi’s app is where it really sets itself apart from the competition. The interface isn’t the best, but what it lacks in style, it more than makes up for in function. The app acts as the hub for all of your health data the watch collects. This includes steps, active hours, exercise minutes, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, and exercise tracking.In particular, I’m a huge fan of the way it displays your 24-hour heart rate data along with your steps on a graph. It also has a fantastic way of displaying your results after tracking exercise, plus it can even track swimming.Battery LifeMobvoi rates the TicWatch C2+ for up to two-day’s worth of use from a single charge. In my experience, the watch was able to make it a little over a day and a half with medium usage. If you were to use it lightly, it might be able to last two full days. Heavy users will have no issue making it a full day, and that’s about the best you can usually expect from a Wear OS watch.Despite having exceptionally good battery life for a Wear OS smartwatch, you’re going to want to top it off daily. Rest assured though, with such a large battery, you can expect to get a full day’s use years into the future as the battery ages. And that’s more than I can say for some other smartwatches I’ve tried.Final ThoughtsIn the end, the TicWatch C2+ is barely an upgrade, it lacks the most recent Snapdragon 3100, a speaker, a rotating crown, ambient light sensor, and sleep tracking. The only real change is the additional 512MB of RAM, and that’s barely a reason to release an upgrade.Fortunately, it starts at $209, which positions it as a decent stylish smartwatch with great battery life. It’s a pity though, with a couple more improvements, the TicWatch C2+ could have been one of the best Wear OS watches of 2020.Buy from Amazon Buy from Mobvoi

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