Carmakers Stink at Making Mobile Apps and the Situation Is Getting Worse

Carmakers suck at making mobile apps 6 photos
Photo: Ford
Carmakers suck at making mobile appsCarmakers suck at making mobile appsCarmakers suck at making mobile appsCarmakers suck at making mobile appsCarmakers suck at making mobile apps
A recent J.D. Power study shows vehicle owners are increasingly disgruntled with apps offered by carmakers. The biggest complaints are the slow response times, with poor performance being another major gripe.
As vehicles became more and more complex, carmakers have started to offer dedicated apps to remotely access various car functions. This is not only happening in the automotive industry, as you can already control lights in the house, monitor security and even open the front door remotely using a mobile app. The problem is the mobile apps offered by car manufacturers for their vehicles are not always up to the task.

According to a recent J.D. Power study, automotive apps linked to your smartphone are a major cause of dissatisfaction for customers. This comes from the fact that car manufacturers are behind when it comes to implementing modern connectivity systems. The apps they offer to their customers are often underbaked, lacking in functions, and slow to respond to user input.

J.D. Power surveyed 1,010 drivers of 2021 models year vehicles using 32 different vehicle apps. Among them are the most common ones, such as Acura/HondaLink, Chrysler/Dodge/Ram Uconnect, and myCadillac/myChevrolet/myGMC.

The most annoying part of using vehicle apps is the slow response time. According to the survey, the average driver would wait for 10 seconds for an app to respond. The thing is, some apps take 30 seconds or more. App speed is of utmost importance for vehicle owners, with 8.2 points out of 10. When it comes to performance, this was rated at 6.9/10.

One of the most problematic areas is the connection between the phone and the vehicle using the apps. This makes it difficult to access remote functions like locking/unlocking, remote starting, and infotainment control. In fact, smartphone connectivity to the vehicle’s infotainment systems worsened significantly from the previous year, most probably because of the shift from cable connection to wireless connection.

Tesla came out best in the J.D. Power study, earning 795 points on a 1,000-point scale. The industry average was 697 points. Volvo performed nearly as well (786), followed by Hyundai/Genesis (760) and Subaru (745). The worst performers were Ram (549), Porsche (569), and Alfa Romeo (612).
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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, we used pictures of various infotainment systems. The main photo shows FordPass App Rewards.

About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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