► Volvo On Call smart app updated
► Now syncs with wearables
► Control your car from Apple Watch!
Volvo has released an updated version of its Volvo On Call smart app which now syncs with wearables - meaning you can control some aspects of your car from your Apple Watch or Android Wear.
The app controls minor functions such as locking and unlocking the doors, finding the car in a crowded car park and other minor systems. But Volvo On Call, which was first launched way back in 2001, started out as a safety device, calling the emergency services in the event of an accident.
'Volvo On Call is an app that allows you to literally take control over everyday elements in your Volvo,' said David Holecek, the boss of Volvo's connected products and services team. 'You can set heater timings for those cold and frosty mornings or cool down your car in hot weather, check your fuel level and mileage, or time to next service.'
Gimmick or useful gadget?
Volvo says it has 230,000 subscribers to Volvo On Call and claims it is heavily used; there were eight million instances of users turning on their heating remotely in the past 12 months, for instance. To date, the system has only worked through smartphones, but the update announced today adds a new interface accessible from wearables such as the Apple Watch, as well as extra connectivity for iPads and Windows phones.
The new version will be released at the end of June 2015. It has had a design overhaul, to match the new Sensus instrument presentation in the new Volvo XC90 crossover and owners can now send navigation instructions from a device to the car to programme a pre-agreed driving route.
Read our XC90 review here.