Thursday, 10 July 2014

[Review] OBD-II Scan Tool Interface

Few weeks ago Google announced a whole bag of goodies during the annual Google I/O , Google Auto being one of the news presented at the time.

Now that all will propably be usable , exiting and revolutionary when we, the end consumers get access to it.

There is already something available for us to use in our automobiles to interact with android devices.
Without further ado we present you with Scantools's OBD-II.
OBD stands for Onboad Diagnostics so in short Scantool OBD-II gives us access to a LOT of data from our vechicle in all sorts and flavours ever imaginable.
The device itselfs connects inside the car, usually the connector sits right below the steering wheel, above the pedals around your shins area. 

It all begins with an app, OBDLink from Scantool. Free to install from Google Play.
Once plugged in and the ingition is turned on we pair the OBD-II via Bluetooth to a Android device of choice, smartphone , tablet or even Windows computer.
With the accompanying app we then tap into the data itself, and there is a lot of this stuff. And by saying a lot, we mean lots and lots of it.
In a positive manner of course.

The OBD-II really impressed me by it's troublefree operation.
Once plugged in it sends any needed data to the app of choice via Bluetooth , speed, battery current, fuel consumption, engine workload and more in realtime.
It even tracks your route by start time and arrival time including covered distance .
This all happens while you drive, realtime data at the tip of your fingers. (Although they should be on the steering wheel at all times of course)

The uses are unlimited for this piece of hardware.
A few that came into mind during this review were when buying a used car , for checking any outstanding engine codes or fuel consumption during a test drive. 
If you own a auto-repair shop, this would certainly be in the top drawer for checking up vehicles prior to start fixing them.
Why not plug this in your shared company car to track distances on the daily drives ?

The Scantool OBD-II opened up another gateway for the Android platform in my consciousness.
There are quite a few apps this device can be used with as well, tracking your driving habits, routes and keeping track on your daily usage if vehicles.
Being a trouble-free plugin tool it really adds value to your daily life instead of adding complexity via any odd management routines and such which often can be the case in todays tech-flooded reality.

Androidistica can warmly recommend the Scantool OBD-II for anyone with an even slight interest of your car usage or if you are a handy-man fixing your own or vehicles or others .
Scantool themselves dont waste time resting on their laurels either, go and check out their OBDLink MX Wifi , to be released in August 2014.