Volkswagen has released an app for Android users. The app is called SmileDrive and it brings the promise of maximizing the fun of driving. Volkswagen describes this as being a social app that uses Google products and services along the way. In fact, you will be greeted with a Google+ sign-in (and powered by Google branding) at first launch.
The app is said to be in beta and can be used with, or without a Bluetooth connection. Before we get into the Bluetooth aspect, how about we first take a look at the app as a whole. Volkswagen SmileDrive records where you drive. The app will take note of your location along with distance, time and weather and in return you will get a Smile Score.
This score is basically a summary of your drive and there will also be Stickers and Punches awarded for those who manage to unlock some achievements. In an effort to make the SmileDrive app useful for short trips around town and for long journeys that involve multiple legs, Volkswagen has added something called Smilecasts.
The Smilecasts will allow you to combine multiple short drives into one long drive. Basically, this seems like the option you will want for longer road trips. The social connection ties in with your Google+ login and will allow you to share images, maps and more. Passengers in the car can also share their images if you tag them from within the app. And similar to how Google+ can automatically upload images, the same can be done using the Smilecast option.
Basically, it looks like Volkswagen is trying to make this as seamless as possible as to not interfere with the actual driving. The SmileDrive app will pair with the Bluetooth connection in the car, but can also be used in a manual mode for those who may be driving a VW without Bluetooth. Or alternatively, for those who think the app sounds fun, but aren’t driving a VW.