When it comes to tech in the car, we all want something that isn't going to distract us from the road. And that's something that our smartphones are not very good at. If you are able to drive, then you more than likely have seen someone on their phone checking Twitter, texting or what not, while they are driving. That's definitely not safe, and in a lot of areas, it's illegal. But there are some tech gadgets available that work well in the car. Here are some of the best.
Automatic: Connected Car Adapter
To be honest, this is probably one of my favorite gadgets that is available for the car. It's essentially a connected OBD-II reader that is connected to your smartphone through Bluetooth. It can let you know where you parked your car, how much gas is left in the tank, what's wrong when your "Check Engine" light comes on and so much more. It also gives you tips on getting better fuel efficiency out of your car.
Anker Compact Car Jump Starter
Anker's battery pack here is actually a car jump starter, as well as a battery pack for charging your smartphone. Pretty cool, right? Leave this in your car and you'll never have to ask a stranger for a jump start if you leave your lights on, or your battery dies. It's also a great way to charge your smartphone without drawing power from the car via a car charger.
AUKEY 2-port Quick Charge 2.0 Car Charger
If you have a Quick Charge 2.0 compatible smartphone, then this car charger is definitely worth picking up. It does have two ports, however only one is for Quick Charge 2.0, the other is a conventional charging port for just about any other device. Having two ports means that you are able to charge two devices at the same time, your phone plus the passenger's smartphone.
This is a bit different from the OBD-II device we listed above. Instead of giving you information about your car, it's a mobile hotspot. Using AT&T's network, you can connect up to 8 devices on this hotspot while you're in the car. It may seem a bit pointless for some, but it does save your smartphone's battery as WiFi is a bit less resource intensive, over LTE.
Crave CarHub 54W 4-Port USB Car Charger
Like the AUKEY car charger that is listed above, this one is also Quick Charge 2.0 compatible, however it is also only available in one port. The other three ports are 2.4A which is still pretty fast. Now this may seem like overkill, but for cars that only have one outlet, this will allow you to charge everyone's phone while in the car, which can definitely be helpful.
CHGeek USB Car Charger
This is another interesting car charger. This is what they call a "Car Cup Charger". And that's because it sits in your cup holder and offers two USB ports, and two cigarette lighters. Meaning that if your port is in a place where it's hard to reach, this solves that problem, as you can set it in a cup holder, and it's now easy for you and everyone else in the car to reach.
For those of you looking to check out Android Auto, this is perhaps the cheapest option that's available. It's Pioneer's original head unit that supports Android Auto - which is still a great head unit. It also supports Apple CarPlay, along with satellite radio and so much more. It's definitely a great head unit to get started with for Android Auto.
Those that prefer Kenwood over Pioneer, here's a great option for you. The DDX9903S is a bit newer, which means it's faster and will provide a bit better experience for those using Android Auto. It does also support Apple CarPlay, has HD radio, satellite radio and all that good stuff as well. It's a 7-inch capacitive display with an unspecified resolution - which shouldn't matter too much since you aren't watching media on it.
Mpow Bluetooth Receiver
If you have an older car, and would love to add Bluetooth connectivity, you don't need to spend a ton. As long as you have a 3.5mm jack available, you can plug in this receiver and be on your way. Allowing you to automatically connect your phone to the car over Bluetooth every time you get in the car, and you can start streaming music seamlessly.
SoundBot SB360 Bluetooth 4.0 Car Kit
Here's another option for bringing Bluetooth to your car. The big difference between this one and what Mpow has above, is the controls that are included. While Mpow does have controls, they are actually on the receiver. This one features controls on a cable. So you can attach this to the dashboard or somewhere else that would be easier to reach while driving.