six colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Linked by Jason Snell

Sponsor: Automatic

My thanks to Automatic for sponsoring Six Colors this week (and for the rest of this month).

Automatic is a small “connected car adapter” that you plug into your car’s diagnostic port. (Automatic works with most gas and hybrid cars released since 1996.) I installed it in one of our cars this week, and was struck by how thoughtful the setup procedure is. The Automatic app on my iPhone walked me through the process—even providing a flashlight button just in case I needed some extra light while finding where the diagnostic port was in my car.

Once Automatic was installed, it began to transmit data back to my phone. The app logs trips, displays my car’s current location (so I know where I parked), and even explains what’s wrong if the “check engine” light comes on.

It does a bunch more, too, including integrating with other smart devices. Automatic normally costs $99.95, but readers of Six Colors get 20 percent off. Automatic ships in two business days for free, and there’s a 45-day return policy.