Second-gen Automatic car adapter adds GPS, real-time data, third-party app support

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Automatic Labs on Tuesday launched a upgraded version of the Automatic, a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into a vehicle's OBD-II (on-board diagnostic) port and communicates with a paired iOS or Android device.

The updated hardware now supports dual Bluetooth streams, allowing it to send data to two apps simultaneously, as well as a built-in GPS receiver and new connector that should better fit more cars. The unit is Made for iPhone-certified.

Automatic's new hardware design is in large part meant to support improvements to the Automatic software platform, such as the ability to monitor car performance in real-time, and full support for third-party apps. Accordingly the company has launched a Web-based App Gallery currently highlighting over 20 compatible titles.

Three iOS-only apps capable of accessing real-time Automatic data include DashCommand, OBD Fusion, and Harry's LapTimer.

In addition, developers can now make use of the Automatic Developer Platform, which includes APIs for functions like trip logs, driving events, and real-time data. The software developer kit additionally bundles libraries, documentation, sample apps, and a Developer Apps Manager needed to register and submit apps.

The second-generation Automatic adapter is available for $100.