What is the best OBD2 Android/IOS apps for your car?

Archer's Blog - What is the best OBD2 Android/IOS apps for your car?
Modern cars have the capacity of a few computers, are tooled with software that contains millions of lines of programming code and produce gigabytes of data, but they are still different from connected cars.

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A smart vehicle is able to optimize its performance to reduce fuel consumption, show the best path to follow taking into account current traffic and weather conditions, detect errors in the engine and collect information data to negotiate lower insurance rates.

Most cars and light trucks are equipped with on-board diagnostics or an OBD II port that provides access to data from the engine control unit (ECU). To get the information you need to plug in an external device.

The OBD-II specifications provide a standardized hardware interface - a female 16-pin (2x8) J1962 connector, so a single external device can be used for most car models. It should also have an Internet connection to transfer the collected data. To handle all information collected from OBD2 device you still need on-board diagnostics app for car.

Such tool is perfect for industries like taxi and limousine services, general shipping, and the transportation of dangerous goods. With a vehicle monitoring application that can be customized based on the needs of your organizations and customers, you can be sure your drivers are following the best practices.

Archer Software is a recognized provider of embedded software solutions for connected cars as well as mobile apps for car owners. Additionally, we have a vast expertise in developing mobile applications featuring geolocation tracking and geopositioning services and we monitor the emerging and developing solutions on the market.

Let’s review the advantages and disadvantages of the 7 OBD apps to maintain the performance of your car that we deem top of the market at the moment.

Most popular auto diagnostic OBD apps for Android

1. Torque Pro (OBD 2 & Car)

One of the most popular OBD2 apps for Android reader application in the Play Store, Torque Pro shows a broad list of features and detectors supported, and the numerous widgets and plug-ins that use it as a base, enabling more functionality: monitoring car's activity in real-time, gathering OBD code faults, vehicle productivity, sensor’s info and other.

Torque is a vehicle efficiency/diagnostics instrument that uses the OBD II Bluetooth adapter connected to the OBD2 engine control/ECU. You can make a customized dashboard with the widgets in the application.

The app uses the GPS to allow tracker log with OBD engine logging to see your car's activities and conditions at any period of time. It also shows and resets a DTC/CEL/fault code like a scanner. Torque helps you to fix your car and reduce repair costs.

Torque features

  • Dynomometer and Horsepower/HP
  • Monitoring the transmission temperature
  • Speed timings more accurate than via GPS CO2 emissions indicators
  • Custom dashboard
  • User profiles
  • Tweets automatically tagged with GPS
  • Big fault code database and fault codes history
  • Different color themes
  • Ability to send logs directly to web or email for analysis
  • HUD mode for night mode driving
  • GPS speedometer and compass in real-time
  • Turbo boost for vehicles that support MAP and MAF
  • Voice alarms
  • Car dock maintenance
  • Sharing screenshots to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, e-mail, etc.
  • Simple interface for developers of the AIDL API for third-party apps
  • Compatible with tablet devices and vehicles that use OBDII Bluetooth adapters (almost all vehicles produced after 2000).

Common problems with Torque Pro

  • High battery consumption
  • Incompatible with some cars

Every software development team should pay attention to the what impact their products have on the environment. Battery consumption is a very important obstacle to using this app, from our point of view.

When building custom automotive diagnostic software for our clients, always make sure that they are environmentally friendly. We advise reading our 5 things you need to know before developing the car app.

2. HobDrive

You should try this one of the most undervalued OBD apps in the Play Store, especially if you are the owner of a hybrid car.

HobDrive is an intelligent Trip Computer and OBD2 diagnostic software. HobDrive uses your ELM327 adapter and GPS sensors to measure trip information. ELM327 (Bluetooth, Wifi) is recommended but can use GPS only.

A HobDrive version has the following features in comparison with demo:

  • Continuous errors tracking MPG tracking hour, day, week time periods
  • Graphical measurers
  • Diagnostic of KWP protocols
  • Fueling and service records

HobDrive features

  • Vehicle sensors indexes
  • Engine diagnostics
  • Trip recording computer
  • Performance tools
  • Route planning
  • Calculating MPG
  • Flexible visual layouts ​

Common problems with HobDrive

  • Unstable work
  • Poor clarity (blurring) on devices with higher resolution
  • Problems with Bluetooth connection

3. OBD Car Doctor Pro

The primary and functional app, OBD Car Doctor reads the data sent from your OBD adapter, and reports all real-time engine and car parameters: speed, angle of rotation, temperature, pressure and some other sensors data supported by your vehicle. It enables to draw charts with real-time data. Car Doctor checks engine light control: reads and clears stored error codes and related data.

OBD Car Doctor Pro features

  • Real-time vehicle indicators: speed, angle of rotation, temperature, pressure and other sensors
  • Chart drawing with real-time data
  • Check engine light control: error codes and related freeze frame data
  • Records of parameters in real-time
  • Allows to read and display multiple parameters
  • Recording of parameters in the background
  • View and send recorded parameters
  • GPS supported
  • Fuel Economy parameters
  • Allows to store and share DTC data
  • Fuel consumption in time periods

Common problems with OBD Car Doctor Pro

  • Unstable connection with cheap adapters
  • To clean up errors, you need additional step-by-step manipulations
  • Problems with Bluetooth connection

We advise other software development companies to make stability improvements in every released version like we do in Archer Software. We think it is the key to success.

4. Carista OBD2

Carista OBD2 lets you personify your car by improving its electronic options. It also lets you test your vehicle for errors, and delete any existing faults of code and test emission. One should have an OBD II adapter that plugs into the car's OBD2 port. Once you allow the Carista app to gather data from your vehicle with the OBD II adapter it will tell you if the car is struck. If you don't have an OBD adapter, you can enter the data by yourself.

Carista features

  • Monitoring vehicle's viability and reporting faults
  • Compatible with all OBD2-compatible manufacturers and models (almost all vehicles produced after 2000)
  • Access to advanced manufacturer's specific diagnostics, such as ABS, airbag, navigation, etc.
  • Aptitude to reset indicators for supported models
  • Extended customization of the way the car behaves: the app can set headlights to turn on automatically when one starts the engine, or the doors to lock when one starts moving, or change the type of sound that the back parking sensors make
  • Overheating alert to control engine's temperature
  • Running in the background and notifying with an alarm tone just when the temperature of the engine rises to an unsafe level

Common problems with Carista

  • Connection error while saving changes in the settings
  • Connection problems with some adapters

Most popular auto diagnostic OBD apps for iPhone

1. OBD Auto Doctor

OBD II Auto Doctor is the leading OBD II car diagnostics instrument. It is considered to be the best car diagnostic app for the iOS platform. The Auto Doctor application allows you to check and reset the sick codes. Using this OBD II diagnostic app you can interact with your vehicle's OBD II system easily, and make your mobile a very gifted automotive scanner.

OBD II Auto Doctor is a great app for those who are interested in knowing more about their vehicle. If you want to control car data in real-time or turn off the check engine indicator, this is an obligatory instrument.

OBD Auto Doctor features

  • You can see the preparedness for the test of emission and advanced diagnostic DTCs, Freeze Frame, MIL
  • You can view fuel consumption to save money
  • View OBD II indicators on time to detect anomalies
  • You can change the numerical or graphical view of OBD II sensor data
  • Supports data of engine, transmission, etc.
  • You can send diagnostics data via email
  • Allows to read VIN, Calibration Identifications and Calibration
  • Verification Numbers of ECU
  • Auto Doctor supports built-in DTC database with over 14000 alarm codes
  • You can choose imperial and metric units

Common problems with OBD Auto Doctor

  • Problems with connecting adapters labeled ELM327 v2.1
  • The problems with the accuracy of fuel consumption in diesel vehicles

Such applications are made to get more from driver’s cars but some software problems and errors can trigger your users to switch to other applications. Here you can read why users may dislike your application.

2. EOBD Facile

You don't need to call the manufacturer to do the diagnostics of the vehicle or find out why the check engine light is turned on - now it's available on iPhone/iPad. Connect an OBD II device to port in your vehicle and start the application: it will allow you to diagnose a car, turn off the indicator lights and see the vehicle's data in real-time.

The EOBD Facile features

  • View engine faults of codes and find out their meaning
  • Clear the check engine light
  • Monitor special manufacturer error codes
  • Make recordings of trips and save via iPhone/iPad, recover them later using EOBD Facile application
  • Create and view records of GPS data

Common problems with EOBD Facile

  • Incompatible with some cars
  • The free version is completely non-functional
  • Periodic connectivity problems

Such a high number of errors may appear when a development company skips or minimizes the testing and error correction phase. In Archer Software we advise choosing outsource software development when you feel you don’t have enough staff to make the best testing to avoid problems. Here you can find the benefits of outsourcing software development.

The EngineLink application can help your iOS device to become a vehicle diagnostic instrument with OBD II with WiFi/Bluetooth adapter.

EngineLink features

  • Emissions checking
  • Monitoring vehicle's condition in real-time
  • Reading and clearing OBD II faults of the code
  • Car performance in real-time and reading sensor data
  • Custom data gathering
  • Interactions with DTC/CEL /fault code stored or in real-time
  • MPG widget for monitoring fuel consumption and its efficiency
  • HUD mode for driving in the night
  • Displaying the transmission temperature
  • Speed, RPM, load and coolant, fuel tank
  • Customized dashboards
  • Full customized GUI with different kinds of gauge
  • Different libraries via the app ECU support
  • Ability to change back colors
  • Log in via e-mail

Common problems with EngineLink

  • Can use only ELM compatible Wi-Fi or Bluetooth Low Energy adapters to work well
  • Problems with wi-fi connection
  • Problems with language support

Such data visualization software can help to turn your car into a connected car. When outsourcing software development you can be sure you get an app that has all the features you wanted and all errors eliminated before the app went live.

For more information about how we can develop connected car software solutions that are right for you, contact our experts at info@archer-soft.com.

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