Cars have become bastions of electronic gadgetry — but that doesn’t mean that we can’t add a few of our own. Some of us are simply not content with what came with our vehicles, some of us want to have emergency gear available just in case, and some of us have older cars that need help in order to be able to accommodate modern electronics.
Here are some of the gadgets that staffers at The Verge have used to upgrade their various vehicles.
I’m one of those boring people who has little interest in cars other than as a way to get from point A to point B. As a result, I tend to hold on to a vehicle until it costs more to keep it running than to buy something new. My current car is a 2007 Honda Civic, which, despite all the dings and dents it’s acquired over the years (mostly from being parked on the NYC streets) is still running well. The problem is that it lacks all the features that current cars offer: electronic locks, built-in touch screens — you know, anything digital.
So if I want to listen to Google Maps directions or to my podcasts or music, I have to secure my smartphone to the dashboard using a car mount holder and connect it to the audio system via the car’s audio jack. However, since my recently purchased Pixel 6 doesn’t have a headphone jack (thank you, Google), and my car doesn’t have Bluetooth, I’ve had to find another way to make the connection.
So I bought this receiver, which plugs into the audio jack in my car and then connects to my phone via Bluetooth. It’s a simple gadget from an unknown brand, but once I press the button to start the Bluetooth signal, it makes the connection immediately and lets me hear all the audio from my phone over the car’s speakers. It also holds a charge for a good long while; I haven’t scientifically gauged how long the charge lasts, but it’s been some time since I last powered the receiver up, and it hasn’t run out yet. — Barbara Krasnoff, reviews editor
Bluetooth Aux Receiver
Aux receiver that can plus into any 3.5mm audio port and connect to your phone or other device via Bluetooth.
I spent years trying to find the perfect USB cable that could support both an iPhone and an Android phone for charging in the car. (Anyone whose partner or spouse uses a different phone operating system than they do can probably relate.) While there are many cables out there with adapters that turn a Micro USB connection into Lightning or USB-C, those invariably fail after a few months of regular use.
But reader, I have found the solution, and it’s this retractable USB cable that has all three connections (Lightning, USB-C, and Micro USB) at the end of its plug — no adapters needed. It’s sturdy and solidly clicks into whatever phone I need it to, so I don’t have to deal with annoying adapters that are certainly going to fail. It also supports data connections …….