While we're surely getting a bit tired of the constant delays and inflated promises
, the tech behind the Volt is certainly interesting, and the tech in the OnStar application is even moreso. When the car is connected you can monitor the charging status and program it to delay its recharging, giving it a deadline for when you need it to be full and then letting it charge itself when the rates are lowest. Cool, but just the beginning. You can check driving statistics, honk the horn, lock or unlock the car, and even start it up, all from your handset.
Of course, since the car is basically an electric with an on-board generator, the point isn't to warm up the engine early but rather the interior, making things nice and cozy while (hopefully) the car is still on AC power and not depleting its internal batteries. It's great but there is a catch: you'll need to be an OnStar subscriber, a service that once felt like something of a waste but is continually getting more and more appealing. When this app launches for real it's hard to see it as anything but a must-have. Until then you can get a taste yourself, with a demo appearing soon at the Apple App Store, and separate ones downloadable now at OnStarMobileDemo.com for Android and BlackBerry. Naturally it won't actually unlock anyone's doors yet, but nobody needs to know that but you.