What do you get from a connected car app?

As cars themselves get smarter and smarter, the technology on our dashboards is becoming ever more intertwined with the devices we carry in our pockets. From simple maintenance reminders to functions that can turn a smartphone into an advanced key fob, connected car apps vary significantly in terms of capability⁠—and cost.

Earlier this week, Ford announced that its connected-car app, dubbed FordPass, will be free moving forward. This is a big shift, especially for a mainstream automaker, and brings into sharp relief just how much both the functionality and cost structure of these offerings differ across manufacturers and, in some cases, even individual models.