Start your car...from your BlackBerry

Viper SmartStart, which began starting and unlocking cars from the iPhone in October, will soon be available for BlackBerry owners.

Jessica Dolcourt Senior Director, Commerce & Content Operations
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
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Jessica Dolcourt
2 min read
Viper on BlackBerry
This BlackBerry app gets your car humming. Viper

Pretty soon, some BlackBerry users will get to put away their key fobs and begin powering on their cars using only the smartphone.

Directed Electronics' Viper SmartStart app for BlackBerry will give drivers remote power to lock and unlock the car, pop the trunk, trigger the panic siren, and yes, start that engine from afar. We're also hoping that like the iPhone version, Viper SmartStart for BlackBerry will be able to control multiple vehicles and add in layers of security so that would-be smartphone thieves don't get a free car in the process.

While the Viper app will be free from BlackBerry App World (and likely from the Viper site as well,) getting any hardware you don't have will run you between $300 and $500 smackeroos.

If you've got a compatible Viper remote start system already in place, the VSM100 Viper SmartStart upgrade module or the equivalent DSM100 Directed SmartStart module will set you back $299. If these names fail to ring a bell, you'll be looking at acquiring a remote start system from Viper, Clifford, or Python to talk to the app. Viper's SmartStart System (VSS4000), which is fully compatible with the app, lists for $499. The bloodletting doesn't stop there. If the terms from the iPhone app hold with BlackBerry, you'll also need an active subscription to Viper's Smart Start service, which goes for $29.99 after the first free year.

Since Viper SmartStart comes at a hefty price and requires much professionally-installed hardware, it's a safe assumption that the SmartStart app won't make its way onto most US residents' lists of must-have apps. However, the luxury of starting, pinging, or unlocking your car from anywhere in the country has its benefits--getting the car going without you having to brave the elements, popping the trunk while you're at work to let a family member retrieve an item, readying your getaway car.

Still, for the up-front and ongoing price, we'd like to see even more remote controls, such as cranking on the heat or air conditioning, waking up the radio, and defogging the glass.

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