updated 07:45 pm EST, Fri December 17, 2010
1,100 page manual also has maps, videos, more
What could be the future of all auto manuals arrived this fall with the Hyundai Equus, a luxury car that sells in the high $50,000s and included an electronic version of the owner's manual on a free iPad as part of the purchase price. Now, the manual is available as a free app in the App Store, where owners and non-owners alike can peruse all 1,100 pages, use an online map to find the nearest Hyundai dealer (and schedule service) and browse a gallery of Equus images.
Among the features available to owners in the manual -- titled "The Hyundai Equus iPad Owner Experience" -- are a Lane Departure Warning System, Adaptive Headlights, and rear-passenger relaxation and massage therapy options. The safety features of the car are highlighted in interactive fashion and the manual includes a quick reference guide and easy navigation system.
While a number of other car manuals are available online as PDFs or even proper e-books, the Hyundai Equus manual was designed from the ground up as an iPad app and acts as much as a showcase of the automobile as it does a conventional reference work. The app may portend a move towards making electronic versions of owner's manuals a more conventional part of buying high-end or complex machinery.