Need to find a gas station? There’s an app for that. Looking for the best route to work? There’s an app for that, too. While we don’t condone smartphone use while driving (it’s the leading cause of distracted driving accidents), there are apps that passengers can use or that you can use before you head out to make your life easier.
Here are eight apps that every car owner needs.
We love FIXD. It’s our top-rated diagnostic device. And its companion app is one of the best apps you can install.
Once you’ve installed the FIXD Sensor, you can use the app to decipher the code and figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle and the severity of the problem.
The FIXD app can also alert you of maintenance needs based on your vehicle’s make and model. The sensor costs money, but the app is free. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.
What do you use to navigate the road? Google Maps? A separate GPS system? Waze offers a better way to get to your destination. Why? Because it uses information from users to help you find the best possible route to your destination.
Waze will help you avoid traffic jams, closed roads and even potholes. It will also let you know when the police are using radars ahead.
You can use Waze to find the best gas prices around, and it will also let you know when your friends are on the road.
Dash cams are becoming increasingly popular among drivers. It’s much easier to prove your innocence if you have video footage of the accident or incident. That footage will also help keep your insurance premiums down. But why buy a separate device when you can just use your phone’s camera?
The Smart Dash Cam app transforms your phone into your vehicle’s dashboard camera. You can choose your resolution based on your phone’s storage, upload your footage to YouTube and record with or without audio. The only caveat is that you have to keep track of your storage to make sure that you keep the video footage you want.
As an added bonus, using your phone as your dash cam will eliminate the temptation of using your phone to text or talk while you’re driving.
Do you commute to work? If so, you probably take the same route every single morning and evening. But what if there’s a serious traffic jam or accident on your route? You may wind up being late or having to scramble to find a new route the last minute.
Beat the Traffic is an app that will give you real-time traffic updates submitted by users. Like Waze, this app will help you find the best route to avoid traffic and get to work on time. If you’re going to be late, the app will also tell you how late you will be.
And if you come across an incident, all you have to do is shake your device to let others know about the problem.
Beat the Traffic is free, and it’s a nice alternative to Waze.
If you drive an electric vehicle, you need the PlugShare app. PlugShare will help you locate charging stations all over the world. If you’re planning a road trip and don’t know where you’ll be able to stop and recharge, PlugShare can help.
It’s hard enough to hunt down a gas station when you’re out on a road trip. Imagine having to find an even rarer charging station. If you spend a lot of time out on the road with your electric vehicle, you need this app.
Tired of driving around in circles trying to find the best parking? We’re not talking about the best parking location, but rather, the most affordable places to park.
We all avoid certain cites or areas of the cities where we know that parking is going to cost an arm and a leg (NYC I’m looking at you).
The Best Parking app will display the rates of all parking garages in the area you’re headed to. It will even let you lock down a price. You can also use it for airport parking so that you don’t have to pay sky-high prices at the regular overnight lot.
Have you ever gotten lost on a back road out in the middle of nowhere? If so, you’ve probably gotten a pit in your stomach just thinking about how you’re going to find a nearby gas station.
Even on the highway, it can be hard to find gas stations. I’ve been on long stretches of I-45 where the nearest gas station was 30+ miles away. And if you miss the sign for the exit, it could be another 50 or more miles before you hit another gas station.
GasBuddy is the app you need to have if you regularly take road trips – or just like driving around and trying to get lost.
GasBuddy will help you find the nearest gas station so that you don’t get stuck on the side of the road waiting for roadside assistance (or worse, having to walk miles to the gas station to get some gas).
This free app will also help you find the best gas prices. If you follow their recommendations, you can save more than $300 per year.
The last thing any driver should be doing is fiddling around with their dashboard console or their smartphones while they’re driving.
The AutoMate Car Dashboard is made exclusively for Android devices, and it allows you to control things using gestures and voice commands. It allows you to control everything, from your music to your navigation.
Voice controls and gestures allow you to keep your eyes on the road – where they should be. And because everything is right on a single interface, you never have to worry about digging through files or apps to find what you need.
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