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Top Ten Phone Apps

“Hey! Give me my phone- I want to park my car!”

Smart phone apps now number in the tens of thousands, some brilliant, some not so good and some awful! Several phone apps are now on the market for the motorist, and again, some good, some not. We’ve taken a long look at these and come up with some of the best, such as one app that parks your car for you! See if you agree.

PARKING APPS

 1. ‘Park4U’

The most stunning of the lot is the ‘Park4U’ app. It lets you use your iPhone to park your car whilst you’re not even in it! It’s not a dream, it works and it’s here now-but there’s a catch.
Here’s a video of it in operation, so you can see for yourself it’s not dreamworld.
Now isn’t that brilliant? Particularly appropriate for tight spaces, eh? But the catch is that it only works with cars that have assisted parking as an option, cars like certain Audi and VW models, most of which are not yet available in Australia.

 

 2. “When and Where’ and the BMW parking app.

‘Damn, overstayed and got a parking ticket!’. ‘Gee, can’t remember where I left the car!’
Has this happened to you? Well, it needn’t happen again if you download either of these apps. Both have a timer that you can set, and they shriek a reminder for you when time is almost up. They can also locate your car-even in a multi story car park, providing you have your GPS enabled on your phone. Check out these and others at your app store.

3. ‘Parkmate’

There are several apps on the market that locate local parking stations and even free spots roadside. One of the best is ‘Parkmate’. It’s free, does not seem to be aligned to any particular parking station owner, will browse for parking locations by operating hours, and gives details of local attractions or special rates. Its only obvious drawback is that it does not cover every town in Australia, but does cater for ‘major cities’.

4. ‘Park Patrol’

Park Patrol sends alerts to smart phone users when a parking officer is patrolling near their car-and local councils say there is nothing they can do about it!. It works by user support, but that can be a drawback. Each user sends in a report when they see a parking attendant. The server then cross checks and verifies the information and sends out the alert to all users who have registered as parking in that neighbourhood, and are located within 200m of the approaching parking officer. But that means it is totally dependent on user input, so, if there are few users on the system at any one time, alerts can be missed and you have suffered from a false sense of security.

MONEY SAVING APPS

5. ‘Gasbag’

There are numerous ‘fuel price apps’ available, but one of the best known is ‘Gasbag’ and that’s a double advantage, because they are all dependent on feedback from users, so the one that works best is the one with the biggest subscriber base that gives the most accurate feedback. Gasbag claims to identify the cheapest fuel in town at any one time. So you can decide whether you want to travel x kms to save y cents per litre.
Another popular fuel saver app is  ‘Fill My Tank’, and is also dependent on user input. Sadly we couldn’t locate one that is provided by the fuel retailers!

6. NRMA Car Inspector.

This great little app can help you save money when you are choosing a new car, as well as comparing respective safety features. It’s free (you can download it from www.nrma.com.au) . There is extensive information about each vehicle you nominate and it can compare two vehicles at the same time for aspects such as fuel consumption, estimated annual fuel usage, safety and anti theft ratings and more.

SAFETY APPS

7. ‘Vlingo’

Android users will love ‘Vlingo’- similar to iPhone’s Siri. It’s a virtual assistant voice recognition that could mean that you will never be caught illegally using your phone in your car for texting, talking or checking out info. It’s not perfect, but it’s a vast improvement over getting caught using your phone in your car.

8. Driving Test Apps

Most state governments offer iPhone apps to help learners mug up on theory. There are also some private sellers, but be careful to check the reviews first, as some are not good (with little ‘random variance’ in the questions asked), but others claim to be much better than the official apps. Make sure the app is relevant to the state you live in, as some road rules vary from state to state.

 

FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT


9. ‘Australian Road Trip’

This is a great app for the traveller, offering a range of travel trips, accommodation, eateries, scenic routes and much more, covering all states. It claims to feature more than 350 entries and nearly 3000 photos. Available from your app store and well worth the $4.99 purchase price.

10. iBoost

Be part of the dream of being a supercar owner with this fun app. IBoost is the no.1 entertainment app in Japan apparently, and it innocuously transforms your little shopping runabout into a V8 supercar- at least as far as engine noise is concerned. Don’t worry about the noise police as it only transmits the sound effect inside your car! Great fun, particularly when shuffling along at snails pace in traffic.

 

So, that’s our top ten. There are probably hundreds more that deserve a mention, covering anything from car tuning through speed and camera alerts to points of interest and so much more. What are your favourite motoring apps? Have you tried any of the above? If so let us know below.

Postscript:- we introduced this article with a stunning parking app- in contrast have a look at ‘The ” here.

 

One comment

  1. Peter W says:

    Gasbag does not appear to be a current iPhone app. and all the other fuel apps seem to be limited to Perth and Western Australia!!

    October 18th, 2012 at 12:58 pm