How did we ever drive without these apps to help us?
No one I know would want to get in a car without their smartphone. Many of the following apps are the reason. Apps have become an important part of even the most basic aspects of driving. I no longer have atlases, road maps, guidebooks for restaurants or hotels in my car. Even for everyday local driving for errands or pick-ups and drop offs of children, I no longer make sure I know how to get where I’m going. I just hop in my car and put the address into my smartphone. Driving apps have become essential. Here are my favorites and some of the most popular.
Google Maps is great as a go-to navigator, as well as a source for restaurants, food delivery and takeout options. There are also “Must Try” lists from local experts. It gives a street view of your destination before you get there. Google Maps is a free app and available for Android and iPhone.
Waze – This app, a subsidiary of Google, gives turn-by-turn navigation in real time, based on information it receives from user-submitted road data. Waze uses that data to rerout drivers to avoid traffic. Users not only flag traffic tie ups, but hidden traffic traps, accidents and other hazards as well. It is a free app and available for Android and iPhone.
Parker app gives you rooftop shots of local streets so you can spot parking spaces. It will give you any time limits and parking restrictions like two-hour limits and restricted hours. If you are only interested in garage parking, it will provide you with the closest garages and their rates. It also has an automatic “Find my car” feature. It is currently operating in 13 locations with more to come. This is a free app and is available on Google Play.
GasBuddy helps drivers find the best gas prices in their area. You can also join the app’s ‘Pay with GasBuddy’ and ‘Pay with GasBuddy Premium’ and save 5 cents or more per gallon and get roadside services. This app is free and available for both iPhone and Android.
PlugShare will provide you with data on the locations of charging stations for your electric car. Plugshare has data for more than 300,000 charging stations in every major charging network worldwide. Users can also get ratings and up to the moment availability. This app is free and available for iOS and Android.
Parkopedia searches for parking spots once Waze gets you to your destination. This app will give you parking locations and rates from its more than 70 million parking spots in 15,000 cities worldwide. The app is free and available for both Android and iPhone.
Roadtrippers makes the long road trip planning easy. It saves itineraries, collaborates with other users and finds off-beat destinations. It is perfect for people like me who like to plan ahead and have a schedule. You can find hotels, campgrounds, sights to check out along your route and reviews for it all. You can even get an estimate of how much gas you will use getting to your destination which helps in planning and budgeting. This is a free app and available for both iPhone and Android.
DriveSafe.ly is an app that reads your texts, emails, Twitter updates and Facebook messages out loud so you don’t risk your safety by looking at your smartphone while driving. It supports 27 different languages and over 20 voices. It is Bluetooth and radio transmitter compatible. It has an optional customizable autoresponder. It is a free app and available for Android.
Find My Car is a very useful app and I speak from experience. We went to a large concert last year and parked while it was still daylight. We left after dark and if we hadn’t had this app we’d probably still be wandering around looking for the car. Once you have parked you activate the app and it records your car’s location using GPS. You can also add a note to the location and take a photo of it. It is a free app and available for Android and the iPhone.
For long distance road trip ideas, read this ASE article;