The 6 Best Apps To Improve Your Ride
Posted by: Dan on 16/06/2016
6 Best Apps That Can Help Improve Your Ride
We live in a day and age where driving is on the cusp of being fundamentally transformed.
Along with a greater integration of technology into our cars’ dashboards and mechanics, the number of electric and self-driving cars set to hit the roads in the near future will offer enormous changes to the way we drive.
These types of changes are also happening in the smartphone arena. With smartphone ownership forecasted to rise to over 2 billion people worldwide in 2016, the number of driving apps is likely to see a corresponding increase, as well.
But for the moment, here are some of the best apps available right now to make your daily drive more efficient, safe, and enjoyable.
1. Google Maps
Google Maps has been around for a long while, but it’s certainly one of the most useful and widely-used apps out there. Long gone are the days of grabbing the old Melways from underneath the seat, or even looking up your route on your desktop computer at home before setting off.
Google Maps can easily chart your destination and give you turn-by-turn voice navigation as you drive. Even better, depending on your phone model, Google Maps can often integrate with other apps and services you regularly use.
This means that if there’s a pizza shop you regularly call for your Saturday night pizza, the app will insert the location of the shop in your phone, and can also send you notifications about the traffic conditions and route time between your house and the shop. This is a must-have app (and it also serves as a very useful backup, even if you regularly use a standalone GPS).
Many of us still have that one friend who keeps a ton of CDs in their car’s glovebox (and we all get concerned whenever he tries to change the album at a red light). 80s pop music may be a danger to the community, but it shouldn’t pose a danger to your driving. Using a music app like Spotify will allow you to set up and preload a playlist of all your favourite music for the drive ahead – and ensure that you are set to drive safely with great tunes to accompany you.
Waze is widely considered to be more than just an app – it’s best thought of as a community of drivers. Using real-time data and driver input, Waze provides you with an up-to-the-minute report on your driving route, and gives you notifications and navigation tips that other drivers have entered, such as traffic issues or police activity.
While it’s important to note that this app should not be used while in the act of driving – information about a traffic accident or a delay is best entered once you’ve finished your journey or have pulled off to safely use your phone – even just having your phone GPS on and the app running while you’re driving contributes to the Waze data bank, with info about your journey time, traffic flow, and relative speed all serving to help other motorists have a more efficient drive.
Gasbuddy is a great app that helps you find the most affordable fuel prices in your local area. Where receiving a hot tip about cheap fuel in your neighbourhood used to be a matter of listening to the radio or hearing about it via word-of-mouth, with Gasbuddy, you can receive all of that information directly on your phone.
Even better, just like Waze, Gasbuddy is built on a real-time driver input platform. This means you’ll receive new tips and locations constantly as other drivers submit info about affordable gas stations they’ve spotted.
Even better, all the information is presented in a seamless and easy-to-read table format so you’ll be able to quickly find the most affordable and accessible fuel stations near you.
5. Carcorder (iOS)/Smart Dash Cam (Android)
It’s an unfortunate reality of driving that sometimes you may encounter a situation that is dangerous. Whether you’re on a road that’s known for its frequent fender benders, or you encounter an erratic driver or even are subject to road rage, having a recording of events as they unfold can be vital. This is where Carcorder or Smart Dash Cam is so useful.
Using your smartphone’s camera, all you need to do is set up the app and mount your phone to your dashboard (or use the current mount you have already installed for your GPS). Then, if you encounter a situation that requires it, simply hit ‘Record’ on the app and you’ll have film of all that unfolds in front of your windscreen.
6. A roadside assistance app
Depending on your insurance and roadside assistance provider, there is likely a corresponding app that you can download – and this is a must-have. As well as providing a quick and easy source of information and contact details in case you’re ever in need of auto assistance, an app from your insurance company or roadside assistance provider can offer many benefits.
It may be equipped with GPS to help pinpoint your location should you need help, or be able to offer you priority access to the customer service centre, along with a number of other features that can help ensure that if you do encounter trouble on the road, you’ll be likely to receive help much faster than if you just called the general access phone line.
By using these helpful driving apps, you can ensure that your driving is seamless, safe, and fun. Best of all, just like turning on your windscreen wipers or changing gears, over time you’ll find that using these apps in your daily drive will become second nature.
So, if you’ve yet to experience a drive assisted by apps, be sure to download the ones discussed here and enjoy an upgraded experience on the road.
What apps are among your favourites? Are there any you can suggest that are not listed here? Let us know in the comments below: