Top Car Apps: Tips for using your iPhone in the Car

The sheer amount of applications that are available on smartphones these days is staggering. Every day, there are companies all around the globe looking for that next iPhone app that will change the whole game. This essentially means that every day there are multitudes of new apps that get offered to the populace at the same time, and therefore many of them go largely unnoticed.

While many of these apps have nothing to do with cars or driving, the number of car related apps is incredible. Effectively, if there is a driving need then there is an iPhone app for it. All it takes is a simple search.

The sheer number of apps makes sorting the wheat from the chaff a bit of a challenge; there are a fair number of relatively useless or purely novelty apps on the market. However, with a bit of diligence, you can find the apps that offer true value. With the relatively low cost of most applications on the market these days, cost is not usually a factor. Since most people these days do not leave home without their iPhone, it’s not a problem of access either. The real question is about utility. Will you actually use the application?

With new apps coming out each day, rather than reviewing specific applications, following is a discussion of some of the most common features of the popular apps.

Car Care

These applications will help a driver keep track of their odometer reading, as well as how many miles per gallon the car is currently getting and how much it will cost in gas per trip. These kinds of apps are useful because they will alert the driver when it comes to time get a checkup or to change their oil, as well as some other maintenance issues involving the car.

Of course, the cell phone is not directly hooked to the car or anything, so the accuracy of the smartphone app is not entirely 100 percent, but it does give you a rough estimate of the maintenance schedule for your motor vehicle. These apps are usually based entirely on the type of car you have and the averages associated with the cost of fuel in the area you are in and the average time it takes to travel a certain distance. In many ways, these types of apps are somewhat similar to the meter readers in taxi cabs.

While many modern cars come equipped with computers that perform similar functions, your iPhone apps allow you to customize the settings much more so than most on-board computer systems. Your car may automatically prompt you for an oil change at 3,000 miles, but you may believe that 5,000 miles is a more appropriate trigger.

Speed Trap

While Apple has since removed them from the market, several other useful cellphone apps alert drivers when they come close to a speed trap. While not in the Apple store anymore, these apps can still be found with a little “Google magic.” Anyone who has driven long enough has probably experienced the speed trap, and most also know how painful a speeding ticket can be- especially when it comes down to not only the cost of the ticket, but also the costs that may be accrued due to insurance hikes.

Fuel Stations

There is also a cellphone app which will guide a driver to the nearest gas station, and most people who have ever been on a road trip knows how confusing and frustrating that can be sometimes. Make sure you read reviews for the app itself; some of the older fuel-finding apps do not have a use-friendly interface.

Where’s My Car?

Speaking of road trips, if you are a person who travels a lot with your car and likes to visit places you are not familiar with there is an app for you. There is actually a cellphone application which can help people find their car. If you have ever parked at a sports stadium, or are familiar with the episode of “Seinfeld,” in which they cannot figure out where they parked at a shopping mall, or are even familiar with the movie “Dude, Where’s My Car?” then you know the type of hassle this can be. Luckily, the cell phone app will help you out in case that circumstance ever arises.

These are just some of the many features that can be found for your iPhone. New ones come out each day, and it’s worth taking a few minutes to read about them and ask yourself, would I use this?

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