Top Smartphone Apps for Car Owners

smartphone apps for car owners

Smartphones have become as much a part of everyday life for many people as the vehicles they drive. So, it’s no surprise that there are literally thousands of apps available for both iDevices and Android devices. With so many out there to choose from, we decided to give you a list of our Top Smartphone Apps for Car Owners (broken down for each platform).

We’ll start with the Top 5 Apps for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, all of which are available through iTunes:

  1. AAA Roadside (Free) – For car owners that carry AAA, the Roadside Assistance provided by the organization can mean the difference between being stranded somewhere and getting the help you need to get your car back on the road.  This app streamlines the process to make it quick and easy.  Once you set up a profile within the app, in the event of a breakdown, simply select the type of problem you are having and the app contacts a local roadside service technician for quick response.  In addition, the app will also confirm your request for assistance, provide information on local AAA-approved repair shops, connect you to AAA branch offices, view your AAA card, and allow you to speak directly with a AAA representative.
  2. GasBuddy (Free) – With the cost of gas on the rise, drivers need to think economically when it comes time to pay at the pump. GasBuddy uses your iDevice’s built-in GPS to locate the nearest gas stations and compare the price of fuel at each. In addition, the app allows you to search by city/zip code in order to find the best prices for areas you may be traveling to.
  3. Car Minder Plus ($2.99) – This is the perfect app for managing all of your car maintenance needs, logging repairs and tracking fuel economy.  Use the app to keep track of oil changes, tire rotations and even windshield wipers for multiple vehicles, all while monitoring fuel consumption. The app also syncs with iTunes so you never have to worry about missing necessary maintenance.   The app also allows you to email the service and fuel economy records right from the app for sharing with repair shops/dealerships/buyers, etc.
  4. Trapster (Free) – This app is designed to alert drivers to speed traps, red light and speed cameras, accidents and other roadway hazards. Built-in audio and visual alerts keep you up-to-date on road hazards as they are reported, and the app provides alternate routing to avoid the worst areas. Users can also set up push notifications to be alerted for speed traps and any road hazards even when the app is not running.
  5. Parker (Free) – This app is especially useful for people who live or work in a metropolitan area where parking can be an issue. The app provides on-street and real-time parking for over 100 cities and universities across the country. Built-in filters allow you to narrow your search by on- or off-street parking, handicap access, and by payment option (cash/credit/debit).  In addition, Voice Guidance can direct drivers hands-free to nearby parking.

And now, here are the Top 5 apps for Android devices, all of which are available on Android Marketplace (Google Play):

  1. Torque ($4.75) – For those of you who like working on your own vehicle, this app is for you! This diagnostic tool communicates with your OBD2 engine or ECU via OBD II Bluetooth adapter and allows you to fine-tune your car just like a professional. Other features include a massive fault code database that helps users look for fault codes from manufacturers, heads-up display for night-time driving, GPS speedometer, Turbo boost, alarms, and warnings.
  2. Car Locator ($3.99) – Never worry again about forgetting where you’ve parked in a crowded parking lot!  With this app, simply drop a pin in the location that you parked your car and let the app worry about getting you back there. In addition, the app features a parking timer, the ability to save notes and photos, and the option to send your current location to another person via phone or email.
  3. aCar (Free) – Similar to Car Minder for iDevices, this app allows to you track gas mileage, maintenance, fill-ups, expenses, as well as trip details. The app also provides alerts and syncs with your phone’s calendar to remind you when you need maintenance on your vehicle. Finally, the app will auto-convert data into easy to read graphs to help track your information over time.
  4. Beat the Traffic (Free) – This app helps car owners and commuters navigate through busy cities with the most accurate traffic map available to date through real-time information that includes average speeds, incidents on the road, and roadwork that is near your vicinity.  One of the nicest features of this app is that you can set up alerts for upcoming commutes to act as an early warning system to avoid the worst areas.
  5. GasBuddy (Free) – Just like on iDevices, GasBuddy is available on Android devices and also uses your Android’s built-in GPS to locate the nearest gas stations and compare the price of fuel at each. In addition, the app allows you to search by city/zip code in order to find the best prices for areas you may be traveling to.

These are a just a few on the apps on the market today and more and more are hitting the app stores for both devices each day. We felt that these were some of the most useful, but would love to hear if you are using any apps you find particularly helpful.  Let us know in the comments below!

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