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 |  Mar 15 2011, 11:08 AM

As we watch the gas prices creep higher and higher, we wonder what new tips and tricks to use in order to save money. If you’ve got a smartphone, the answers are already right in your hands.

There are some good free phone apps that can help you save money on gas. Using GPS or information from users, these apps let you know where you can find the lowest-priced gas stations in the U.S. and even in Canada. Here are three apps that are gaining popularity:

AAA’s TripTik:  Only available on iPhones, the TripTik app is perfect if you’re going on a trip, as it gives you gas prices, hotels, restaurants, mechanics and more. Just click on the “Map” button for a map of all the gas station in the area and their prices, as well as directions to the stations.

Cheap Gas!: This is a free app that displays a list of stations sorted in the order of the lowest prices. It’s a pretty basic app, but it does offer a feature that launches your phone’s camera and shows station logos and their associated gas prices superimposed on the nearby landscape, to give an idea where they are.

GasBuddy: Another free app, this one can be configured to list the gas stations closest to you or by the price. To learn more about a specific gas station on the list, just tap on it, and a page dedicated to that gas station will open. On this page, you’ll find important deets such as the prices of all the different grades of gas, whether the station has a convenience store and when the prices were most recently reported. Since this app gets its price info from volunteer spotters, once you register on the site, you can become a spotter too. GasBuddy is available for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices.

[Source: Contra Costa Times]

 |  Dec 05 2010, 5:32 PM

The radio makes the drive go that much smoother. But what’s that you say? No one listens to the radio anymore? Get ready to see (or hear) a surge in radio’s popularity, thanks to the free iheartradio app.

Listen to favorite local and distant stations and other content while driving with the iheartradio app, available for iPhone, BlackBerry and Android devices. Part of the Clear Channel family, this app gives you extras such as album art, celebrity deejays and exclusive video content – unfortunately, you still have to listen to annoying commercials.

When you get to the main screen of the app, you can access local stations, search by city or genre, tune into celebrity stations and content by other radio personalities, get premium content from people like Dr. Laura and Sean Hannity and check out daily features such as exclusive videos.

The local stations the iheartradio picks are mostly Clear Channel affiliates. You’ll also get access to entertainment from the Personalities tab, featuring shows like Sixx Sense with Nikki Sixx and the White House Brief.

There’s even an All Cities tab, which lets you stream stations from dozens of metro areas and hot spots. The Genres tab covers everything from Alternative to Hawaiian music and comes with video content. At the bottom of the app is a Favorites tab that lets you save stations and songs so you can play them again later, and the Shake It tab spins a roulette-wheel where adjacent cities and genre columns randomly land on a combination of the two. There’s also a Settings tab can be used to clear the app’s autoplay memory and to report issues.

On the iPhone version of the app, you can use iTunes Tagging and stations are streamed in Apple’s AAC format. You can download it for free here.

[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]

 |  Nov 13 2010, 9:19 AM

Another day, another smartphone app. This time around, it’s courtesy of GM. They’ve released a free app that allows owners of all 2011 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles to access vehicle information and OnStar services.

There are two different apps available. The first is called myChevrolet (or myBuick or myCadillac, depending on what GM car you drive), which lets you search the owner’s manual by scanning the car’s vehicle identification number with the phone’s camera. And if your phone has GPS, it comes with a function that finds you a parking and will track how much time is left on your parking meter. You can add photos and details about the parking spot to share with others (because sometimes when you get that super sweet spot, you just need to share it with your friends). It also tells you about specific warning indicators if they’re lit, and you can request roadside assistance or find the nearest GM dealership to schedule service.

The second is the OnStar MyLink app, which allows you to unlock your car remotely, start the engine, activate the alarm and check your tire pressure as well as other diagnostic systems. Even though it’s free to download, the OnStar MyLink app requires a service plan that starts at $18.95 a month.

You can get these apps now from the iTunes App Store or the Android Market.