Top 10 Mobile Apps for Car Owners

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Along with playing Angry Birds and taking pictures of your cat, smartphones are incredibly useful for car owners, offering free apps that can help save both time and money.

Here’s a list of apps that we find the most useful when it comes to driving and car ownership. Many apps on this list are at least available for both Android and iOS handhelds, while some also support BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices.

Finally, we should point out that while many apps are easy to use, it isn’t safe to use your smartphone while driving. Instead, pull over and check your phone or give the device to a passenger while you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

The go-to app for cars on the road is Waze, which features one of the biggest communities that reports traffic conditions and gas prices to the apps online database. The beauty of Waze is how simple it is. Users just need to have the app open on their phone while they commute.

From there, the app determines where there’s a lot of traffic and whether you should reroute to avoid it.

More active users can add even additional information about what’s holding up traffic, including locations of accidents, police speed traps or road hazards. Waze can also provide alternate routes in case the commonly used road is littered with slow-downs and problems.

You can get Waze for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Cross-shopping prices at nearby pumps can be easier than ever. Use GasBuddy to find the cheapest fuel around you, helping to save you at least a few bucks per tank. It might not sound like much but over the course of a year, you’ll have saved some serious dough.

You can get GasBuddy for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices.

AroundMe is an app that makes it easy to find nearby points of interest. Using your phone’s GPS sensor, AroundMe will locate the nearest bank, bar, gas station, hospital, hotel, movie theatre, restaurant, supermarket and more. Perfect for people who find themselves in unfamiliar territory, this app is a must-have for those who go on road-trips with no defined destination in mind.

AroundMe is only available for iOS.

Remember that feeling of adventure you had when you first took your car out on the road? Every street, every community was new and exciting. But nowadays, you may be feeling like you’ve seen everything in your area. Fortunately, Yelp allows you to rediscover and find new hot-spots around the city, giving you another reason to jump in the driver’s seat and check out a restaurant, store or venue.

Yelp also has user-provided reviews that offer feedback on pricing, customer service and even parking availability, so you’ll know what to expect before stepping in the door. These reviews are especially useful if you’re in a new area ang looking for dining or entertainment advice.

Yelp is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.

A must-have for AAA members, this app provides easy access to all of the automobile club’s services in one easy-to-use interface. It points out nearby gas stations with up-to-date fuel prices and public charging stations for electric car owners.

This app also makes it easier to call for roadside assistance by using your phones GPS coordinates. You can even specify if you need a tow, or just a battery replacement.

The AAA Mobile App is available for iOS and Android.

Commuting to work can feel like a battle against other drivers, but “Beat the Traffic” offers alternate routes in order to keep you moving.

The app also allows you to enter your regular commute, so you can be notified of any issues on the road before you head out. Motorists can contribute to provide updated information, thanks to an easy “shake-to-report” function. With clean graphics and an easy to use interface, it’s a great way to beat the blues of a busy morning commute.

Beat The Traffic is available for iOS and Android.

Suffice to say we hope you never have to use this one, but just like a first-aid kit in your trunk, it’s a good idea to have it already installed in case you ever do. iWrecked helps take some of the stress out of dealing with an accident. The app allows uers assemble an organized accident report that includes photos of the crash scene and vehicle damage.

The app also shows contact information and the location of nearby police stations if you need to report the damage to the authorities and don’t need emergency service. Additionally, it offers contact information for taxis and tow truck companies.

iWrecked is available for iOS and Android.

Potholes, damaged or vandalized street-signs and malfunctioning traffic-lights can make driving in the city a bit of a headache. With SeeClickFix, users can report these issues to their local government in the hopes that it brings these problems to their attention. Of course, the app can be used for many reasons but ensuring the streets are clear and moving correctly is one way users can feel like they’re contributing to the community.

SeeClickFix is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry devices.

Warning other drivers of nearby speed traps is sometimes a controversial topic but it’s hard to imagine anyone complaining about being tipped off about a red light camera, common speed trap location or sudden speed limit change.

SEE ALSO: Flashing Headlights to Tip Speed Traps is Free Speech: Federal Judge

Information is provided by other users about where police officers are spotted with speed-traps, but it does give a good idea of when and where to drive especially cautiously. People who report traps gain credibility over time as other people with the app vote on whether or not the report is legitimate.

Trapster is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices.

Research project Infotainment Assistant (10/2011)

With these companion apps, you can see real-time information of your cars status and location on your phone and in some cars, even get up to date information on the vehicles infotainment system.

Many of these apps are free and don’t require a subscription. However, they usually need a validated registration including the VIN number so they can connect your smart-phone to your car. Once set up, get ready to experience the next generation of in-car infotainment.

These apps can give you access to your emails and social media updates on your car’s main display. They can even show you new and interesting locations nearby by using your phones Internet connection to send new data to the car. When you park your car, you can use your mobile app to see where you parked and how much fuel or range you have left. Some versions of these apps even allow you to schedule maintenance and service right from the car – quickly and easily. If your vehicle supports one of these systems, you may be missing out on some next-level stuff.

Check with your dealership, or search your app store to see if your car features connectivity with a companion app.

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

More by Sami Haj-Assaad

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  • Ding Hua Ding Hua on Dec 30, 2015

    And if you feel the mobile phone monitor is not big enough to make full use of the Apps, you need a Mirror Link Box to connect your phone and car monitor to get bigger display.

  • CruiseEire CruiseEire on May 05, 2016

    Try CruiseEire available on Android and iOS

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