Many cars today come with infotainment systems that can hook up to smartphones and tablets either with a USB connection or wirelessly with a Bluetooth connection. These systems often come with their own apps, and you can use these systems to interact with your phone apps, too. Even if it’s just you and your phone, however, there are a few essential apps that can make any driving experience more enjoyable.
Many new cars come with navigation on the highest trim level, but every smartphone comes with plenty of options for GPS navigation, too. Some apps and subscription services also offer extra benefits like real-time traffic warnings, construction warnings, and scenic route options.
Sygic comes with all this and more, including local gas prices, voice commands, speed limits, and speed camera locations. It also works even when you don’t have an internet connection. This is a plus, since GPS navigation works by triangulating your position with a satellite network. The cost for Sygic after the short trial period ends is considerably less than what you’d pay to get a navigation system with fewer features. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives out there, but if you want one with everything, Sygic is a good choice.
This free app for the iPhone keeps track of the price of gasoline at all the stations in your area. Gas prices may be high or low, but it’s always good to save a few extra dollars, especially if your vehicle has a large tank. The app sorts prices based on fuel quality and type, so it’s useful no matter what you drive. However, the numbers are user updated, so be sure to do your part if you notice that prices no longer match.
Sites that have recognized this free app include Edmunds, the New York Times, and the Huffington Post. RepairPal lets you select what kind of repair or servicing job your vehicle needs, and it will then break down who in the area can help and how much they charge. You can also read and write reviews since price isn’t the only factor when it comes to a good car mechanic. RepairPal also offers a roadside assistance feature.
Some modern vehicles will show you how your miles per gallon are doing, but for everyone else there’s FuelLog. FuelLog tracks your fuel consumption based on the miles you travel and the gas you add, and it can also track your fuel budget by week, month, and year based on how much you’re paying. The app also includes spaces to track how much you’re paying in maintenance and repair costs, making it great as a general car budget manager.
Smartphones are changing the way the world works, and apps are popping up to help people with every kind of task. Just be sure to use these apps either before you start driving or after you’re done. Tthe only kind of app you should use while you’re in control of a car is the kind that shuts your phone off.
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