Mobile phones have become so indispensable nowadays that we use them everywhere, in any activity, and we have dedicated apps for pretty much everything we do. Although some people are not very fond of the idea of using a phone while driving, doing so doesn’t always mean being distracted by it. Here are 10 of the best Android car-related apps that will not only not distract you from your driving, but actually help you improve it.
1. Android Auto
As its name suggest, Android Auto is an app that will optimize your Android phone for usage inside the car. The app is focused on providing an easy-to-use interface that’s more driving-friendly than the standard Android interface. Android Auto provides easier access to navigation or music players by using large icons that are easier to spot and use while driving, thus allowing you to focus on the road, yet still access the features you need.
TomTom is one of the biggest names in the world of car navigators, but if you’re not fond of having a dedicated device for navigation, and would rather use your smartphone instead, TomTom is the app to go with for this purpose. The app provides an intuitive and uncluttered navigation interface, while also preserving all the important elements you might be interested in such as points of interests. The app is not free (there is a free version with limited functionality), but it is well worth its money.
While not as accurate and professional as TomTom, Waze is still a worthy contender when looking for a good navigator app. The main advantage of Waze is that it uses its fairly large user base to contribute to it in real-time, so any driver using Waze can mark a road jam, accident, speed camera or anything that might be of interest to other drivers, and all Waze users nearby will be informed.
A dedicated navigator is not the only in-car gadget that can be replaced by a smartphone app – thanks to AutoGuard, you can forget about your dashcam, as the app will transform your smartphone into one. Simply place your smartphone in a holder that offers its camera a good view of the road, fire up AutoGuard and you have yourself a fully-featured dashcam.
GasBuddy is an app that aims to help you find the cheapest gas and, just like Waze, it relies on its community to do so. With the help of its community GasBuddy centralizes information on gas prices in your area and lets you know where the best place to fill up your tank at is. At this time the app only works for USA and Canada, but it plans to expand to other regions in the future.
You most likely have an app to keep track of your finances and spendings, so it only makes sense that you do the same with your car-related expenditures. This is where Drivvocomes in – the app keeps track of your fueling, repairs and all car-related costs, and creates detailed reports that you can use to keep track of the amounts you invest in your car. With Drivvo, you will easily determine when it’s not worth pumping money in your current car, and it’s time to upgrade to a new one.
RepairPal is somewhat similar to Drivvo, as it too helps you keep track of the costs associated with using your car. However, RepairPal is focused more on repairs and parts replacements, and aside from keeping track of the costs, it also provides suggestions for part shops and garages that offer the best prices for the services you need.
Automatic is a software-hardware combination, consisting of a smartphone app and a hardware device that plugs into the OBD-II port of your car – the same port used by services to diagnose your car and identify any problems. With the help of Automatic, you get access to that information yourself, and know exactly what’s working right and what’s not. Aside from that info, the port also provides information on engine parameters, and with the help of the app, you can optimize your driving style.
DriveSafe.ly is an app aimed at helping you drive safer by keeping you distraction-free. We all know how it feels to get a text or a notification while driving, and being hardly able to resist checking what it’s about. DriveSafe.ly is a text-to speech app that can read you your notifications or texts, thus allowing you to stay updated with what’s happening in your social circles, while at the same time remaining focused on the road.
10. Find My Car
While it may sound silly, losing your car in a huge parking lot or on the streets of a city or neighbourhood you are not familiar with can be easier than you think. Instead of walking back and forth looking for your car, consider installing the Find My Car app. The app’s working principle is simple: you tap on it when you park your car and the app automatically registers your car’s position using GPS coordinates, and then uses those to guide you back to your car once you need to. No more pacing around the block or through the parking lot.
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