The Best Apps for Road Warriors From reporting an accident to finding the nearest mechanic, a host of new iPhone and Android apps help make driving easier.
You live the intrepid life of a road warrior. Your car is your office. Your hands-free headset is your best friend. Your smartphone is your administrative assistant. You know the Starbucks drive-though window intimately. You even check your e-mail on Wi-Fi while you wait for your latte. Drive on, brave mobile warrior. These iPhone and Android apps are for you.
This new iPhone app is making some waves by touching on the issue of bad driving. It lets you log the license plates of careless drivers, make note of their offending road behavior and share it with the world. Check to see if you have been flagged or run the plates of your company cars to see who's been seen speeding, tailgating or making rude gestures in traffic. The idea is to use peer pressure to encourage better driving. Better driving is good for businesses, but try not to get distracted by the part of the app that lets users flag attractive drivers and try to send them flirty messages.
As it turns out, there really is an app for just about anything. iWrecked, available for iPhone and Android, is here to help you get organized in the event of a automobile accident. Start off by logging all your important details ahead of time, such as your insurance company phone number and emergency contacts. After your fender bender, you can capture the location, time, photos and contact information for the other driver, police and witnesses. You can then send a comprehensive accident report as a PDF. The emergency options menu puts you in touch with a nearby tow truck, taxi or police station. A pro version with more features is on the way.
Gas Cubby ($4.99)
Road warriors know that their cars are important tools. Keep an eye on your mileage and maintenance with this iPhone app. Track multiple vehicles, log your mileage and gas costs and set up custom alerts for services like oil changes and tire rotations. Charts make it easy to see what's going on with your miles per gallon and fluctuations in the price of gas. The sync feature accounts for more than one driver. That's handy if you have a company car with multiple users.
You can't afford for your car to be out of commission. You may have a favorite mechanic near your home or office, but what do you do when your engine starts to cough and you are 300 miles away on a sales call? With this iPhone and Android app, you can get estimates for services ranging from regular maintenance to coolant leaks. The estimates give you an idea of what you will be charged for the work so you can budget accordingly. Find a nearby mechanic and read up on what other people are saying about the shop. A roadside assistance tab can help you find a tow for those times when you're stranded at the side of the highway.
Car Finder ($0.99)
There are a handful of apps vying for the job of helping you figure out where in the world you parked your car. Car Finder by Intridea lets you take a picture of your parking spot and marks it on a map with your iPhone, so you can find your way back without resorting to leaving a trail of bread crumbs. This is helpful for those times when you drive to a trade show, snag a rare parking spot in New York or just simply have a really big parking lot to contend with. A built-in parking meter alert lets you know when time is about to expire so you can hurry back and avoid a ticket.