If you have a smartphone, then there are practically limitless opportunities for combining technology with driving. Maybe you want to get the newest music to test out the speakers on your new car as you drive off of the car dealership, or maybe you just want to make sure the affordably priced used car you’ve had your eye on isn’t going to single-handedly destroy the ozone layer. Whatever your goal, there is probably an app that can help. While there are countless apps to choose from, here are a few of the most useful:
Spotify – (iPhone/Android, free) The perfect app for any music fan, Spotify on mobile lets you stream music directly from your phone. If your car has an auxiliary input, you can connect the phone to your car’s stereo to use your phone as a music source. While access to the full streaming library requires an existing Spotify premium account, you can use the Spotify radio function completely free of charge.
Google Maps – (iPhone, Android, free) While many phones come with Google Maps already installed, if you don’t have the app yet you are missing out on one of the best services a smartphone can offer. As perhaps the definitive maps application, Google Maps offers overhead and street views of just about any location you could ever hope to find. You can also enable the GPS on your phone along with Google Maps to get real-time driving directions.
Waze – (iPhone, Android, free) Waze is a community based app that utilizes user submitted data to organize traffic, gas, and road information. Not only can it help you find the cheapest gas, it can also tell you if there are any traffic problems on your usual route or even suggest automatic alternative routes.
GasBuddy – (iPhone/Android , Free)For anybody that has ever driven more than 5 miles to get gas or has filled up only to pass a gas station later with lower prices. GasBuddy has a database of well over 100,000 fuel stations and can display at any given moment the 10 nearest stations to you, as well as who has the lowest prices. The pricing system is derived from AAA and satellite companies, so you can feel confident that the prices that are reflected are accurate.
GreenMeter – (iPhone, $5.99) greenMeter uses a unique algorithm that uses power and fuel economy information of your car to calculate your fuel and consumption and cost, as well as your environmental impact, based on your driving style. Using the app can not only help reduce your car’s negative impacts on the environment, it can also help cater your driving style to be more cost effective. greenMeter can be especially useful in lots of stop and go traffic, such as Uptown New Orleans or in 5 o’clock traffic to Metairie or Kenner.by