8 Smartphone Apps for Drivers

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Consumer Reports picked useful apps for motorists in its August issue including 8 apps listed below:

Car Finder. Price: 99 Cents. Phone: iPhone. Car Finder uses your phone’s compass and GPS to mark your car’s position when your park and then guide you back to it later. It works in parking lots or city streets, but because it relies on the phone’s GPS signal, it won’t work in an indoor garage.

aCar. Price: Free. Phone: Android. Once you set it up by entering maintenance-schedule information from the car owner’s manual, aCar reminds you when your car is due in the shop. It also reminds you when it’s time for your car’s annual inspection, and tracks fuel mileage and costs.

DriveSafe.ly. Price Free or $13.95 Phones: BlackBerry and Android; coming for iPhone, Palm webOS. With the premium version DriveSafe.ly reads e-mail and text messages aloud while you drive and can send a response message saying you’re unavailable. The free version has a limit of 25 words per message. The premium version can handle messages of 500 words.

iWrecked. Price: Free Phone: iPhone. The simple program takes you through a list of what to do after a car crash, including taking photos of the scene and getting contact and insurance information from other drivers. It will also dial 911 and locate the nearest police station, taxi, or tow-truck service to assist you.

RepairPal. Price: Free Phones: iPhone, coming soon for Android. RepairPal helps you find a repair shop and get estimates. If you break down, it will locate a tow truck. After you enter your car’s make, model, and other details, it will give a range of estimates in seconds. It also helps keep records and gives service reminders.

Magellan RoadMate, Navigon Mobile Navigator, TomTom Price: $70-$80 Phones: Magellan and TomTom: iPhone; Navigon: iPhone and Windows Mobile. Consumer Reports said these navigation apps stand out compared to the others. All are easy to use and have features found on better portable GPS navigators. And all let you route to an address from your phone’s contact list. But they’re relatively expensive and require a separate mount, and most new smart phones already come with free navigation capability.

Source: Consumer Reports

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