Smartphones have become essential parts of our lives – we use them from the moment we get up in the morning until the moment we go to bed at night. Sure, there are things that we do that are smartphone-free, but most of our daily tasks include our smartphones one way or another, mostly through the use of apps that make the task easier, more convenient, or simply more enjoyable. Today, we’ll focus on awesome apps to make your drive in a more empowered way. Let’s see what your best options are.
If you use to drive a lot, the name Tom Tom might ring a few bells for you – it’s the brand that makes some of the most reliable GPS units out there. However, you don’t necessarily need to own an actual Tom Tom GPS to enjoy its benefits. Thanks to the smartphone app, you can now have the feature-rich and intuitive GPS interface of a Tom Tom unit right on your smartphone. With a smart offline mode, real-time traffic conditions, speed camera warnings and numerous other features, the Tom Tom app is definitely a must-have.
A direct competitor (and very good alternative) for the Tom Tom app is Waze. While the app does not come from a world-renowned GPS maker, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have great features to consider, its main selling point being the fact that it’s a social-based app. Instead of relying solely on a database containing all relevant elements, Waze allows its users to add entries such as signaling an accident, speed camera, police presence, or any other relevant factor, and then the app shares the entries with other drivers in the area, thus providing an accurate real-time updated map of events and factors to keep an eye for.
iOnRoad is a very interesting app, bringing augmented reality into play, and offering some advanced feature you typically find in expensive luxury cars. Once installed, you need to place your smartphone on a windshield support, and the app will access the phone’s camera to scan the road ahead, and using complex algorithms, it will determine the distance between you and the car in front, informing you when you should break in order to avoid a collision. However, the app will also mark the path you need to follow based on your GPS route, offer a find-my-car feature when parked, keep trip logs and much more.
New cars usually come with Android Auto-ready headunits, allowing you to integrated your smartphone seamlessly into your driving experience, but what do you do if you don’t drive a new car, or your unit simply lacks this feature, but you still want to enjoy the benefits? You use AutoMate, of course! AutoMate is basically a launcher that optimizes the interface of your phone so you can use it for certain tasks such as navigation or media player during your drives in a way that’s as distraction-free as possible.
ReadItToMe is an app that goes great hand in hand with AutoMate, as it is also focused at providing you with a distraction-free driving environment, yet still keep you in the loop with what’s happening in your digital world. ReadItToMe can read all notifications out loud to you, so you will always know what that new Tweet or Facebook status update is about without taking your eyes off your road.
Dash is a smartphone app that can save you a lot of money and time by providing you with extended information on your car’s status. The app works by being paired with an OBD-II device that plugs into your car’s diagnostic port, and can access detailed data that only auto services used to have access to. With Dash, you’ll know exactly why your Check Engine has come on, what does it mean, and get a rough idea of how much it’ll cost you to fix the issue – all this without a trip to a service center.
While a sports car owner that wants a power upgrade will usually look for some technical upgrade (Porsche performance parts, for example, provide some serious power upgrades without costing a fortune), a regular car owner won’t necessarily go that route, as the investment usually doesn’t justify the advantages. Unless we’re talking about the Superchips VIVID, that is. Superchips VIVID is a combination of hardware (an OBD-II special adapter) and software (a smartphone app) that can provide a performance boost to your car as easily as plugging in the device and going through a few taps on your screen.