Take a look around your smartphone’s marketplace and you’ll quickly discover that your gadget can play host to a huge number of handy and useful apps. In fact, statistics and data portal Statista has estimated that there were 197 billion mobile app downloads carried out in just 2017. As the world’s current population stands at around 7.7 billion people, this works out, on average, at each person on Earth downloading close to 25 apps on an annual basis.
Of course, you’ll only be hoping to store the most useful and potentially life-changing apps on your smartphones. With the help of Audi dealership Vindis, we take a look at five must-have driving apps you won’t regret downloading.
Don’t forget that it isn’t safe to have your phone in your hands whilst driving – and it can attract a hefty fine too. These apps have all been chosen because they don’t need you to remove your hands from the wheel when on the road – you either set them running before you set off, voice activate them, or use them once you’re parked up.
Smart Dash Cam
Dash cams have become increasingly popular in the motoring sector, but you don’t necessarily need to fork out for a state-of-the-art piece of technology in order to bring in-car video cameras into your car. This is because the Smart Dash Cam app transforms your smartphone into even more of an incredibly valuable gadget.
Once downloaded and activated, you’ll be able to use the app to ensure every driving moment you experience is automatically captured on film, giving you peace of mind that your smartphone is always on hand to safely record any unbelievable moments you witness as you’re driving – something that will prove invaluable if you either experience or are involved in a traffic accident and need to prove who was at fault.
You can download the Smart Dash Cam app via:
Should you install a dash cam?
Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
These two smart driving companions feature similar functions. However, the choice of which one you download will depend on the type of smartphone you have.
Do you use a smartphone with the Android operating system? Then you’ll be wise to enhance your gadget with Android Auto. This smart driving companion essentially means that while you’re behind the wheel, you only need to call out ‘OK Google’ in order to set up real-time GPS navigation and be informed about traffic alerts; check your calendar for any occasions that you have scheduled; set reminders; set up a do not disturb message on your phone; make or answer phone calls handsfree and much more.
Is it the iOS operating system which powers your smartphone? Then you’ll want to check out Apple CarPlay instead. Featuring Siri voice control, here are just a few things you can do once you open the app: search for attractions while driving by simply asking for directions by the following means: “Siri, where’s the closest petrol station?”; ask the app to predict where you need to be by analysing addresses on your recent emails, text messages, contacts and calendars, make calls and listen to voicemail handsfree; have Siri read and reply to text messages, as well as send messages in new conversations too, and much more besides.
You can download the Android Auto app via:
You can download the Apple CarPlay app via:
It’s a nightmare scenario which so many motorists have witnessed — driving into a city centre that you’re not familiar with and then realising that your mobile phone has lost its internet connection, making its sat-nav system fairly pointless. With the HERE WeGo app though, you never need to go through this situation again.
Open the app before you leave for your destination and you’ll be able to download offline maps of the UK and those from countries across the globe, including Spain, France, Italy and the US. This means that you can be navigated to your journey's end even when you haven’t got an internet connection.
Even when you haven’t taken the car, the app is still very useful. It’ll inform you of carsharing opportunities nearby whenever you need it and can call a local taxi too so that you never need to worry about being stranded in an unfamiliar city.
You can download the HERE WeGo app via:
How do sat navs work?
The price of fuel is one thing that British motorists can quickly get riled up about. What’s arguably more annoying is to fill up your tank and then pass a nearby fuel forecourt and realise that you could have topped up for a much cheaper rate.
Avoid falling into this trap by downloading the PetrolPrices.com app. Providing you with fast access to the prices of 98% of the UK’s fuel forecourts, the service compares petrol, diesel and premium fuel prices and then lists them onto a map so that you can quickly find your way to the best deals.
According to PetrolPrices.com when showcasing its website, more than 1.8 million drivers have saved in excess of £4.3 billion collectively in the past decade. As the same service is now available via an app, you can save on the go too!
You can download the PetrolPrices.com app via:
Another stressful time when driving is to reach your destination and then finding it impossible to pinpoint a free parking spot. Again though, help is at hand — this time in the form of the JustPark app.
Both the 2017 British Parking Awards and Richard Branson’s 2015 VOOM event has seen this app showered with high praise. The app itself has made up a database of 1.4 million parking spaces, off-street parking options (think car parks, private spaces and even driveways) and on-street parking possibilities (that’s stretches with parking meters and free parking zones).
Don’t just access JustPark when you need to locate a parking space mind. You can also reserve a guaranteed space and pay for the spot via the app using either a card, PayPal or either Apple or Android Pay services. You’ll even be provided with easy-to-follow instructions and directions to the space once it’s reserved.
You can download the JustPark app via: