RAC Cars News


How Apps Can Work For You

By raccars Published

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The usual advice tends to be not to use a mobile phone while you are driving; however, put to the appropriate use, smartphone apps can make driving much easier.

Google it

Android and iOS users may already be familiar with the Google Now app, which you can link to Google Calendar to input the addresses of your daily appointments. Google will then alert you via a digital assistant when you need to leave for a journey, taking into account traffic conditions on your route. The app will also act as a satnav, telling you how to get there.

Crowd sourcing

Android and iOS users can also download Waze, which uses real-time traffic data provided by the Waze community. App users report traffic data such as congestion, accidents, roadworks, speed cameras, floods and police cars, and anything else that could affect your journey. If you are using Waze you should also contribute your own information. This app also works as a satnav.

Live Traffic Info

There are a number of traffic apps that advise you of delays on your route, but Android and iOS users should find Live Traffic Info particularly clear and easy to use. The app covers accidents and roadworks on major A-roads and motorways only, but this is where the worst delays happen anyway. The app also allows you to link directly to some of the Highways Agency's live traffic cameras to give you an immediate view of your route ahead.

Mobile dashcam

You can turn your mobile into a dashcam with an app such as CamOnRoad, which is available to Android and iOS users. The app uses your mobile to record your journey from the windscreen and can be used to supply footage of any incidents to your insurance company as evidence in the event of a claim. This app allows you to navigate through your videos and will alert you to problems encountered on the road.

Mobile diagnostics

You can even use your mobile as a diagnostics tool for your car with Dash, which connects to the diagnostic port on your car via a Bluetooth device. It will furnish you with all sorts of information about your car's health, including engine temperature and real-life miles per gallon.

Connect offline

TomTom offers some useful but expensive apps for Android and iOS users, one of the most interesting of which is an offline tool. This allows you to download the map data for your journey ahead of time and use it even if you are offline, which is handy if you lose your satellite signal in the middle of nowhere.

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