There really is an app for everything. Statista recently estimated that 197 billion mobile app downloads were made in 2017 alone, and with our current world population standing at just under 7.7 billion, in theory this means that around 25 apps exist for every single person on the planet. So whether you want to fake a cracked screen (yours for $0.99), identify the best time to take a loo break during a film, or the ‘nothing’ app which does, well, absolutely nothing, the world wide web has got you covered. Then there’s the far less esoteric and entirely more useful apps for those everyday tasks and undertakings which could do with a little streamlining. And never has this been truer than on the road. So, we’ve teamed up with by specialist VW service provider, Vindis, to bring you these; our 4 IDEAL driving apps for cars.
ANDROID AUTO & APPLE CARPLAY
Firstly, a pair of smart driving companions which both carry out similar functions. Of course, the choice of which one you download will depend on the type of smartphone you have, so we’ve included both. If you have a device with an Android operating system, then Android Auto helps improve several areas of the on the road experience. This smart driving companion essentially means that while you’re at the wheel, you only need to mutter ‘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.
- Get up-to-date news.
- Setting up a do not disturb message on your phone.
- Make or answer phone calls handsfree.
- Access so many of your media apps, such as those containing your favourite music playlists, audiobooks and podcasts.
Apple CarPlay functions in a similar manner to Android Auto and is made for iOS smartphones. Featuring Siri voice control, here’s 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?”.
- Have the app 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.
- Gain access to content via your iTunes, Apple Music or other audio apps accounts, as well as even request for Siri to become your personal DJ for the duration of a road trip.
Sick and tired of your mobile phone losing internet connection just as you’re hitting a busy city centre that you’re unfamiliar with? Yep, we’ve all been there, lost, going in circles and unsure of how to reach B. The HERE WeGo app should mean that you never need go through this again. This is because the app allows you to download offline maps of the UK and other countries — including France, Spain, Italy, the US. This means that you don’t need an internet connection to be guided accurately to wherever you want to go. The app even comes in handy when you’ve left your car at home, as it’ll inform you of carsharing opportunities nearby whenever you need it and can also call a local taxi too. Being stranded in an unfamiliar city never felt so secure. Download the app here: Android Auto: https://play.google.com Apple CarPlay: https://itunes.apple.com
If it isn’t your sat-nav losing internet connection at a vital moment getting you all hot and bothered while at the wheel, then not being able to find a parking space once you’ve arrived at your destination surely will. Again though, help is at hand – well, at a finger tip, really — this time in the form of the JustPark app. This award-winning service has been praised at the 2017 British Parking Awards (sounds like a riot; can we get an invite, please?) and Richard Branson’s 2015 VOOM event for its innovation and accessibility. The app itself is 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) and helps you find somewhere to leave your car safely and securely. JustPark doesn’t just come in handy when trying to find a space, however. 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.