Unless you are fortunate enough to work from home, the sad fact is that you will be spending a large portion amount of time commuting to and from your job. Thanks to the help of your smartphone and some fantastic new apps, wasted time on the drive can be kept to a bare minimum.
Here’s a list of our favorite apps for commuters:
Automatic: Now You Can Carry Your Mechanic with You
Automatic’s matchbook sized device ($100) plugs into your car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) port. It stays neatly out of sight, using Bluetooth to send information to your iOS or Android cell phone.
Here is a sample of the wide variety of apps for commuters that work with Automatic:
- License+ keeps track of inexperienced drivers when you’re not around, logging sharp turns, rapid acceleration or deceleration and other risky behavior. This information is available on their web-based dashboard.
- Are you tired of schlepping your friends around without compensation? When you are done driving around, UnMooch fairly calculates how much money they should reimburse you.
- YourMechanic runs diagnostic checks on your car, letting you know what your vehicle needs before it is serious enough to cause an expensive, inconvenient breakdown.
Waze: Connecting Drivers around The World For Common Good
Waze teams up with Google and members around the world to provide real time updates about road conditions. Millions of users send reports in exchange for points that can be redeemed for adorable avatars to represent achievements. They even send information about fuel prices, so you can save on gas!
Moovit: Community Powered Mass Transit Updates
Moovit is similar to Waze, using crowdsourced information to keep track of delays and other problems on public transportation. This iOS and Android app offers users public transportation schedules and maps with live reported delays and service alerts. If you use Android Wear, you can even have the information sent directly to your watch!
Bike Maps: Simplify Your Bicycle Commutes
Riding your bike to work saves money and is great for your health, but the logistics can make it impractical. Bike Maps for iOS gives high resolution maps of major metro areas and rural bike paths and will even provide additional maps upon request. Not only are there pictures of the terrain, but you are able to use this app to find rest stops and other services. Bike Maps does not require the Internet to work, making it a practical choice for areas with poor cellphone reception.
ParkWhiz: Making Parking in the City as Simple as Your Driveway
We would be remiss discussing our favorite commuter apps and not mentioning ParkWhiz! Driving in major cities can be stressful and trying to find a spot to park that is safe, legal and available can seem like an exercise in futility.
ParkWhiz eliminates the uncertainty of trying to find a place to leave your car. Reserve your parking place with your smartphone, then show the parking lot attendant the ParkWhiz pass, and you’re good to go. Parking should always be this simple!
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that today’s smartphones aren’t just a camera with social apps and games piggybacking on top of a telephone. Modern phones have serious computing power. You can avoid a lot of the stress and wasted time if you take advantage of these apps for commuters, giving you more time for the things that are important to you!