The 10 best Android apps for commuters
Commuting to work and back can be boring, hectic, confusing and aggravating. But these apps can help ease that daily commuting pain.
The image of cars on a parking
While it?s pretty hard to make commuting to work and back fun, at least it doesn?t have be boring or hectic, confusing or aggravating. Not if you have an Android smartphone, anyway ? one loaded with these commuter-centric cheapies and freebies.
iCommuteLess: Many commuters will take the most direct or most obvious route to work, but it?s not necessarily the most efficient way to go. With the iCommuteLess, drivers can track their routes and distance travelled on each trip and have the journey analyzed and compared to others. Eventually, slow, snarled sections and better alternate routes are revealed ? which might even include transit as the better option.
Gas Buddy: A ?crowd sourced? app, Gas Buddy delivers a real-time database of gas prices within the vicinity of any given user. In the spirit of community, prices are kept up-to-the-minute by input from those same users. As an incentive to take the four seconds out of your busy day and report a gas price, users earn points toward prize giveaways for their inputting efforts. Save money on gas, win prizes. It?s a no-brainer.
Google Maps Navigation: Google Maps Navigation is the GPS of choice for those who don?t have GPS built into their vehicle (which isn?t necessarily better, though it?s surely more convenient). One of its most understated (and impressive) features is the ?automatic re-route? function. The system provides alternative routes on-the-fly based on any sudden, arbitrary jam up ahead due from heavy traffic, crashes or roadwork.
Fake an Excuse: Face it, sometimes you?re going to be late, sometimes you just don?t want to talk to somebody, and sometimes you just want to ditch. And sometimes it?s hard to come up with an excuse on the spot. Fake an Excuse offers up a handful of good excuses for a variety of situations (and quite a few lame ones). Better still, it also provides the background theatrics to back it up ? wailing police siren, another phone ringing, etc. ? blasted out on speakerphone.
Crash Wiz: Fender benders are not only a hassle for the driver(s) involved, but also everyone else in traffic slowed up by the exchange of names, numbers and insurance details. Crash Wiz does its part to speed up the process with a template for gathering those essential particulars as well as GPS coordinates and pictures at the scene. It then emails the whole shebang off to your insurance company. Handy. Mind you, having the Crash Wiz app installed somewhat implies that you?re old-hat at this fender-bending thing, doesn?t it?
S.O.S. by the American Red Cross: This public service freebie by the American Red Cross helps you to be prepared for almost any emergency. It features Dr. Oz providing protocols for over 30 emergency care situations. Each protocol comes with a clear, step-by-step video to walk you through both basic and more advanced emergency procedures, from effective CPR technique to treating a broken bone. The app also stores your own emergency information and includes a big, red 911 button to summon EMS while bringing up your location on a GPS map.
Audible: Audio books ? i.e. recordings of books read aloud ? have taken off in a big way. After all, there?s only so much news talk and top 40 radio one can take. The Audible app lets you download audiobooks directly to your Android device. On top of reading books to you, the app provides detailed listener stats, news about authors and their upcoming ?chats,? access to the Audible store, and more. Think your commute is long? Put it in perspective with a reading of War and Peace.
Tune In: Tune In gives you access to over 50,000 radio stations from around the world (their online versions, anyway) and 1.2 million on-demand streams from seven continents. Seeing as that?s an impossible number of stations to surf while you trying to drive to work, Tune In?s car mode allows you to use your voice to summon your favourite music or sports show, which is just perfect for those looking to avoid using the Crash Wiz app.
Where: Work?s got to end at some point, and when it does, you?ll be ready for happy hour with this convenient app. Find local spots to grab a drink and some food quickly, then easily share your findings with friends and family. The app also provides recommendations based on your previous selections, and alerts you to nearby deals and offers.
Out of Milk Shopping List: If happy hours are a thing of the past, you may benefit from the Out of Milk Android app. Store your grocery shopping list, pantry inventory and to-do list while tracking prices and quantities with this little tool. That?s right, milk run made easier. Thanks, technology.