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BlackBerry Apps for your Ride

By Ryan Blundell on 2 Apr 2010 06:27 pm EDT
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Admit it, there’s something you love as much as (or more than) your BlackBerry, isn’t there? Can you guess what I’m talking about? I’ll give you some hints- just like your BlackBerry: You’re overprotective of it and rarely let anyone use it.

You adorn it with the latest accessories.

You cry if it gets scratched or dinged.

It helps you find what you are searching for.

Any ideas come to mind? Know what it is? Have you neglected to read the title of this article that practically points out to what the heck I’m talking about? It’s your car. Be it the SSC Ultimate Aero or a jalopy you inherited from your dad, you treasure your car. These days, it’s difficult to enjoy both at the same time, though rightfully so. As much as you may think it is a pain, wireless bans are in place for a reason. Now that doesn’t mean that you can’t use your BlackBerry to help out your car. As long as you use it responsibly (or are very sneaky), you can take advantage of some great applications. Let’s check out a selection of these applications that will get you into gear.

Before we go any further I wanted to bring out my dad voice and let you know that you should keep two hands on the wheel and steer clear of distractions. If you get caught, or get into an accident, while using your BlackBerry, I can’t be held responsible. I will tell you this -you’ll be grounded and lose your car privileges young man/lady!

Crunch!

Oh, that didn’t take long now did it? Great, now the car only drives in reverse! Obviously, the first thing you want to do is make sure you’re BlackBerry is ok…kidding! When involved in an accident last year, I used vPost to send off the multiple images I captured in an email, along with links to my BlackBerry Map/Google Map location. It was as easy as snap, snap, send. This info was then used when speaking with my insurance company. You can pick up vPost for $9.99.

Learning beforehand what to do is definitely a smart choice. The Automobile Accidents application will provide you with knowledge on a variety of topics; sharing information, placement of warning devices, basic injury assessment and more. Information is presented in video format. Automobile Accidents will take $2.99 from your pocket.

The aptly named Help I Crashed My Car app incorporates some of the features mentioned in the previous applications into its own feature set. It too can capture and send images, in this case it can accompany an Accident Report you take. You can also search for repair shops, towing companies and emergency services. The application also serves as a distress beacon; alerting friends and family members of the accident while sending along a map location. Help I crashed my car is available for the low price of…..FREE.

Car Payments

This car could be yours with a low monthly payment of…

…an arm and a leg. Before you break out the hacksaw, you should really know what you are getting yourself into. How much of a loan do you need to get? Can you afford the monthly payments? The last thing you want to do is default on your payments. Trust me, I’ve seen Operation Repo. Car Loan Calculator will help stop the guessing game when it comes to your finances. This application will aid you in comparing interest rates, fuel costs, loans and determine monthly payments. Who knows, you may even have enough money left over to buy an air freshener. Car Loan Calculator costs $3.99.

Care and Cost

To make sure you and your car have a long and loving relationship, you have to show it some TLC. It’s also good to know how much this care is going to cost you. One of my favourites is trackIT: Vehicle Edition. From its large feature list, you can manage repair schedules, shop details and insurance information for multiple vehicles. You can also keep track of mileage, fuel and expenses. trackIT also provides graphs and summary reports to view your data. trackIT: Vehicle Edition costs $14.99, but is currently on sale for $4.99.

There have been times when I’ve ran in to get something for my car, but forgot what I needed exactly. Parts Keeper can be used to store this important information, so you won’t have to remember tire and wiper blade info. Parts Keeper is $2.99.

VQ Mileage Tracker is a great way to capture your mileage with little effort. If you have in-car Bluetooth or a VQ bluetooth car charger, you can automatically track dates and times of trips, distance and destination. This information is emailed to you in a report. VQ Mileage Tracker is available for $7.99.

In case you didn’t know, gas pumps actually have two nozzles; one to pump gas, the other is used to suck the money out of your wallet. If you’re looking to save, Gas Mileage Tips offers some tips and tricks that will help you save money and the environment. Gas Mileage Tips is $2.99.

Parking and Travel

Parking applications are always a great idea, especially when you’re dealing with large crowds and strange cities. There are quite a few parking aid applications out there; one of them being got’cha PARKED. GPS enabled BlackBerrys can use this application to obtain and map your cars location. Everytime I think of these apps, I think of the Seinfeld episode where they were all searching for their car. got’cha PARKED costs $2.99.

The Traffic application offers real-time traffic updates. You can calculate traffic delays, view colour coded traffic flow, view weather and congestion. You can even save your frequently travelled road for easy access. The Traffic application is free.

Communication

Like I said before, keep your eyes on the road (at least try your best). Unless you start bringing along a ‘co-pilot’ to operate your BlackBerry for you, you’re going to have to learn how to minimize your usage while driving.

Storm users can take advantage of SmartBCarMode to make things easier. The application offers a simple big button interface which grant access to voicedial, voicenotes, maps, contacts and more. With this, your chances of getting caught looking at your BlackBerry are reduced. SmartBCarMode costs $0.99.

If you absolutely cannot go without email and SMS, you may want to download Vlingo. This application allows you to compose SMS or email, search the internet, call, update Twitter and Facebook and more, all by using your voice! How is that for handsfree?! Vlingo is free. There is also a Vlingo Plus version for $19.99, which will read aloud your incoming email and text to you.

Hopefully these applications may be of some use to you. If you are using any apps, not on this list, that you have found helpful, let us know!

Reader comments

BlackBerry Apps for your Ride

11 Comments

My car's a piece of crap so I'm really not protective of it. Touch my laptops though and I'll break your face. :-D

The new feature of Vlingo which reads incoming messages out loud is really pathetic. You get an electronic piece of crap voice that's hard to understand. DriveSafe.ly has a free version and is much better in this field. I have the premium version and swear by it but am surprised that this software would have been omitted from this piece.

The female voice is difficult to understand w/ Vlingo, but the male voice is better. I agree the Drivesafe has better audio, but I disagree that overall it's a better app.

No doubt! I was thinking the same thing when I was reading this post. I discovered this app a little while ago and it's saved me more than once.

I use the app Drivesafe.ly to read me my incoming mail and text messages. It's great, and it's free with 1 voice.