For the majority of us, we still rely on gas to make us go (and no I’m not talking about bodily functions). Regardless if you are a road warrior, or a weekend sports parent, you want to keep an eye on your gas tank, as well as your mileage. Now that I think of it, you probably want to add up all of your travelling expenses; you do have to figure in your morning coffee right? Every expense adds up, sometimes even faster than the pile of fast food garbage in your backseat. The next thing you know, your office car pool, or family trip will include a wagon tied to a bicycle. Whether you need to report your expenses to your boss, or to your other half, your BlackBerry has it covered.
Let’s take a look at an application that offers to keep its grip at 10 and 2 on your mileage and expenses; VQ Mileage Tracker. This application can automatically track the mileage you travel and maintain a record of your expenses for future reporting. Do me a favour and tell those kids to settle down back there. I’ll turn this BlackBerry around and they’ll be no review for anyone!
The application was developed by Xpressions Inc, also behind VQ Car Finder; which can remember where you parked – even if you can’t. In order to use VQ Mileage tracker, your BlackBerry needs to be running OS 4.5 or higher. The most current version of the application is 3.2.0 which requires 447.0 KB of space.
VQ Mileage Tracker works in both automatic and semi-automatic modes. Automatic Mode is available if you have in-car Bluetooth or the VQ Bluetooth Car Charger. The application will then automatically start tracking and record the distance you have gone. Users can choose between using miles and kilometres.
Semi-Automatic requires you to manually begin and stop tracking from the application menu. Many users don’t want to track their mileage all of the time (mixing business driving with personal), so semi-automatic mode may be the best option. The application is one of those “set it and forget it” types. There isn’t much you can do while tracking; just start and stop the recording process (this is probably because you should pay attention to the road silly). Each tracking session is recorded and able to be viewed in a list of routes; where you can see the date, the distance you have travelled, the start/end addresses (automatically or manually entered), as well as any expenses. Did I forget to mention expense tracking? Silly me.
With VQ Mileage Tracker, you can note expenses for each route taken. Expenses can include; gas, maintenance, food, tolls, lodging, odometer and “other”. Most of the expenses will only track their respective costs. The Gas option will allow you to record the cost and volume of gas. Reports can also be generated from your routes manually or automatically (every week, month or quarter). These reports contain the same information you find when review your routes, only in CSV format for easy reporting and also includes start and end time.
I found that VQ Mileage Tracker worked better with BlackBerry Maps than with Google Maps. BlackBerry Maps can be viewed within the app. I have Google Maps installed, but when I want to view a map, I am redirected to my browser. To actually use Google Maps on my BlackBerry, I have to switch between the two applications. I guess I have to reinstall BlackBerry Maps.
While there aren’t any options to choose which days of the week you want to have the application active, you can easily turn tracking on or off for evenings (7pm to 5am) and weekends Friday 7pm to Monday 5am. Unfortunately these times cannot be altered.
VQ Mileage Tracker is a simple, yet effective way to keep tabs on your mileage and basic expenses on the road. If connected to your in-car Bluetooth, and reporting set to automatic, it will be a useful app that you will never have to think about. If you do want to manage it, I think a great addition would be the ability to set and receive reminders about car maintenance. The application is pricey, currently on sale for $9.99, from $19.99 until November 15th. You may find that it will help you manage your expenses a bit better and end up saving you money in the long run. There is a free trial available, so you can see if VQ Mileage Tracker is right for you. You can pick it up from the CrackBerry App Store.