We are a big fan of the iPhone, that’s no secret. And any time there is an application or accessory that has anything to do with actual driving or simulated racing games we take notice. So, when we saw the new CTA Digital Steering Wheel for the Apple iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch we were very intrigued. This accessory is essentially a plastic appendage that you snap your device into to create an all-in-one gaming platform. You can get it as a stand-alone steering wheel or with a suction cup mount to stick on your younger brother’s forehead. This steering wheel may seem somewhat inconsequential but is actually a fantastic aid for eliminating hand cramps and jerky movements as well as providing a much better gaming experience. And with the use of the suction cup, you can handle the device with one hand.
As the iPhone is woven deeper and deeper into the fabric of our lives, more and more simple functions, which we somehow are able to repeatedly botch, are becoming automated and streamlined. One of these involves the basic task of remembering where you actually parked your car and how much time you have left on the meter. Enter the Parking Meter application for Apple iPhone, which has just been updated to support the 3.0 OS version with some cool new features. If you live in a big city with a sprawling downtown, plenty of parking garages and expansive lots or are traveling in an unfamiliar area you may want to check this out.
The fate of Autonet Mobile, the world’s first in-car internet service provider, has been in some question with two of its largest partners, Chrysler and General Motors, in dire straits. However, the company does still have partnerships in place for their “uconnect web” service which can be installed at select Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Cadillac dealerships. And the companty did sign-on VW as a partner in June.
Many of today’s cars come with advanced onboard data centers that provide detailed stats and diagnostics on everything from fuel economy to distance traveled. However, many folks don’t have the latest and greatest rides or are hardcore tuners who have stripped out these weight producing systems. In any case, TripAlyizer for the Apple iPhone has got you covered.
This new iPhone app allows you to track all of your driving habits including stuff that you just can’t get from even the best car information systems. TripAlyizer also allows you to store all of your car’s important data including mileage, VIN, scheduled maintenance intervals, tire pressure and insurance. Relying on the great new 3G features of the Apple iPhone such as GPS and the updated accelerometer, TripAlyizer can figure out speed, direction, distance traveled, total time spent and bottom-line cost per trip.
Here is another cool announcement that came from Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco this week. Zipcar, the venerable car sharing service, will soon release an iPhone application that handles every aspect of their renting process. First, it figures out where you are and shows you all of the closest available vehicles on the map. Clicking on any car provides you additional information including make and model along with hourly cost. In fact, you can get all of the same details that the website provides. You can even favorite particular cars for later. Once you select the automobile you so desire, you can reserve and confirm right there using the Zipcar iPhone app.
The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kicked off today and as usual there was a host of new announcements, many of which concerned the iPhone. Our interest was peaked in particular by TomTom which demonstrated the world’s first dedicated in-car navigation solution for the iPhone. Basically, the company is now porting over it’s turn-by-turn navigation software which includes IQ Routes and the latest maps from Tele Atlas. The iPhone already has fantastic GPS capabilities and now will have some great software to really take advantage of the hardware. The other piece of the offering is a new TomTom car kit for the iPhone which has a secure docking station providing enhanced GPS performance and allowing for voice instructions, hands-free calling and in-car charging.
Following the release of Apple’s OS 3.0 operating system, the TomTom navigation application for the iPhone will be available via iTunes. The car kit should be available just before the official launch towards the end of the summer. Please check out the video demonstration after the jump.
iGasUp 1.11 is the newly revised and renamed version of iGas, which now arrives as a much more solid application for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch with many of the earlier functionality and performance issues resolved. In fact, it is pretty darn handy and useful. Essentially what happens is that you fire up the app, and the 10 cheapest gas stations closest to you show up. You not only see the distance to the locations but gas prices displayed from lowest to highest. Driving directions are supplied by Google Maps. If you can hold off and are planning on getting some petrol closer to your destination, you can enter a zip code to get the same information for that particular area. You can also toggle between Closest and Cheapest depending on your urgency.
AT&T has started the rollout of their in-car satellite radio and satellite TV services in a test release to a small set of customers before their official launch in early June. The AT&T CruiseCast offering will provide 22 channels of live TV and 20 channels of radio. So far, there have been roughly 373 outlets that have agreed to carry the product including Crutchfield. Unfortunately, there are no free trials of the in-vehicle TV service. The steep price of $1,299 for the device itself along with the subscription rate of $28 per month makes taking the leap especially difficult in this economy. But when it comes to television, no price is too steep for some of us.
Haven’t you always wished that you had a non-violent approach to dealing with idiotic motorists? Throwing up middle-fingers, rolling down the window and screaming or laying on the horn usually causes more harm than good. Especially in Los Angeles where this can quickly lead to a gun fight on the 405. Now, with the advent of Zapatag.com you can perform a couple of “Woosah” relaxation exercises and take down the license plate of the offending party. You can then go to the Zap-A-Tag website, and as a registered user, enter in the plate information, location and describe the offense. You can also now use Twitter, either on your mobile phone or pc!
By now most of you are probably familiar with Trapster, the social network, speed trap sharing application that helps keeps the fuzz out of your life. It’s available for the iPhone, Blackberry and many other phones such as the Nokia N95 and Windows Mobile devices with GPS. Garmin and TomTom have also hopped on board. If you don’t have a compatible device, Trapster has a website that provides the same information and features at trapster.com.
In any case, the Trapster application allows registered members to view as well as add to the database of user alerts. Trapster has a multi-faceted system wherein a user can both enter and view Live Police Traps, Unusual Hiding Places or Enforcement Points, Red Light Cameras, Fixed Speed Camera, Mobile Speed Cameras, Combo Cameras (red light and speed photoenforcement cameras) along with Checkpoints. In addition, symbols are presented in either green, yellow, red or gray to indicate the confidence level. Red is the highest confidence followed by yellow and then green for lowest. Gray means that the alert has pretty much been voted unsubstantiated.