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If I had a dime for every time I misplaced my car in a large parking garage or shopping mall parking lot I’d probably have retired a long time ago, but unfortunately they don’t hand out dimes for losing track of your car. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m alone in my habit of misplacing my car as many of my relatives and friends have told me some funny stories about their own misadventures. It seems to be something that’s quite common and it stands to reason that it would be a good idea to create an app that made it easier for you to find your car in a busy parking lot or anywhere else for that matter.The best iPad apps for route tracking
There are a couple of choices out there and one of the better ones that’s been growing in popularity over the last year is an app called AutoFindr – find my car. This app does a great job of automatically saving your car's location, but it also has a lot of other great features that can enhance your experience and actually make parking a car a much less stressful adventure. The basic app is free, but if you wish to unlock all of the app's features you will have to do so through an in-app purchase. It’s compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
In order for the app to get its bearings, it requires you to get in your car with your phone and go for a ride – it may seem like a bit of a pain, but it doesn’t have to be more than a drive around the block. The fact is it works very well and you can either sync your phone to your car using your Bluetooth audio system, USB port, or car jack cable. You only have to do this once so it’s only a minor inconvenience and probably a small price to pay to make sure you don’t lose track of your car in the future.The best iPhone apps for route tracking
A small detail that this app does include is an excellent walk-through that explains each function of the app quickly and simply so that you can start using it almost immediately. It may seem like an obvious thing to include in an app, but unfortunately there are a lot of apps that don’t include this type of feature so the app developer definitely deserves some credit for including it.
If you’re parking in a common location that you often use you can save this information within the app so that it recognizes a particular location. While this is a nice little feature to have I didn’t find it added all that much extra to the functionality of the app as for me the main concern is simply being able to get back to my car and the app already does that whether you use this feature or not.The best iPad apps for finding gas
This app also includes an excellent map integration that allows you to easily toggle between different views such as a global overview, a Google’s Street view type satellite experience, and a regular detailed GPS standardized map feature. When I used this section of the app it identified my current location every single time using my device’s built-in GPS features. While this may not be a unique feature, it’s comforting to know that an app you’re going to use to find your parked car actually provides accurate GPS information.
To find your way back to your car all you have to do is tap on the direction arrow located at the top of the menu on the bottom of your screen. This function will activate step-by-step directions telling you when and where to turn to get back to your car. It’s very similar to any other GPS mapping application you’ve used before – it’s just that this one will take you back to your car.
One of the coolest features available in this app is the ability to sync your car's location with multiple devices. This is especially handy if you share your car with other family members. Let’s say for example you just arrived from work in your city’s downtown core and your spouse wants to pick up the car later to take it out of town while you’re at work. They can simply hop on the bus using this app to locate where you parked the car, find it easily, and be on their way.
One other feature of this app that probably deserves a mention is the ability to send automatic Twitter updates when you’ve parked. It’s kind of an interesting feature, but I really don’t see the point as you already have the ability to use the syncing feature to share your car's location with family members that also use your car.
If you park in an area on a regular basis there may be some standard parking regulations that you need to be aware of. If for example, you know that the maximum parking time in that area is three hours you can use the app to record this regulation and set up reminders for you when the allotted time limit is approaching. Unfortunately, you will have to upgrade to one of the paid versions of the app to use this feature.
Overall, AutoFindr is a pretty impressive app. If you’re like me and you’ve been known to lose track of your car from time to time then you’ll love this app because it will eliminate that problem. It includes some very detailed GPS based maps and the ability to sync you’re parking location with multiple devices is very handy if you share your car with a friend or family member.
Allan is a freelance writer who loves scouring the App Store for exciting, intriguing and unique apps.