Carpooling, gas prices, and mapping: is the killer app for your car found in the iTunes store?
The world of social media's descending, bit by bit, to your car. If you're trying to find a way around your city, you can do it with a little help from your friends, thanks to some new applications built for the mobile Web are putting drivers together in real time, to make commuting, buying gas, and finding the right road a whole lot easier.
A few weeks ago, the uber-social-media site, Mashable, posted their take on the ten best apps for smarter transportation. It's a great post, but not all of their favorites really fit our definition of social media--a Web tool that's collaborative, user-generated, something more than just a fancy app. Sorry, GasBuddy, FuelFrog, and RideCharge. And some of them--Walk Score, MapMyRide, HopStop--involved walking and taking the train, and who does that anyway?
Drivers should pay attention to these five apps, all available for downloads to the iPhone and all those other shiny gadgets with terrible user interfaces. If you've had experience with any of them, write us a quick review. If we use it on TheCarConnection, we'll send you some sweet High Gear Media-related swag:
1. Google Maps: It's probably the second-best feature from the Mountain View mindtrust. You can plug in addresses, see how traffic is rolling along your route, build a custom map with annotations and share it with anyone. Then there's street view, satellite view, the new augmented-reality view...what's not to love, other than your evanescent privacy? Waze does Google one better with real-time traffic by letting users report the cause of a slowdown.
2. Trapster: Infamous enough to earn the vitriol of the Fox News crew, Trapster collects and combines user reports of speed traps and red-light cameras into handy visual form. Don't say the Web didn't warn you when Johnny Law nails you for 30 over.
3. Wayfaring - Life is about the journey, right? Wayfaring lets you take note of the best road trips, with destinations and memories plugged in along the way. It's not quite lifecasting--it's more like a "great drives" column with a Web-ready Cliff Notes.
4. Zimride - Carpooling, according to our friends out west, is for poor people. Since we're all poorer this year, why not hop on Zimride, find a ride-sharing buddy, and split the pain of the recession two, three, or four ways? For better or worse, it also works in Canada.
5. MyMileMarker: Gas prices get crowdsourced here. MyMileMarker gives users a form to send in what they paid for fuel, with a location, or via Twitter.
[Thanks to Mashable]-----------------------
Hey there, social media mavens: Once a week here at High Gear Media, we'll bring you the latest on SM news and personalities from around the automotive world--so you know which tech and which tools are worth a look, and which ones are best left to the raging 13-year-old fanboys. Got an idea for us to cover? Let us know via Twitter @highgearmedia or by charmingly old-fashioned email: feedback [at] highgearmedia [dot] com.
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