Monday, April 23, 2018
Business

Dude, where's my car? Apps can help

A quick guide to mobile applications specifically designed to help people locate their car. All use a smartphone's mapping and GPS technology and have the same level of location accuracy.

Find My Car. (Free, iOS and Android) It locates your parking spot and fixes it on your phone's map. You can take photos using the phone's camera and jot down notes, which comes in handy if you park in a massive airport garage. But the app could be more intuitive. It lets you set a timer for a parking meter, which is useful, but it took five minutes to find that feature within the app. Developers recently unveiled a new app, called Find My Car Smarter, for the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, that synchs with your car's Bluetooth and automatically stores your car's location when you park. The only time you need to open the app is if you misplace your car.

ICar. (Free, iOS) It offers everything Find My Car does, except it does not take photos. It also locates nearby gas stations and parking lots, but when tested, those features gave an error message. This one has annoying ads.

Honk. (99 cents, iOS) Honk does everything Find My Car and iCar do, but charges you 99 cents for a much cuter interface. The app honks when it's time to go, or time to fill up the parking meter.

Hey Dude, Where's My Car? (Free, iOS) This is basically a more complicated version of Google Maps with a clever name. Bugs crashed this app three times.

Sally Park. ($2.99, iOS) This was the most costly but also the most intuitive of the apps tested. All you have to do is open the app and touch the big "Park" button, and it automatically sets your location.

My StuffFinder. (Free, iOS) This is the lost-and-found of apps. It not only lets you find your car, but your keys, glasses, wallet, shoes and purse, too. Just save the location of various items and the app will direct you back to them.

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