AA Buyer's Guide: Apps to help on your next road trip
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On 20 July 1969 American astronaut Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. That now-famous quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” was heard for the first time.
That mission to the moon was completed with far less computing power than the smartphones we use every day.
While your next road trip might not be as ambitious as the Apollo 11 mission, here are some good apps to help you out.
Google Maps and Apple Maps
These apps come pre-installed on iOS and Android devices, and allow for key benefits like getting real-time GPS navigation traffic alerts and finding new points of interest along your journey.
The maps used are live, meaning they’re always up-to-date.
Waze is also owned by Google. The main difference between Waze and Google/Apple Maps is that it’s updated by other users, who can let fellow drivers know if there is heavy traffic in a particular area, for instance.
If you prefer navigating the “old fashioned” way, remember that the AA Traveller New Zealand Road Atlas can be purchased from aa.co.nz/shop.
For trips of every type, the AA Traveller App will help you prepare for your journey and assist with other travel needs.
Powered by Expedia, the app allows you to book accommodation, activities and packages. AA members can also receive additional discounts on selected accommodation and packages.
SAVING ON YOUR FUEL BILL
Gaspy uses crowd-sourced information from consumers to locate and share the best fuel prices. By using your location, the app is able to find the cheapest fuel close to you, and also has the functionality to add in your various reward card discounts.
Another app designed to help you save money at the pump is AA Smartfuel, which allows you to manage your balance, recent transactions and any discounts that are due to expire. You can also view your weekly spend at Countdown, plus the discounts you’ve earned in the month so far.
PEACE OF MIND
If you’re an AA member, this app can be a godsend. If you get stuck in your car, for whatever reason, you can request a callout and track the service officer who is attending. There’s even a handy emergency torch function and a space to store details and photos of a road accident to help you document the issue for insurance providers.
Dash cam apps
Dash cams can help resolve disputes in the event of an accident. There are a range available to download from your smartphone’s app store.
With the use of a simple screen mount, you can easily transform most smartphones into a temporary dash cam, filming your route.
Many of these apps include features which you’d expect to find in a dedicated dash camera, such as impact detection and advanced share capability.
USING SMARTPHONES ON THE ROAD
It is illegal to use a smartphone while operating a car in New Zealand, so these apps should only be operated either before or after your drive. Should you need to use your mobile phone on your drive, you should pull over safely and use your phone only when stationary.
The NZAA encourages hands-free systems like Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to be engaged should you choose to use smartphone navigation apps on the go.