“The average price for a gallon of gas is again approaching $4 [in the U.S.],” Candice Choi reports for The Associated Press. “But this time, drivers can cope by using their smartphones.”
“These apps will be particularly useful in the months ahead, when gas prices are expected to climb higher as summer vacations start,” Choi reports. “The national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.84. That’s up 29 cents from a month ago and nearly a dollar from a year ago. The average price has already passed $4 a gallon in a handful of states and several others are on the brink of joining the list.”
Choi reports, “The steady increases recall the summer of 2008, when prices reached $4.11 per gallon before the economy sank further into recession.”
To keep fuel costs in check this summer, here are five free apps for the road:
• AAA TripTik Mobile: (free; iPhone-only) TripTik lets users search for local gas prices and sort results by distance. Search preferences can also be set to scan prices for a particular grade of gas. AAA says it refreshes prices seven times a day, but not every listing is updated each time. The app tracks prices at more than 130,000 gas stations.
• GasBuddy: (free) GasBuddy relies on its 5 million users to post gas prices in their area.
• Gas Cubby: (free; iPhone-only) Tips users off to possible problems with a vehicle by analyzing its fuel economy.
• MapQuest 4 Mobile: (free) Another way to save on gas is to avoid sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The MapQuest app helps drivers do just that by giving them the option to see traffic conditions on their planned routes.
• Route4me: (free; iPhone -only) Specializes in mapping out routes for multiple stops; map out a game plan so you don’t waste gas zigzagging across town.
• Waze: (free) Collects traffic information through its users.
MacDailyNews Take: Of the gas apps highlighted by The Associated Press, fully half of them are iPhone-only. The next time someone tells you Android has the same apps as iPhone, they’ll be wrong then, too. And, even when Android has the “same” apps, they’re usually much uglier and very often buggier, with fewer features than their iOS counterparts.