Ford cars are renowned for constantly evolving and being innovative, with the likes of Active City Stop, SYNC 3 and the Easy Access Door System just some of the technologies that their newest and most popular models boast.
As well as these technologies being accessible to all those who decide to take advantage of the range of Fiesta deals now available, there are also lots of mobile phone apps that can offer drivers and passengers a great experience too.
So, with this in mind, we have created a guide to the very best driving apps that you should download on your smartphone today.
Parking has long been one of the most stressful and difficult parts of the driving experience and, with the number of cars on Britain’s roads continuing to increase exponentially, this is more so the case now than ever before. One of the benefits of the digital age, however, is that there are always experts on hand who work hard to overcome and eliminate our most common problems with the help of new technology – and this is certainly true when it comes to parking.
Among the most popular parking platforms currently available is JustPark, an extremely useful app which is dedicated to making life easier for drivers by helping them to take advantage of the UK’s underutilised parking areas. According to the JustPark website, nearly a quarter of all car journeys involve ‘parking pain’ of some kind, with the desperate scramble for spaces in busy town centres and crowded multi-storey car parks proving a daily and significant headache for millions of motorists.
Those behind the JustPark app told us more about why it was created and how it is helping take the stress out of parking – as well as providing a handy source of extra income for many homeowners:
“JustPark is the parking app on a mission to make parking effortless - that’s easy and stress-free, for every driver on every journey. Founded in 2006 by Anthony Eskinazi after he got fed up of struggling to find a space, the service is now the UK’s favourite parking app - and makes car journeys easier for over 1.8 million drivers.
“Their 5-star-rated app and website provide real-time information on availability, restrictions and pricing for 1.4 million spaces. You can browse all the options to find the best one for you, and even reserve and pay for a guaranteed space in advance at 20,000+ locations - giving you total convenience and peace of mind, and helping you save time, stress and money too.
“JustPark’s award-winning technology also unlocks underused space, helping property owners to manage their parking more effectively. From offices to council bays, commercial car parks to private driveways - the platform allows anyone with spare space to list it and make an easy extra income, whilst providing much-needed extra parking at the same time.
“Winner of the National Technology Awards, with the fastest payments and highest customer satisfaction rate (96%) in the industry, JustPark is leading parking into the digital age.”
YourParkingSpace is an app that was initially launched as a platform through which the owners of private driveways could rent out their under-used spaces to those struggling to find a spare parking spot in busy cities. Popular with both landlords and drivers, the app has expanded significantly in recent years, and now offers a quarter of a million spaces nationwide, ranging from off-street parking and garage lock-ups to large commercial car parks.
In 2017, YourParkingSpace rolled out a major update, allowing users of the app to adjust the end time of their parking sessions quickly and easily via their smartphones. Any driver will know how annoying it can be to have to keep checking the clock and rushing back to their car to ensure they don’t get issued with a parking ticket, and YourParkingSpace’s 250,000 monthly users were doubtless pleased to learn of the new feature that promises to solve that problem.
Commenting on the innovation, Managing Director Harrison Woods said: “A huge bugbear to motorists is returning to their vehicle to find they have been issued with a ticket just for being a few minutes late, more often than not when it is no fault of their own.
“Customers using our updated YourParkingSpace.co.uk app don’t have this headache. It gives them the freedom to park at their chosen location with the ability to adjust their end parking time via their mobile device if they are running late.”
With other recent additions to the app including ‘book and pay’ functionality and the ability to re-book a previously used parking space with just one click, it is fair to say that the team at YourParkingSpace is putting its technological expertise front and centre of its latest developments, with Woods noting that “Mobile has become an increasingly significant influence on consumer behaviour in recent years and it continues to be a key area of focus for the company. We have integrated the newest technology along with user feedback to develop these recent updates which focus on creating greater flexibility and the most convenient parking experience for our customers.”
Of course, there is much more to driving than parking and, fortunately, the vast majority of our time spent behind the wheel can be perfectly enjoyable. Sadly, though, far too many motorists still have a tendency to be overly lax whilst driving and find themselves tempted to use their smartphones when their eyes should only be on the road. The hazards that this habit poses should be self-explanatory, and that is partly why many new cars now come equipped with built-in technology that allows the owner to select music, navigate to their chosen destination, place phone calls and more, all at a bare minimum of risk.
However, what should the millions of drivers who do not yet have cars that have been manufactured in the last couple of years do, other than continuing to put themselves in unnecessary danger? The answer comes in the form of iCarMode, an intuitive, iPhone-compatible ‘dashboard’ that is able to consolidate all of the apps you may find yourself needing to use whilst travelling onto one simple, easily navigable screen - meaning you will always stay safe whilst accessing your favourite tools. Here’s some more information about the many benefits of using iCarMode from the team themselves:
“Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting or handling your phone. When traveling at 55mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
“iCarMode is a dashboard app that provides quick access to the things you need most when you’re on the road.
“Its enlarged and simple display helps reduce distractions and keep your focus on what’s important – the road ahead.
“iCarMode includes the following features:
And here are a few other great tools that iCarMode told us the app also has at its disposal:
“For users that own a Vinli device, iCarMode also has a dashboard that connects to Vinli's cloud platform and brings information streaming from your car's computer directly to the familiar iCarMode dashboard. Data regarding issues like engine problems are reported on the app via the car's computer, along with speed, RPM and calculated distance until the next refuel. It even grades your driving by analysing things like hard braking, sharp turning, speeding and active DTCs (diagnostics trouble codes).
“All this makes iCarMode a great dashboard for older cars that don't have these capabilities built-in.”
For more information on iCarMode, check out the following resources:
You can purchase iCarMode on the App Store for just $1.99 (about £1.50) on the App Store – a price well worth paying for ensuring your safety on the road.
The WeatherPro Free app is available on smartphones and tablets and offers users seven-day forecast data, including three-hourly updates up to three days ahead.
These weather reports are available for two million locations worldwide and reports also include information on temperature, wind, precipitation and the like.
Users can even connect the app to Netatmo personal weather stations, allowing data from the owner’s personal weather sensor to be accessed.
As if that wasn't enough, the WeatherPro Free app also includes worldwide alerts and warning levels for extreme weather, and global satellite and animated radar for much of Europe, the USA and Australia. There is also a weather photo function that is part of the app.
The TomTom GO Mobile app is available globally for free on 64 Google Play stores and users can make use of TomTom’s premium navigation and real-time traffic information, driving up to 50 miles every month free of charge.
Sharing the same user interface as the award-winning TomTom GO satnav, the app helps drivers across the UK get to their end destinations faster every day by using online and offline maps. TomTom Traffic also benefits from superior routing and speed camera warnings, as well as boasting a global map licence so drivers can use it in 111 countries even without a network connection.
Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director for TomTom Consumer, added: “We have entirely re-thought our mobile solution so every driver has the chance to try navigation with TomTom Traffic. Now all Android owners can avoid the traffic jams and get to their destinations faster, every day.”
Users can also make in-app purchases for unlimited miles for £14.99 for one year or £34.99 to access the app for three years.
Android users can download the app from the Google Play store for free here.
The largest community-based traffic and navigation app in the world, Waze, has recently been purchased by Google.
This app lets drivers crowdsource information and work together to improve their daily journeys. It has been a success, with over 50 million drivers sharing insights via the app and more than 273,000 active monthly Waze users currently using it in London alone.
The app has around 200,000 local map editors, meaning that it has champion local knowledge regarding roads in a range of areas.
Waze has also announced the launch of a free software development kit (SDK), which has been designed to enable transport businesses to integrate Waze into their own apps. The app allows Waze functionality to be integrated directly into a business's own apps, such as estimated time of arrival, turn-by-turn navigation and preferred routing.
Speaking about the new SDK app, Amir Mirzaee, who is the Head of Business Development at Waze, said: “This is big news for the Waze community as well. The SDK launch effectively adds hundreds of thousands of professional drivers to the 50 million users already contributing data to our map, greatly amplifying the amount of insight we have.”
This dashboard details fuel consumption and price, mileage per month, the cost of fuel per mile, mileage per litre and mileage per pound, euro, dollar etc.
Users can even input their fill-up history manually or by importing a CSV file, whilst a carbon footprint can also be calculated via the app.
Gas Manager is available to download via the iOS App Store.
Car Manager, which has also been developed by KiWi Objects, allows users to access information on anything related to the vehicles they drive.
The ability to store administrative information; fuel, insurance and maintenance expenses; the date of your next MOT or technical inspection, and the names of your favourite garages are just some of the features that this app boasts.
And that’s not all, as Car Manager also provides you with a tools section, which allows you to geolocate your current position or your parking spot in a single click.
What’s the only thing worse than having your car break down? Being unable to promptly report it. Fortunately, the AA app offers the perfect solution and it serves as the fastest and easiest way to alert their team to help get you back on the road as fast as possible. As the app is able to track your location, never again do you have to worry about struggling to explain your exact whereabouts on the hard shoulder.
As well as offering free traffic updates for all users, AA members can also benefit from information on fuel prices, parking and dashboard warning lights – and not forgetting the famous AA Route Planner!
OS Maps is the map application from Ordnance Survey. It's available to access on PC and Mac desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Users of the app can plan their next adventure by using high definition online maps and aerial imagery, and can check the distance and the elevation of their route.
Advanced maps from OS Maps, which users can access with a subscription, means drivers can benefit from customised routes that they can style with colours, line thickness and opacity; set preferences for running, walking or cycling speed, and even build a library of common routes.
Users can find a staggering 400,000 routes from OS Maps users, The AA, Country Walking and Trail Magazine.
If you have just bought a new car, it is likely that you will want to keep an eye on your outgoings to see just how much you will save.
A great app to help keep track of your fuel and other car-related expenses is My Cars, described as a complete solution for managing spending on your vehicles. Simple to use, all you do is log every expense for your vehicle and, after a while, it will provide up-to-date and relevant information about how much you spend – showing you where you can cut back.
As well as this, you can also set up reminders for things such as services and car bills, meaning you will always stay on track with your payments.
My Cars is available to download today, completely free of charge, for Android devices only.
The speed camera is another peril for motorists, and while a large majority of the 30 million UK drivers are sensible and stick to the speed limit, cameras are today found in all sorts of places and can easily catch out even the most diligent motorists.
This is where CamerAlert comes into its element. Powered by PocketGPSWorld.com’s speed camera database, it is perfect for using on your iPhone or Android devices alongside your satellite navigation system. As the database is updated on an almost weekly basis, it means you will always have the most relevant and up-to-date information in front of you.
Ever faced the challenge of driving in the darkness outside the city when you can't see beyond 50-100 metres with your headlights on and never know where the road bends next? The HUDWAY Go app was made to assist you in situations like this.
The app helps drivers see curves and bends in the road so that you can brake safely and smoothly. HUDWAY Go also reduces ‘eyes off road’ time, as drivers can just place their smartphones on the dashboard close to the windshield and benefit from a personal head-up display.
The app leaves out complicated map views and only shows the live outline of the road, current vehicle speed and the distance until the next manoeuvre and direction.
The HUDWAY Go app is free to download and is available in the App Store and on Google Play. There is also a paid-for version that includes customisation options and voice assistance for €2.99 (currently around £2.65) for a year or €8.99 (around £7.90) for a lifetime purchase for iOS users. Android users can purchase the advanced app for €1.99 (£1.7