Category Archives: Application Reviews

8 Fun iPhone Reading and Writing Activities & Apps to Get Kids Reading and Learning

1. iPhone Typing Test

A simple Web site created to test typing speed on an iPhone.

Go to this web address on iPhone Safari


Click the Start sign (shown below) to begin the test.


The test will begin when you click inside the blue field that will appear on the next screen

that opens. When you have finished, click on the “Done” button on your iPhone’s keyboard.

2. iWriteWords, learn handwritting by playing

This amazing app will help teach your kids how to write while playing. Great for preschoolers.

Drag Mr. Crab through the numbers while drawing the parts of a letter. Join lines to make letters, letters to words and so on. The software records your child’s strokes so you can review them later and see how they are improving.





3. Letter Tracer preschool letters writing practice

Help your preschooler and other prereading children trace and paint letter and number shapes so they’ll be prepared for reading and writing in grade school.

Designed by parents, for preschoolers aged 2-5 years.

LetterTracer is an educational tool that helps preschoolers and other pre-reading children trace and paint letter and number shapes. Early exposure to letters and numbers helps prepare children for reading and writing in grade school. LetterTracer’s three-way combination of visual letters, interactivity via tracing, and a spoken voice-over helps children learn and retain the alphabet.

Designed by parents, LetterTracer is generally appropriate for children ages 2 to 5, and was intensively field-tested by our own children! Uppercase and lowercase letters A to Z and the numbers 0 through 9 are shown in three selectable styles:

✔ Flashcard mode: each letter is shown in its regular, filled-in black-on-white rendition. Use this mode as you would flash cards, to practice recognizing letters and numbers with your child.

✔ Tracing mode, for younger children: a hollow outline of each letter is shown. Your child can finger-paint on the screen to trace the letterform.

✔ Freeform mode, for older children: a smaller image of each letter is shown in the upper-left corner; the rest of the screen is available for freehand drawing of the letterform.

Choose from three difference voices; each calls out the name of letters as they appear, to reinforce your child’s learning:

✔ Adult Male
✔ Adult Female
✔ Child

LetterTracer is easy and fun to use for both parents and kids:

✔ In flash card mode, “swipe” back and forth to move between letters easily

✔ When drawing, shake your iPhone or iPod Touch to clear the screen and start over. Kids love this feature!

✔ Choose a larger, more forgiving brush size for younger children, or a smaller, more precise brush size for older children

✔ Choose from 10 painting colors

✔ Choose from three different voices to call out letters and numbers

Tactile practice with letters is an excellent complement to “passive education” from television. LetterTracer is appropriate for roughly the same audience as pre-reading and early-reading skills shows such as Super Why, Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, WordGirl, Between the Lions and WordWorld.

LetterTracer is excellent ABC practice for native English speakers, but is also appropriate for introducing the English alphabet to ESL students.

Niftybrick Software is an independent artisan software studio. We take your feedback and satisfaction seriously. Please write to us at with any questions or suggestions.



4. Rulla – scrolling banner

Create a message that crawls across the iPhone screen like a news ticker. Start with names and work up from there.

Get your message across.

OBS: Free for the first 1000 customers.

Rulla is a large scrolling banner, great for displaying messages over a long distance. Kids and parents love it. Businesses people too. Try beaming the message of love across the dance floor; totally beats SMS. Nifty features include:

– Create messages with symbols you can’t even type with the built-in keyboard (including hearts, smileys, peace symbol, male/female, telephone, and yin yang).
– Roll the banner at five different speeds, from Very slow to Very fast.
– Choose between several contrasting color schemes, including red for light-sensitive environments (like astronomy or photography darkrooms).
– Three sizes for the banner text, from Small to Large.
– Saves your 20 most recent banner texts.

PS: Rulla works great with Chinese and Japanese characters, too. Try the handwriting keyboard yourself to create and display a message in Chinese. It’s really fun!

Video demonstration:

Trivia: “Rulla” is Swedish for “to roll.”

Note: The banner size adapts automatically to the technical limits of iPhone’s graphics subsystem. We hope to work around these limits in future (free) updates.



5.StoryNory – Free Audio Stories for Kids






6. iKids Play – Caterpillar’s Dream

iKidsPlay takes preschooler stories and adapts them to the iPhone. This app is easily memorized by non-readers and easily learned by beginning readers. Bonus is the painting tool, a doodle pad and a recording/read-aloud section.




7. Word Scramble – By Zynga

If you’ve spent any time on Facebook, you’ve probably stumbled across friends playing the word-finding game Scramble. Now, finally, you’ll be able to get your fix without being bombarded with pictures of friends’ babies and invitations to socially-aware rallies! The company behind the super-popular title, Zynga, announced today that it’ll be bringing the game to the iPhone with Scramble Live.

Even if linguistic hunts aren’t up your alley, you have to be interested in the multiplayer portion of the game, which lets you play against iPhone and Facebook users in real-time. It’s a smart way of adding multiplayer, and a method we wish more iPhone devs would take advantage of. A better explanation of the game can be found after the break, or you can throw caution to the wind and pick it up for the limited time price of $2.99.


Scramble Live by Zynga from Zynga on Vimeo.


8. Wurdle – Boggle Like Game

Early and skilled spellers can use this game to make words with this Boggle-like game.

What’s a wurdle? Wurdle is a simple and addictive iPhone word game. Find as many words as you can before time runs by tracing over the tiles. Tons of gameplay options and customization let you play wurdle however you want.


Fancy Features

· pass and play multiplayer
· 4×4, 5×5, 6×6, 7×7, and 8×8 grids
· customize your display with photos!
· set timer, minimum word length and more
· view all possible words at the end of a round
· TWL and SOWPODS word lists
· online high scores
· untimed mode

Unabashed Vanity
#3 in Top 10 Best iPhone Games (Wired)

“It’s just beautifully designed, easy to use and a heck of a lot of fun.” (Chicago Tribune)

“This is app-store crack for a good segment of the iPhone gameplaying population. The simplicity of its design with easy to use touch screen controls make it one of the best.” (Touch Arcade’s Best of 2008)

“Wurdle is a great word puzzle game that has an incredible amount of replay value. Wurdle is about as perfect as a word puzzle on the iPhone/iPod Touch can get.” (Finger Gaming)

“I’m obsessed with wurdle…I cannot get enough…wurdle is outstanding!” (Molly Wood,

“Addictive fast-paced iPhone word game… Terrific use of the touch screen for gameplay” (

“It has a few tricks up its sleeve that elevate if from an amusing distraction, to a bloody-eyed, stay-up-all-night-and-forget-to-feed-the-cats-and-kids addiction.” (Untold Entertainment blog)

“Wurdle’s options spell F-L-E-X-I-B-L-E.” (MacLife)

iPhone & iPad App for Concealed Handgun & Firearm Carry

“Gun Concealed” App Description




This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad

  • $2.99
  • Category: Reference
  • Updated: Oct 06, 2011
  • Version: 2.5
  • Size: 8.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller: ReadMe Publications, Inc.
  • © 2009 ReadMe Publications, Inc.



The GOAL of this program is to give you a quick reference to Concealed Carry information for each state and provide Internet hyperlinks to state laws for more detailed information and research (find the answer you are looking for).


The other goal is to keep you current and up to date with new data as laws and regulations change.



Gun Concealed is a complete, up to date application. It has the most robust content as the statistics below will show:








28,572 LINES

Click the button below to view or download this app.


There is also a “Lite” version,

look on the bottom of the page that opens when you click the link above.


Skakash – a revolutionary celebrity face recognition iPhone app

Have you ever wondered the name of an actor while watching TV?

All you need to do is direct the iphone to the screen and after a few second
you will get the actor’s name and bio!

Skakash is a revolutionary celebrity face recognition app!



startup SkakashLLC announced today the launch of its face recognition iPhone app that allows users to recognize actors and celebrities while watching TV, simply by pointing the iPhone’s camera at the screen. Skakash, the “Shazam for celebrities” app, debuts in a crowdfunding campaign on the leading platform.



Skakash’s founder and CEO Moshe Greenshpan said “We brought face recognition technology from the security arena to the entertainment playground” “We’ve identified a great need among American TV viewers to get an instant answer to the most
common question – what’s this actor’s name?”

Skakash’s matching process quickly displays the celebrity’s name and biography, allowing the user to focus on the show rather than being distracted while searching for more info on Google or IMDB.

Saving the user the trouble of manually chasing the right frame, the face recognition app automatically captures the celebrity’s face from the screen. The Skakash app is offered as a part of the company’s crowdfunding campaign. “In addition to the obvious reason of raising R&D funds, Indiegogo is a great starting point to build a community of fans and users from scratch,” explained the founder of the self financed company.




With second screen technology on the rise, Skakash has the potential to become a widely used second screen app that interacts with its users, adds value and enhances the TV viewing experience overall. A recent Nielson survey showed that 41% of smartphone and tablet owners using their devices while watching TV every day.


Click Play arrow on video player below.




10 Great iPhone Apps for Beer Lovers

Ales, stouts, porters, pilsners… so many beers, too little time. To help you navigate this vast and varied world of beer, you can always turn to your iPhone. There are plenty of beer apps available on iTunes — everything from beer games to reference guides — even apps that attempt to measure your levels of drunkenness.

iphone beer image

iPhone wielding beer enthusiasts can rejoice over the following apps to satisfy your malty, hoppy and lager-induced desires.  After all, there’s nothing like cracking open a frosty brew at the end of a long day –- or simulating it.

1. iBeer

ibeer image

iBeer is one of those fun apps that doesn’t really do anything but entertain. It simulates a pint of beer that you can jostle and drink. With five different beers to choose from, the visual of tipping the glass (iPhone) back and seeing the liquid disappear is strikingly real. The loud burp at the end is an added bonus. No beer-related apps list would be complete without this popular one.

Cost: $0.99

2. Gallagher’s Beer Guide

beer guide image

This app is a fantastic resource for a beer novice or one who wants to learn more about different brews. Divided into 12 categories, including brown ales, stouts and porters, and IPAs, Gallagher’s Beer Guide provides you with information on taste characteristics, popular choices within each category, and related styles.

Cost: $0.99

3. Guinness Pub Finder

guinness image

There’s something unmistakably refreshing about a nice, cold Guinness. The dark, chocolaty and rich beer has its devout following, enough to spawn an iPhone app dedicated to finding exactly where this draught is served. Another fun feature of this app is its “Six Steps to Creating the Perfect Pint” lesson.

Note: Unfortunately, residents in AK, AZ, GA, HI, IN, KT, MO, OH, PA, TX and WV will find that this app does not work due to specific state laws related to alcohol advertising.

Cost: $1.99

4. iBeers Pro

iBeers Pro image

With more than 2,700 varieties listed in this app, iBeers Pro is like a who’s who of beer. Each beer lists the country of origin, brewer, type of beer and bottle size, as well as user ratings and an ability to add it to your favorites list. This is a good app to have for adventurous beer drinkers who like to go beyond the brews they’re familiar with. This app also comes in a Lite version for $1.99 and the regular iBeers version for $2.99.

Cost: $3.99

5. BeerCloud

BeerCloud Image

If $3.99 is a little too steep and you’d rather get the information for free, BeerCloud is a good alternative. Although not as comprehensive as iBeers Pro, BeerCloud does offer the ability to search for beers, as well as determine where, via GPS tracking, a particular beer of choice is available near you.

Cost: FREE

6. Beer Match: Beer, Food & Cheese Pairings

Beer Match Image

Do you know what kind of beer goes best with Cajun food? How about lamb chops? If not, Beer Match can help you. By pairing 31 styles of beer with more than 500 different kinds of foods (including cheeses), you can instantly find out if the pale ale or the stout is the better choice when planning your menu.

Cost: $0.99

7. Drink Fit

Drink Fit Image

They don’t call it a beer belly for nothing. As tasty as it is, you can quickly pack on the pounds if beer is consumed in excess. Drink Fit is a great app that provides users with full nutritional information for more than 1,600 drinks (including beer, cocktails, wine) and also offers a “My Night” feature where users can tally their caloric consumption for one evening of drinking. It’s a great app for anyone who is conscious about their dietary intake.

Cost: $1.99

8. Find Craft Beer

Find Craft Beer Image

If big name beers don’t do it for you and you seek more of an off-the-beaten path microbrew, then this is a perfect app. Find Craft Beer uses GPS tracking to locate brew pubs, breweries, beer bars, beer stores and homebrew stores near you. The settings function enables you to select from any or all of these types of locations to identify the nearest locale to get a tasty microbrew.

Cost: $0.99

9. iBrewMaster

iBrewmaster image

For more ambitious beer drinkers who like to make their own brews, iBrewMaster is a comprehensive app that takes home brewers through the whole process. The app comes with 50 recipes and also enables users to keep thorough track of multiple batches that are being brewed at the same time.

Cost: $4.99

10. Happy Houred

Happy Houred Image

Who doesn’t like a good Happy Hour? This app scours local bars in your area to find any happy hour specials near you. Happy Houred currently offers search functionality in approximately 700 cities in the U.S. but is predominantly user-generated, so new bars and happy hour specials are constantly being added.

Cost: FREE

Tap Forms iPhone App, Your Life Organized!

Post Subject: This Review is for Tap Forms a new iPhone database app.

It’s available at the App Store in a Full version for $8.99 or a Lite version FREE!


Endorsed by SmokinApps™

Tap Forms Database
Organize your life with the most powerful iPhone™ database app yet. Use Tap Forms to securely keep track of your movies, books, recipes, inventory and more.

Your Life. Organized!


Tap Forms is the Cadillac of database apps.  Its compelling interface and user flexibility makes it perfect for storing any kind of information, whether ultra sensitive or non sensitive.  Users can use the included stock forms or create their own custom ones.

  • GPS location with integrated map view
  • Text
  • Numbers
  • Dates
  • Time
  • Date & Time
  • Contacts
  • Check marks
  • Notes
  • Photos
  • Audio voice memos
  • Website addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Ratings
  • File Attachments
  • Keep track of your favorites
  • Use the built-in FTP and WebDAV servers to exchange data with your Mac or PC
  • Exchange files with Tap Forms right from your desktop's browser
  • Fast integrated search engine
  • Strong AES-256 bit encryption
  • Protect your data with iPhone-like passcode lock feature
  • Additional protection provided with lock-out mechanism to prevent repetitive unsuccessful passcode attempts. Locks access to Tap Forms for up to 2 hours.
  • Ready Made Forms:

    • Passport information
    • Security alarm codes
    • Vehicle registration information
    • Daily journal
    • Drivers license
    • Credit card numbers
    • Loyalty card information
    • Bank accounts
    • Memberships
    • Software serial numbers
    • Online accounts access
    • Home insurance
    • Vehicle insurance
    • Government health number
    • Frequent flyer numbers
    • Log book
    • School homework tracker
    • Investment account numbers
    • Garage door passcode
    • Important dates
    • Audio dictation
    • Locker combination
    • Calling cards
    • And more…






















    The Full version of TapForms is available for $8.99 in the App Store



    Be sure to look at the bottom of the iTunes page for Tap Forms Lite iPhone database app.

    It’s also available at the App Store! The Lite version is FREE!

    Tap Forms Database Website Link

    Testimonials & Reviews

    • Twitter: @h8rnet: iPhone databases: Tap Forms is bettter than Bento in every conceivable way. Wish I didn’t drop the $5 on bento just to prove that to myself.
    • iPhone App Examiner: Keeping personal information personal while secure and available
    • Tap Forms Database is an amazing application for the iPhone & iPod Touch that allows you to keep track of any type of data you deal with on a regular basis.
    • Crazy Mike”s Apps: Wholly database, Tap Forms is powerful
    • Touch My Apps: What I found was a versatile database program. It is a God-send for those, like me, who have a difficult time keep track of life and all the tiny bits of information that comes along with it. This one App takes the place of the multitude of scrap paper I have all over the place.
    • The best part about this application is that it’s totally customizable. If you want a “form” with just audio notes, you can do this. . if you want one with just websites or just bank accounts/credit cards, you can do this as well.

    The app’s premise is a simple one.  In the words of the ClickSpace Technologies developers, “Your Life.  Organized.”  Regardless of a user’s intent, Tap Forms Database is the ultimate organizational tool.  It takes care of all recorded data, eliminating the need for additional programs.

    All sensitive information stored in Tap Forms Database is completely secure.  The app has a strong, government approved AES-256 bit encryption, a pass code PIN and an optional auto lock/lockout function.

    Tap Forms Database is also used for more everyday things such as, tracking inventory, listing movies or keeping recipes handy.  This is what developers mean when they say that Tap Forms Database is versatile and perfect for any type of data storage.

    Additional features, such as the recordable GPS positioning, website accessing from within the app, email, importing and exporting, provide a total flexibility to the Tap Forms Database.  Users can also record and attach audio files and even search and transfer Word and Excel files or PDF’s.

    The Tap Forms Database is not only flexible and versatile; it is also rich in features:

    * 25 stock forms
    * Users can easily create custom forms
    * 16 different data fields
    * Integrated map view in location field; search for any location in the world
    * Direct website accessing using a powerful search engine built into the app
    * In app emailing of files
    * Tell a Friend feature via email or Facebook
    * Ultra secure encryption, PIN and optional auto lock/lockout function
    * Take photos and post them to your Facebook account
    * Adjust fonts
    * Record and attach audio files
    * Search and upload/download Word and Excel files or PDF’s
    * Import and export to a computer via FTP or built-in WebDAV server

    Features Include:

    • Comes with over 25 forms ready to fill out!
    • Create new forms or easily customize any of the built-in forms
    • Store 16 different types of information:

    MMA fans Get iPhone app! is a premier destination for MMA fans looking for breaking news, provocative commentary and extensive event coverage that reflects our love of MMA — and yours. Home to an elite staff of journalists, is a true force in mixed martial arts.

    Mixed Martial Arts Videos & Pictures


    • Latest MMAFighting stories, navigable by organization, fighter and hot topics
    • UFC, Strikeforce, WEC results
    • MMA schedules
    • Fighter rankings by weight class
    • Integrated sharing for articles via Email, Facebook, Twitter
    • Photo galleries in landscape and portrait
    • Saving Feature to bookmark articles and view offline
    • Integrated Mini Web Browser for viewing web content without leaving the app.


    Category: Sports
    Released: Feb 15, 2010
    Seller: AOL
    Copyright: 2010, AOL, LLC
    Version: 1.0
    Size: 0.7 MB
    Available on the iPhone App Store



    • An original iPhone, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, or iPod touch
    • iPhone OS 3.0 or higher
    • Data connection (Wi-Fi, 3G or EDGE)

    Our iPhone app delivers the latest MMA news and photos straight to your iPhone or iPod touch instantly.

    Best Camera iPhone App Review & Demo Videos


    Best Camera allows you to creatively edit and share your iPhone images more simply than ever before. Developed by renowned photographer, Chase Jarvis, Best Camera provides a unique set of effects that can be applied at the touch of a button. Stack those effects. Mix them. Remix them. Virtually infinite creative possibility with your photos.

    Best Camera_Txt

    And what good is taking a picture if it is not easily shared? Best Camera allows you to share directly via Twitter, Facebook, email, and, a new online community that allows you to contribute to a living, breathing gallery of iPhone photography from around the globe. This is the only iPhone app on the market developed by a world-class photographer AND the only app that allows you to shoot, edit, and share your pictures easily through many channels.

    Best Camera_1A

    With Best Camera you can get astonishing results with the tap of your finger on a single filter, OR stack multiple filters to create unique and more advanced effects for your pictures. You can even share that “recipe” with your friends. While other photo apps can be clumsy in styling your images like the pros, this app makes it simple and easy. Change your image to black and white, saturate your colors, create a cinematic look, brighten, darken, or apply a frame to your picture on the fly. There are 14 filters from which to choose. Four “signature” filters can be identified by the flags – they offer the slickest one-touch option for a filter. Further to the right on the dock, you’ll find an assortment of 10 additional filters that can act as one-touch filters, or are great “tools” to correct images that were poorly captured originally.

    Best Camera_1B

    Through the course of developing this application, world renowned photographer Chase Jarvis put dozens of iphone photo apps to the test and none of them succeeding in effectively capturing and sharing images. And why use 2 or 3 applications to take and share pictures when you can do it in one? With the touch of one button, Best Camera shares any of your photos with the services that helps you stay in touch with your friends: Facebook, Twitter, email, or By simply checking or unchecking a box, you can decide where you want share image and with whom. It is that easy.

    Best Camera_1C

    Here’s your chance to view the live feed of images from thousands of other people using Best Camera app from around the world – direct to your phone. Draw inspiration from them, rate them with a thumbs up, and join this erupting worldwide community right from within this app. But don’t forget, this community isn’t just about watching, it’s about participating. With the click of a button when you “save and share” your images in the app you too can participate in this living, breathing gallery of photos from around the world. You can see the images pouring into the photostream and click on any image to see who shot the photo and what filters they used to create their “look”.

    Best Camera_Button

    Best Camera_Filter1

    Best Camera_Filter2

    8 iPhone Apps for Your Car, Fuel, Service, Expenses, Carpooling, Speed Traps, Buying


    Check out our list of 9 iPhone apps for your car-related needs. Each app links to a full review, so you can get more information on the features and cost of each app. Enjoy!

    Fuel Consumption / Efficiency: AccuFuel
    Maybe you’re into hypermiling, or maybe you’re just looking to see if your car needs a tune up, but if you’re looking for an app to track fuel consumption and efficiency, then I really like AccuFuel. The interface is simple and doesn’t get in the way of entering information quickly. AccuFuel produces graphs of your fuel efficiency over time for multiple vehicles.I used to always fill up my car completely so I could do a quick MPG check against my trip meter, but with the price of gas lately I’ve been reluctant to spend $60 or $70 at the pump.
    I needed a tracking log so I could figure out my MPG across several partial fill ups. Some of you may also be interested in maximizing fuel efficiency or even hypermiling. AccuFuel (formerly named MPG) stands out among the various mileage tracking choices in the iTunes App Store. “Polished” is a word that gets used frequently in iPhone app reviews (at least for the good apps) but it certainly applies to AccuFuel.
    Using the app is simple. You click on the “+” button on the gas pump on the main screen each time you fill up. Then you enter in the odometer reading, gallons, and price per gallon. You can also specify if this is a full or partial fill up so AccuFuel won’t get confused if you only decide to drop five bucks in the tank and top off the tank later in the week. After at least two complete fill ups, AccuFuel will calculate your fuel efficiency and present a graph along the bottom of the home screen.

    AccuFuel can track your fuel usage for multiple vehicles. When adding a new car, AccuFuel will let you select from a list of vehicles to automatically display the expected fuel efficiency, but only from 1998 and newer. For older cars, you can enter the details manually so you have a baseline against which to compare your actual mpg.

    You can export your entries as comma separated values in an email message and send them to yourself for backup or use in another application like Excel or Numbers. One cool feature is that these email messages contain a link that will push the .csv entries directly into AccuFuel.

    One thing I’d like to see in the next version is a graph of gas purchase prices over time. That data is already in AccuFuel along with the fuel efficiency data and it seems like it would be easy to tap to toggle between different graphs for MPG and $/gallon.

    I tried several fuel efficiency apps, and AccuFuel definitely stands out as the easiest and best looking app. There are apps that include fuel efficiency along with other features, but AccuFuel is the best for a straight efficiency tracking app.

    AccuFuel is available in the iTunes App Store for $0.99.

    Service Tracking: Car Care
    Care Care gives you a way to track service expenses on multiple vehicles. The tracking reports might be too simple for some, but the fuel consumption tracking features that are also included might make it a good buy for the person looking for an app that will do both.
    In addition to fuel costs, some people are religious in tracking their automobile repairs as well. I keep a file of service receipts, but I hardly ever do any analysis of this information to try and figure out how much I’m spending on repairs or how often.
    Now that one of my cars is getting a little long in the tooth, I decided I might want to take a closer look and see what it actually takes to keep the old lady of the garage running.Care Care ($4.99) is an iPhone app that lets you track automobile expenses and fuel costs for multiple vehicles. It essentially takes a fuel cost tracking app and adds a separate entry item for service costs.


    The setup is fairly straightforward. Select your vehicle from a list of popular makes and models and then you can begin entering your fillups at the gas station along with other service items. When you add a new service entry, you can select from a list of common repairs and services like oil changes, radiator service, etc. or “other” and then enter the odometer reading and cost. You can enter some brief notes as well.

    The service tracking is pretty limited and I’m not sure that I personally need an iPhone app to do this for me. My paper file folder with service receipts works pretty well for my limited needs. If you want to track this info on your mobile device, and also need something to track fuel consumption, then Car Care may be a good choice for you.

    The categories and notes are basic, but cover the most common issues. I like some of the features of the fuel consumption as Car Care provides graphs of MPG and fuel costs over time and also gives a “Carbon Footprint” number, which I haven’t seen in other fuel tracking apps. In fuel tracking, Car Care also tells you how your mileage varies by the grade of gasoline that you use (you have to provide this info when you fillup, of course).

    I continue to prefer AccuFuel for pure fuel consumption because of its simpler user interface, but these little extras in Car Care are tempting and may be just the thing for some of you that really want to track both fuel and service in one place.

    Cheap Gas: iGasUp
    Everyone needs help finding cheaper gas these days. iGasUp has the most accurate and the most current data available. Read the full post to see some free options as well.
    While the price of gas has been dropping from $4.00 down towards $3.00 in recent weeks, I still pay attention to which stations offer lower prices when I go to fillup. I’ve found differences of up to 20 cents per gallon between stations that are just within a mile or two of my home in Colorado. That savings can add up quickly if you’re careful about where you buy gas.
    There are a couple of iPhone apps that attempt to help you find the cheapest gas, wherever you happen to be, by combining pricing information from the internet with the location services of the iPhone. I looked at GasBag, iGasUp, and Where to see which one would help me find cheap gas, particularly when I was in an unfamiliar part of town. In my usage for a week, I found iGasUp to have the most complete and the most current pricing info, even if it was a little glitchy in map mode. It had more stations in my area (Denver, CO) and the pricing was consistently more accurate than the other apps.

    The difference is found in the source of the pricing data. iGasUp uses OPIS data, which is compiled automatically from actual credit card transactions. GasBag and Where both rely on user submissions to their web sites (Where uses the data from The data in these two apps was inconsistent and sometimes out-of-date, as you might expect when you are relying on volunteers to take the time to record what they paid. Both apps were also missing a fair number of stations in my part of town, which was frustrating at times.

    iGasUp did show some glitches with occassional bad data, which would show up as a outlier in the data with a price drastically below the next lowest station. Usually this was limited to one bad entry and it was fairly obvious that there wasn’t really a station offering gas a full 20 or 30 cents under the lowest price to be found elsewhere. iGasUp was also buggy in map view (the default view is a list of stations sorted by lowest price). I couldn’t get the map to stay at a certain zoom level. I just stayed in the list view to avoid this situation. You can still click on the address of a particular station in list view to get to a map with directions to that location.

    iGasUp is available in the iTunes App Store for $2.99. Because the underlying data is not free, iGasUp includes price updates for one year. You’ll have to rebuy sometime next year. Still, you’ll save the $3 pretty quickly if you take the time to check prices when you need to fill up.

    If you’re looking for an alternative, Where is a free download, but the underlying data may not be as complete or up-to-date.

    Expense Reporting for Mileage: MileBug
    In my job, I need a way to track mileage for work trips around town. MileBug does a great job of providing a really simple (and IRS friendly) method of tracking my trip logs. I really like how I can export the reports to email for reimbursement and reporting.
    For my day job, I do a fair amount of driving around town. For tax purposes, it’s really important that I track the miles I drive for work, and to do it right I need to record the odometer readings. In the past, I’ve used a simple written log book, but this last week I’ve been using a few trip log apps for the iPhone to see if I could make this whole process easier for myself.
    The trip log that I liked best is MileBug from Izatt International. This is a nice little app that does a good job of making the process relatively painless. The biggest obstacle to using any app like this is the time required to enter the details for your trip. The simplest measure would be, “Does it take more or less time than it would to write it down on paper?” I think MileBug passes this critical litmus test.

    You can track odometer readings for the start and end of each trip, and you can do so for multiple vehicles. MileBug lets you track trips by Business, Destination, and Purpose and set presets for each of those items for quick entry. You can setup reimbursement rates for each business if you need to track rates for the standard federal tax deduction for some trips and a corporate reimbursement that may have another rate for other trips.

    MileBug will automatically start the next trip from the last known odometer reading to save a little time. I appreciate how the odometer dials roll over, instead of just running from 0 to 9 like in some other apps. It makes it a little simpler to update your mileage when you roll past 9 on one or more of the digits.

    To get the data out of MileBug, you can email reports. This sends a table of text with a summary and detailed entries. The email feature integrates with the built-in Mail app on the iPhone which makes it easy to use your address book to make that process easy too.

    There are a couple of things that I think could stand improving. Adding a new destination always adds that new entry to your preset list which could become quite long. I chose to use generic entries like “client”, “HQ” and “home” for destinations and used purpose to denote if it was billable or not. Because I wasn’t entering the individual destinations, I just put the details in the “notes” field.

    There’s also no way to import data back into MileBug if you were to lose it, in say an app update gone bad, or after restoring your iPhone without a backup. I can live without the import, but I have to remember to email the reports regularly.

    If you need more detailed records, you might look into Trip Cubby which offers some additional options, but at a much higher price. I particularly like that you can use a keypad to enter odometer readings in Trip Cubby instead of spinning little dials. Still, I prefer MileBug for its simplicity and it works perfectly for my needs.

    MileBug is available in the iTunes App Store. The app is priced at $2.99 for a limited time.

    Carpooling: Carticipate
    Carticipate isn’t quite there yet as the community continues to grow. But if you’re looking for ride-sharing info in an iPhone app, this free download is where it’s at.
    As we pointed out last month, Carticipate offers some simple hope for those that are looking for ways to reduce their car usage and spending on gasoline. The promise of Carticipate is to bring people together that are looking for ridesharing by helping you identify other riders or drivers that are headed to the same destination from your local area. The problem is that 2 months after release, there still don’t appear to be any people posting potential rides in the community.


    There aren’t any other iPhone apps for ridesharing at the time this review was written, but there are some good web sites like PickupPal, ZimRide,, Ridester,, and others that work quite well from an iPhone. From the comments on our earlier article, it looks like PickupPal is working on an iPhone app, so we’ll keep you posted as options develop.

    Carticipate is a free download in the iTunes App Store, so it won’t cost anything to try and find ridesharing opportunities in your area. Your might fare a lot better if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area (where iPhone concentration and eco-awareness are higher). While the community is being developed, take a look at the web sites listed above to share rides. We hope to be able to report on more options for iPhone users in the near future.

    Parking: Parking Meter
    Parking Meter is a simple app to track where you parked your car and/or how much time is left on that meter. I don’t always need the GPS location of my parking spot, but I like the ability to send myself SMS reminders before time expires on the meter if a meeting goes long and I forget to run out and drop a few more quarters in the slot.
    Every now and then, I walk out into a parking lot and totally blank on where I left my car. Far more often, I head out to visit a client in the downtown area and find that I have to run out to the meter to put more change in because something came up and the visit ran long. Parking Meter addresses both of these situations and helps you find your car and reminds you to extend your meter if you need to do so.
    For parking, the app will record your location using GPS (if available) and allows you to take notes on where you parked (eg, section B3) and take a photo with the built-in camera of your iPhone. When you are done with your trip, you can pull up this info to remind yourself of where the car is located. There’s a link back to the built-in Maps application so you can get directions back to the car if you need them.

    When you set your parking location, you can also set a reminder for the expiration time of your meter. Parking Meter can set off an audible or vibration alert a certain number of minutes before time expires, but this only works if the app is running.

    What I really liked is that you can set Parking Meter to send an email alert, either to a regular email account or to an SMS gateway so you get a text message before time runs out on the meter. There’s a handy little list provided to get the most common SMS email gateway addresses. Just don’t make a small typo as you enter your address — Parking Meter will delete your entire entry when you click back on the field to edit it.

    There are other apps, like Park’n Find, that offer more detailed info about your parking location but I like the combination of GPS location and email/SMS reminders for meters. Sound off with your preferences in the comments.

    Parking Meter is available in the iTunes App Store for $1.99.

    Speed Traps: Trapster
    Trapster helps you avoid speed traps and traffic cameras as you drive. The audible voice warnings are driver-friendly and help remind you to check your speed and drive safe.
    One of my first tickets ever was on a road trip in college to visit friends in another state. A highway patrol car was parked behind an obstruction right where the speed limit on the interstate dropped from 70 to 55.
    While I didn’t slow down fast enough, the officer was clearly positioned to take advantage of the speed change and hand out tickets. Nowadays, I’m not much of a speedster but I do drive around town quite a bit and the last thing I can afford is a speeding ticket. There are a couple iPhone apps that try to help you be mindful of safe driving and avoid speed traps and the one that I’ve been using this last week is Trapster.
    Trapster uses the built-in location services of the iPhone to display where you are on a map and shows user-reported speed traps, red-light cameras, and speed cameras (the ones that actually issue tickets) that are nearby. Users can improve the system by reporting new locations to right through the iPhone app. The advantage of this system is that the updates are much closer to real-time than they would be with a web-based system where users report when they get back to a computer.

    The app is designed to be used while driving…or at least while you’re in your car. Being at a complete stop when using this is probably a good idea.

    Trapster will announce the type of locations within your search area (this can be set by the user) and give you an audio warning as you approach new speed traps. The only thing I found annoying is that Trapster would continue to announce these alerts over and over again as long as they were in my search radius.

    I was able to control this a little by tuning the search radius and the frequency of announcements, but I never found a setting that worked just the way I wanted. I was also disappointed that Trapster would move my current location on the map and then redraw after I reached the edge. I would prefer that it just kept my location centered (like you can setup in the built-in Maps application).

    A recent update to the app also allows it to work reliably in European countries with localized settings. Trapster is a free download in the iTunes app store.

    Car Buying: iLeaseMyCar
    If you’re looking to buy a new car, iLeaseMyCar (and now iLeaseMyCar Pro) is a great tool to carry with as you look at financing costs. This app lets you calculate your payments by changing your down payment, interest rate, and so on. Another app to check out is Auto Fuel Economics, which gives you a very simple run down on the fuel costs for two different cars with different MPG ratings.
    There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect car, negotiating a fair price, and then getting totally worked over by the finance manager when you go to get a lease or a loan. To help you compare financing options, iLeaseMyCar provides a simple iPhone loan calculator. There are web calculators, but an iPhone app provides some advantages for use when a network connection isn’t available or is too slow, particularly for iPod touch owners that may not have access to WiFi
    at a dealer’s showroom.


    The app is well designed and attention to detail sets it apart from some of the other choices in the app store. The layout includes 4 buttons across the “dock” at the bottom that let you choose between a loan calculator, lease calculator, advice on negotiating loan options and terms, and program help. The advice is simple, but straightforward, and the help covers all the options available in the program.

    Setting the loan details is straightforward. Just tap on the value that you want to adjust and type in the new value. I actually prefer the slider mechanism used in the Auto Loan / Lease Calculator because it gives you immediate feedback on adjusting loan values, but iLeaseMyCar remembers what you’ve entered so you can quit to check email and return to where you were without losing anything.

    I’d love to see some additional features like saved loans, a payment schedule with principal and interest, compare two loans, and so on. There’s certainly room for improvement with all of these apps, but my sense is that the good folks at Not Too Shabby Software have a solid base on which to build.

    iLeaseMyCar is available in the iTunes App Store for $0.99.

    Update: For a limited time, the best deal appears to be the brand-new iLeaseMyCar Pro which has special introductory pricing of $1.99. iLeaseMyCar Pro adds reverse loan and lease calculations to calculate other factors from the payment and also allows you to add taxable and non-taxable fees. Kicking Tires – Free iPhone App for New/Used Car Buying

    Take the panic out of new or used car buying, find a specific car at any dealer in your surrounding area, you can also view the new & used car inventory at local dealers! It even contains a payment calculator so you can calculate what you will pay for financing the car you choose.

    See video about the app below…….

    You can browse’s vehicle listings and access many of their most popular features on any smartphone, recently they launched a new app specifically for the iPhone. The app not only lets you navigate our listings, but you can browse through them with geolocation enabled so you can get directions to a dealer with a single touch.

    Download App via iTunes Now
    You can also save your favorite listings, dealers and search parameters such as price range and year.


    Once you find an interesting listing, you can add notes to it, like how it ranks on your search. There’s also an option to add your own photo to the listing if you see it in person and want a reminder of a feature that stood out.

    You can download the free app at the iTunes store by clicking here.

    If following the latest car news on the go is your thing, you can visit the mobile version of KickingTires and create an icon on your iPhone homepage.