Android Apps for your Road Trip Adventure
I've been a big fan of Android's app's for many years. Lots of great free applications out there that help you do whatever - better. Couple that app environment with a smartphone, car mount, data plan, and you can have an amazing array of information to make you car trip more fun and less stressful. Here's my setup for family road trips:
My Road Trip Hardware:I currently own an Motorola Droid Razr Maxx (http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers/DROID-MAXX/better-battery/96406,en_US,pd.html) and use their windshield mount (http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers/Vehicle-Navigation-Dock-for-DROID-RAZR-MAXX/100141,en_US,pd.html) with one slight modification.
The current windshield mount stalk is a bit too short, so I use the old stalk from my original Droid (http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-89396N-Window-Mount-Droid/dp/B002WC7RKU). The extended length makes it possible to use the camera and easily keep the suction cup mount out of the pictures. The new Droid Maxx has fantastic battery life and the Motorola charger easily keeps up with the demands of having it always on when driving (my original Droid couldn't).
My Road Trip Apps:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.joelapenna.foursquared) to keep track of all the great places you visited and learn from other people tips.
As more people use the service, the information it provides will just get better. If driving late at night or in less populated ares, there won't be many "wazers" around you, so there may not be as much real time information available.
I have had issues with the application force quitting when moving to other applications. Waze does not really notify you of this. When you select it, the app does realize that it quit and quickly asks if you want to resume your route. I get the impression that the developers know this and are working on something better. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.waze)
Route Based Information:I have been looking for some better idea of what's coming up along my route. iExit and RoadNinja are two application that are attempting to do this. Both are limited to interstate exit information. They still seem to have some maturity issues, but seem to be a step in the right direction.
The application itself seems to be a bit buggy, slow, and would quit from time to time. That said I still think it's the best on out there. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.metrocket.iexit)
The application felt quicker and more stable than iExit, but sometimes it just didn't have the information for the route I was on. I got the impression that this was a brand new product that was just being developed, so it's probably a product to watch. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lamar.roadninjaapp)
Google Navigation - Good old Google maps and navigation. This application keeps getting better with real time traffic (on some of the smaller roads), walk around directions and it's just rock solid and dependable. I've switched to using Waze for primary car navigation because of it's community aspect, but for almost everything else it's Google maps and navigation. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.maps)
Let me know what you favorite apps for driving and road trips are. Always looking for a way to use Android to make my trips a little more fun or interesting. Perhaps I should create that license plate game app I've always been thinking of?