The essential apps for automotive enthusiasts

November 1st, 2016 by

Best automotive apps for driving and monitoring your VW

After Volkswagen updated its MIB infotainment system to include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, it opened the possibilities up for a variety of useful apps. Mostly, though, you’ll find yourself with easier access to navigation, podcast and radio apps. We highly recommend you enjoy these services and take advantage of them, but if you’re looking for automotive apps to use when you’re driving your car, plus some that will let you monitor your VW, some of the best downloads will still be for your phone. Our below list is broken down into categories, like music and navigation, because we know some apps are specific to iPhone or Android operating systems. That said, there’s a variety of options that essentially do the same thing.

Best car apps for entertainment and driving experience

As we said, we’ve broken these apps down by category since we recognize some aren’t compatible for all devices. That said, we’re starting you off with apps you use while driving and as you work your way down you’ll see things that monitor your vehicle’s VW Car-Net App-Connecthealth. Useful, right?

  • Navigation. If you don’t have built-in navigation, this can be a biggie. True, you can use Google or Apple maps if you have App-Connect, but Waze is another popular option if you’re not a fan of your phone’s standard navigation app. Plus it has traffic updates from other drivers in the area.
  • Music/Podcasts. Spotify and Pandora are probably obvious by now, but iHeartRadio is a great one for those who like specific stations (and don’t want them cutting out on a roadtrip). Stitcher, likewise, provides radio and podcast options. Did we mention these all work with your App-Connect, too? Keeping entertained while keeping those hands on the wheel.
  • Save on gas. GasBuddy is our go-to phone app for finding the lowest prices around. Data is provided by drivers like you, and you can find the nearest gas station based on your current location.
  • Pseudo-Driver Assistance. We’re proud that many of our newest cars have standard or available driver assistance features, but if you just bought a car a few years ago, you might not have them. As long as you have a great mount for your phone, you don’t need to miss out. iOnRoad and Augmented Driving are two apps that use the camera in your phone to detect speed and distance from objects in front of you or when you seem to be leaving your lane. It’s just audible warnings, though, as your phone just doesn’t have the functionality to brake automatically.
  • Best apps for car maintenance. When it comes to maintenance there are a few different things to consider. Car Minder Plus and RepairPal are two apps that will let you log repairs, find local shops and get estimates. If you’re more of a do-it-yourselfer, Torque Pro and Dash work together with an OBD connector for diagnostics.
  • Car locators. When you’re excited to head into a store, you might be less inclined to remember where you parked. Car-Net is a great VW service that includes this, among many other great features, but you can also use Honk or MyCar Locator to keep track of where you parked. You simply need to remember to use your GPS to mark where you parked in the first place.

As you can see, there are a variety of automotive apps to keep you on track, from finding the right road-trip tunes to keeping your vehicle in top shape. We’ll give an honorable mention to those apps that also work as a dash-cam, for those of you who worry about needing video evidence. Checkout Witness Driving or CamOnRoad for that sort of thing.

More to Discover: How far can you drive after the VW gas light turns on?

Do you have a favorite automotive app that we failed to list? Leave us a comment below to make your own recommendations. Otherwise check back here at the Compass Volkswagen Blog for more tips and tricks.