We’ve gotten to the point now where the number of folks in America who do not own a smartphone is shrinking to a small minority. These phones are more than just devices that can place and receive calls or messages. They are full-blown computers with mobile internet, GPS, gyrometers (the little thing that detects movement), compasses and more. And as most people are now aware, to get the extra functionality out of your smarthpone, you need to download some apps (short for applications, or small programs that are designed for a specific purpose). What about us car-obsessed folks who have to always be able to get the most out of our cars? Well, of course, as Apple’s advertisements have drilled into our heads for some time: There is an app for that.

In fact, there are several apps for that. So, today we’re going to take a look at some of the more popular apps which help car-o-philes (yes, we just coined that term) get the most out of their automobile.

iPhone users and Android users alike can benefit from these car-related apps. (photo by ? Lee J Haywood via Flickr)
iPhone users and Android users alike can benefit from these car-related apps. (photo by ? Lee J Haywood via Flickr)
  • GasBuddy – GasBuddy is one of those apps that can save you money the next time you stop to fill up at the auto center. It tracks the prices at the pump and allows you to use the GPS on your phone to find the closest gas station with the lowest prices on fuel. The GasBuddy website (gasbuddy.com) also has a really cool trip fuel cost calculator which allows you to input your vehicle’s production year, make and model, as well as a starting and ending point, and see how much it will cost you in fuel to make a particular trip. Unfortunately, this functionality is only available on their website for now and not in the mobile app. Still, this app is an indispensable car help tool.
  • Car Minder Plus / Car Management – We’ve lumped these two apps together because the first one is only available on iPhone and the other on Android devices, but they do essentially the same things. These apps are excellent car help assistants as they allow you to record all of your maintenance information into your smartphone, as well as your car repair history. This is great so that you don’t have to go digging through mountains of confusing car repair and maintenance receipts to figure out when you last had your tires rotated at the auto center.
  • iWrecked – Yep, just as this app’s name suggests, you will want to fire this one up as soon as you dust yourself off if you get in an accident. The app prompts you to fill in all the relevant information you’ll need in order to make a car insurance claim or file a police report. It uses your GPS to find your location and adds that information, prompts you to take pictures of the damage and record the other driver’s license and insurance information and then lets you export the whole report to a convenient PDF file for later. This is perfect for getting the info to your claims adjuster so you can get your car repair paperwork processed, get your car repaired at the auto center and get back on the road as quickly as possible. iWrecked is available for iPhone and Android phones.