Cure the commute bored…
Five days a week (more or less) most people endure some sort of commute to work whether by foot, car, taxi, bus, subway, bicycle, train or airplane. For some that commute is just a few minutes but for others it can be a big chunk of their day. Having phone apps that can either help shorten the time or pass the time can make that part of the day just a bit more enjoyable. The following ten apps (in no specific order) may not totally change your life, but they will help you dread those morning and evening commutes a bit less.
Daily Commute by Valley Rocket LLC
Android: Not Available
This app is useful for those that want to try to shorten their driving commute time by trying different things such as different routes and different times to leave the home. The app tracks each commute and over time is able to provide information as to the best plan of action. It will average values from week to week and even year to year which helps for areas that experience seasonal changes. Because it takes time to compile information this is not an app for instant improvement other than being able to eliminate the biggest time hog routes. They also have a Pro version which will be needed for those that have more than one regular destination. There is a nice feature in which you enter a target arrival time and it will use your data to date to suggest what time you should leave. You can also enter notes on the days that the commute was off from the norm.
Songza by Songza Media Inc.
This is one of those apps that really could change your life because most people would agree that having the right music at the right time can do wonders for mood and energy. This app is a great way to have playlists available for any time of the day or night without having to download them. This saves on phone memory space and the time to compile the playlists in the first place. When users open the app it instinctively pulls up the types of music suitable for the time of day thus it is really good for anytime. In the morning users can choose for music designed for waking up, working out, feeling confident, singing in the shower, reading the paper or more. Users can also browse for something else if they prefer. The app has a free version and then you can subscribe to Club Songza if you wish ad-free, commercial-free listening and special activities and playlists. This is a monthly subscription fee that auto-renews unless you turn it off.
Twist – On My Way by Twist and Shout, Inc.
Anyone that has ever made an appointment and then had something make them late knows how frustrating it can be to keep having to text updates to those they are meeting. It is even dangerous if those updates are done while driving – not to mention illegal in many states now. Whenever you are commuting there are often people waiting on you. The simple answer is the Twist – On My Way app. Simply press the create button to notify the appropriate parties you are on your way and the app will take care of notifying them you are on your way, an updated ETA if you get delayed and when you are almost there. You can even schedule a “twist” in advance or use it to request from someone that is coming to meet you. Such a handy app you will find yourself using it for more than just your morning commute.
Audiobooks by Cross Forward Consulting LLC/Traveling Classics™
Some people with long commutes decide that there just has to be a way to use that time productively and reading is a good way to do that. However, it just isn’t safe to read a book whether an actual book or an ebook when driving. Even as a passenger some people cannot read without getting motion sickness. The answer to these dilemmas is Audiobooks. This app includes over 5,000 classic audiobooks completely free making it not just a great way to fill that commute time but also a chance to hear all those classic books you might not have gotten around to reading. Besides the free books there are also plenty of favorites under $1. They also have a premium version that is ad-free.
Waze Social GPS, Maps & Traffic by Waze, Inc.
Sometimes the best commute travel tips are not from an algorithm in an app but instead by fellow motorists that managed to find a quicker or a shorter route. It is this premise that makes a travel app that is community based such a nice tool. Users simply drive around with Waze open and it contributes to the information available for everyone. Users can also report accidents, detours and other events so that other users can receive an alert about it. Another community feature is the ability to link with Facebook to see if any of your friends are driving to the same place. Add to that a tool for finding the cheapest gas station and you have a pretty nice app. Meet up with friends, share traffic information and get road alerts all thanks to an easy to use app.
Textecution by Lifestyle
Apple: Not Available (May be available soon!)
Texting and some other actions on a mobile phone are not only dangerous but illegal in some places. This app is primarily used by parents that want to keep their teenagers safe. However, it can also be used by someone that wants to keep themselves from making this dangerous mistake. Furthermore employers sometimes use the app on company-provided mobile phones for employees that run routes as part of their job. What the app does is disable texting and optionally web, social networking and IM capabilities whenever the phone is in movement such as in a vehicle. App settings are password protected by the parent (or employer) and they can also receive an SMS if the app is uninstalled at any time. The parent can allow or deny permission to shut it off for those times when the user is traveling on a bus or train or is a passenger.
Scout GPS, Maps, Voice Navigation & Traffic by Telenav, Inc.
This is one of the most popular travel apps available in part because it has tons of features. The dashboard is easy to use with continually updated relevant local info. My Traffic has user-reported traffic, street-level traffic to view traffic flows, incident alerts, route summary and even an OnMyWay share feature to let others know your ETA. The app includes voice-guided navigation, an aid for finding the cheapest gas stations, ability to voice command and even syncs with your calendar. Use the nearby places feature to search and discover what is around your current location. It basically does everything that it might take having 2, 3 or even 4 other apps to accomplish. There is also the option to add on Scout Plus as either a monthly or annual subscription.
Ridejoy by Ridejoy
Android: not currently available
Sometimes the hardest thing about a commute is having the transportation to do so. The lack of a vehicle either due to finances or a breakdown can leave one wondering how they will get to work. Ridejoy offers a solution to this problem. It is an app that connects people interested in being a part of a ridesharing community. A person simply puts in a ride that they are looking for and the app matches them up with people willing to help out. The app can also be used by people looking to cut their gas costs by offering rides to people that will chip in on the gas. Members are screened through a driver’s license authentication process and users can check out the bio on a driver before accepting a ride. Users review one another as well so that feedback is also viewable. Whether you use this for daily trips or for cross country adventures this app is a great way to conserve transportation costs.
Instapaper by Instapaper LLC
Instapaper can be a great tool for making commute time productive for those that commute on public transportation or as a passenger. The app allows for offline reading of web pages, long emails, blog posts and other things that are found during the day that users want to read but may not have had the time to do so. Most web pages are
saved as text only making them easier to read. This app is also a great way to save information to be read offline such as when on an airplane. Users can adjust fonts, text size, line spacing and margins to make reading even easier. This app is so handy you may find yourself using it on your desktop or Kindle as well.
Smart Ride by Codemass, Inc.
Android: Not Available
This app provides instant access to real-time transit information for a number of public transportation systems throughout North America. Before downloading this app you can go to the developer’s website to see the list of the supported systems to be sure you live in one of those areas. This app is an invaluable tool for finding the nearest stop, getting route information and finding out ahead of time if there is a delay. Users never again have to wonder if they’ve missed the bus or whether it is late.
There are also a number of apps out there that are city specific dealing with a city’s particular public transit system that can be helpful such as iCommute DC, Traffic View London, Boston T Map and Chicago Traffic Tracker. Commuters with specific interests can also find apps that will make it seem as though the time has gone by faster – game apps and educational apps for example. There simply isn’t a reason to hate one’s commute anymore when there are so many options for making it more enjoyable and less stressful.