Essential iOS Road Trip apps: Trapster

Summary:Road trips have improved immensely since the release of the iPhone (or more specifically the App Store and third-party apps) and Trapster has earned a place in the O'Grady app Hall of Fame.

Part 1 in a series on Essential iOS Road Trip apps.

Ah, summer.

While the three B's of summer (beach, boat, and BBQ) are certainly staples, many people use the warm summer months to take family road trips. The practice is practically an institution here in the U.S. ("are we there yet?!") and for many families it's a rite of summer and a little slice of Americana rolled up into one. Pick a location, pack the family into the family truckster and hit the highways.

Road trips have improved immensely since the release of the iPhone (or more specifically the App Store and third-party apps) and this app is definitely in the O'Grady app Hall of Fame:

Trapster (App Store, free) – No one likes a speeding ticket, except maybe the enforcement officer who gets one step closer to making his quota for the month (and maybe some points with the Chief). Being on the receiving end of a moving violation is a bummer on so many levels: the fine, the points and the hour or so it takes the nice officer to write the dang thing up (hey, we've got a schedule to keep here!).

Enter Trapster, an essential in-vehicle app that alerts users to potential speed traps, enforcement cameras, and road hazards along your route. It simply plots your location on a map via GPS then alerts you when a known enforcement area is coming up along your route. I'm not endorsing speeding or other illegal activities here, but when towns start installing cameras that issue automatic tickets-by-mail citizens have the right to build systems that notify us of such privacy killing devices.

What makes Trapster great is that it's crowd-sourced and allows users to quickly report enforcement areas, construction zones, etc. It's kind of like flashing your headlights at oncoming traffic, to well, you know... Although Apple revised its iOS guidelines to ban DUI checkpoint apps in June 2011, apps which pinpoint speed traps (like Trapster), are still permitted. Trapster is the modern equivalent of the radar detector and I don't drive anywhere without Trapster running on my iPhone.

More to follow in this series, stay tuned.

What are your favorite road trip apps?

To recap, my Essential Road Trip apps are:

Topics: Mobile OS, Apple

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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