Essential iOS Road Trip apps: Trapster

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.

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TOPICS: Mobile OS, Apple
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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

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6 comments
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  • RE: Essential iOS road trip apps: Trapster

    "...build systems that notify us of such privacy killing devices."

    Exactly how much privacy should one expect driving on a public road? Apps like this are pointless if you don't break the law.
    jmiller1978
  • ...its not ALL ABOUT breaking the law

    I bypassed a "flooded road" that Trapster had alerted me about, and was able to get home in time to get the kids off the bus. Local news reported that traffic was stuck for two hours. Great article Jason... and thanks Trapster!
    waiting4rim2catchup
    • RE: Essential iOS road trip apps: Trapster

      @waiting4rim2catchup

      Well then that's a feature I can stand behind but when someone tries to sell me that enforcement cameras are an invasion of privacy, I just don't buy it.
      jmiller1978
  • Futuristic apps

    This beeps if you speed.
    http://goo.gl/DO1jb

    This one beeps if you fall asleep.
    http://goo.gl/tLoMf

    This one runs your cruise control.
    http://goo.gl/LSsg7
    cellurl
  • RE: Essential iOS road trip apps: Trapster

    Carma (or Carma - Lite for free) is my favorite road app along with Trapster
    tbird412
  • Fuzz Alert iphone app

    Fuzz alert ( or fuzz alert pro) is a cool iphone app - speed cameras and redlight cams
    billding