iOnRoad Augmented Driving
A major contribution to road safety?
Android App of the Week
Possibly the most - only? - useful augmented reality app I’ve come across, iOnRoad Augmented Driving uses your phone to provide a selection of handy driving advisories and warnings not unlike those provided by the latest Ford Focus.
The app uses your phone’s rear camera to scan traffic in front of you. It warns you of any potential collisions as well as keeping you informed of your speed and direction of travel.
Green is good
What's really handy, though, is that it keeps watching and running in the background so will warn you of any potential dangers even while your satnav app is running in the foreground to tell you where to drive.
The main safety function is a distance-to-the-car-head warning. When a car comes within range, the gap between is coloured green, then orange and then red the closer you get. Then a warning chime sounds.
iOnRoad's user-set speed warnings are handy
There is also an alarm when you stray out of your lane, and an option to set a maximum speed which, if you exceed, will prompt the app to wag a virtual finger at you. Though it’s not exactly a safety feature, I also like the handy compass, which shows your what bearing you are on.
The app can also read out text messages and e-mails while you are driving and operates a points system to rate your skill behind the wheel. Take a final snapshot when you park and the companion Car Locator app will add a GPS fix and Google Maps pin to help locate your motor.
Pick the info you want on screen (left). There's a separate app for locating your vehicle in large car parks (right)
The developers also host a web portal that you can use to keep track of your travels by logging in with your Google account, though this will naturally raise privacy issues for some users.
On the go, you can take snaps of interesting sights and events by just tapping the camera icon. If you want to take more than one shot you can set the camera to burst mode and you can make posting to Facebook fully automatic.
The online Log shows you were you were driving like a berk
iOnRoad is just out of beta for Android - an iOS version is “coming soon” - and currently free while the developer continues to polish off some the rough edges - GPS lock was sometimes a bit tardy on my HTC Desire HD - and is well worth a try. ®
We make our choice of the best Android smartphone and tablet downloads every Tuesday. If you think there's an app we should be considering, please let us know.
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