May 18, 2012 by Rider Newsletter Staff
Lots to choose from, few worth having
When the iPhone was introduced, developers set out to create applications for just about every possible human activity, including motorcycling. Dozens of these apps are still available. The truth, however, is that most of these applications are simply not worth the time, effort or money it takes to download, install and learn them.
We’re not talking about games, here. There are many fun and exciting biking games available for iPhone, and Android smart phones. Quite a few are becoming available for Windows Phones with more on the way. To find games you might enjoy, visit The Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon.com, The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace or wherever games are available.
Our goal is to find apps that can make riding easier and more fun. It turns out there are a few, but only a few. Many available applications perform tasks that are better done with a pencil and paper. Others are sponsored by motorcycle manufacturers and are only useful to owners of their bikes. Need to find the nearest Harley dealer? There’s an app for that. However, there’s also the Internet for that, so who needs an app?
Most of these apps are great for traveling by car, truck and even bicycle, as well as motorcycle. The first app, however, was designed specifically with bikers in mind.
Where are we going?
BestBikingRoads.com is designed to help you find new places to ride. The concept is simple and so is the app. Fire up the app, pick a location and see the best rides and stretches of road. Rides are suggested by members of the BestBikingRoads.com Web site. You can upload your own ride suggestions and comment on existing entries.
Available for: iPhone/Android
Honorable Mention: Greatest Road
How do we get there?
No matter which smart phone you have, at least one free GPS application is available. Several publishers, however, have created apps with added capabilities and functionality. MobileNavigator turns your phone into a fully-functioning GPS. The publisher is owned by Garmin, so the pedigree is solid. As you would expect, MobileNavigator provides information on distance, arrival time, gas stations, speed limits and much more. Add-on applications are available to further extend the app’s capabilities.
Available for: iPhone/Android/Windows Phone 7
Price: $39.95 (USA version)
Honorable Mention: WAZE – Free app adds social networking to GPS.
What will we find on the way?
If you travel Interstates (who doesn’t?) and you have favorite places to eat, sleep or visit, iExit can improve your traveling life. iExit Interstate Exit Guide offers an overview of what you’ll find at various Interstate exits in real time. You can even search for chains that are running special promotions at the next exit. Categories include fuel types, hotels, shopping, campgrounds, vehicle services and food.
Application: iExit Interstate Exit Guide
Available for: iPhone/Android
Price: Lite version and Android: Free – Full version for iPhone: $1.99
How do I keep my bike in shape for the trip?
Motorcycle Minder allows you to keep track of maintenance items and custom modifications. You can quickly determine when services are needed and record when they are completed. Multiple bikes can be included.
Application: Motorcycle Minder
Available for: iPhone
Publisher: JMG Apps
There are dozens of travel and motorcycle applications available in The Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon.com, The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Cruise the sites before you hit the road and make your trip better. If you find anything promising, be sure to let us know.