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Sponsored App Review: aCar for Android

August 16, 2012 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

Cars these days are a little too smart for their own good, especially if you go for one of the higher up models. You’ll end up with a touchscreen, built in sat nav and a boat load of other bells and whistles. What if you don’t have a high end model of car? What if you want more car, rather than more computer but still want to track all sorts of stats and run your car as efficiently as you can? You’re thinking “Well, my Android Phone will do all this!” and you’d be right but, every now and then the platform needs help and all the help you’ll ever need comes in the form of aCar. You can get aCar in the Play Store here and you can keep reading to see what we thought about it!

Description: aCar is an application for your Android running smartphone that will help you run your car better than you ever have before. There are so many features of both the free and paid versions that we’ll go into them below. aCar is one of the few apps out there that gets better the more you use it, spend a month with aCar and you’ll soon benefit from it. The app not only allows you to track your mileage and how much you fill up etc but, let’s you enter as much information as you could ever want. The app’s primary focus is on enabling you, the user, to record and compare results/costs/mileage etc over time in order to run your car better. With a lot of folks out there having a company car, being able to monitor all this data is going to become invaluable, just like monitoring parts and fuel becomes when you’re on a budget.

Features

As I said earlier, aCar comes with so many fantastic features, both in the free and pro versions, that it’s best to just wow you now:-

Free Version:

 

  • Support for Multiple Cars
  • Record exacting specifications of parts
  • Super easy and pain free data entry
  • Record  fill-ups, services, expenses and trips – whether they be business or personal
  • Reminders based on both mileage and time for Engine Oil, Air Filters etc
  • All the measurements you could ever want, such as MPG, gal/100mi, mi/L, km/gal, L/100km, km/L
  • Automatic monthly backups


As Well as The Above the Pro Version Offers:

 

  • Numerous localizations including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Danish, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Greek, Slovak with more to come, so, tell your friends abroad
  • Widgets to access the main features such as Console, Service Reminders, Predictions, Fuel Efficiency and Fuel Price.
  • Export both records and stats to CSV Excel formats and HTML
  • More frequent and manual backups
  • Shortcuts for your home screen for New Trip, New Fill-up, New Service and New Expense.
  • The real kicker of the pro features might be the ability to import from the following apps: Auto 3in1, AutoMobile, Car Care, FuelLog, Gas Cubby, Mileage, MPG, My Cars, Road Trip, TealAuto, Trip Cubby, Trip and Trip Deluxe, Vehicle Manager. As well as the following websites: Fuelly.com, FuelFrog.com, SpritMonitor.de, TrackYourGasMileage.com


How It Works:
The developer behind aCar has worked for a long time to get the balance between ease of use and a mass of features, which is pulled off nicely here. To get the app up and running all you have to do is install the app from the Play Store, once there you’ll see the centrist icon – the Vehicle icon – flash at you, which is your cue to input the data on one of the vehicles you’d like to add to the app. There’s a whole host of information that you can input here, including what you paid for the car.

After this, you’ll see a number of different icons have gone to color, this means that thanks to the added vehicle you can start recording data. aCar features a nice “What to Do Next?” portion of the app which will guide you step-by-step the things that you’ll need to do to get the most of the app. From the main screen you can input data into any one of these portions of the app. You can also customize each screen to your liking by accessing the menu in the top right corner, making data input even easier.

Whichever screen you access, whether it be Expenses, Services or Fuel you can be assured of a pain free experience, to input data into this app is like a dream, it really is that simple. This is what apps like these should be, they should require minimum effort from the user and deliver maximum output. Even if you’re not that clued up on all these stats it doesn’t matter because, the app will never moan at you – like countless others – because you have a wrong data value or you need to add this or that, it’ll just let you get on with it and do the extra work itself.

Once you’ve been using aCar for some time you’ll begin to see real results in the types of statistics you get out of it. These can be viewed in either chart or graph form, as well as an overview in each vehicle’s screen and the all vehicles screen.

Opinion:
I’m not that much of a car fan myself, I’ve never seen the attraction to going after high-powered cars and so on. I do know, however, that having to run a car either on a budget or with somebody else look at your costs, tracking it and keeping it is incredibly difficult. It doesn’t have to be however, and the developer behind aCar has realized this and delivered this great app to us drivers.There’s no one thing that you couldn’t do with aCar, it’s only as limited as your willingness to use it is. Input to next to data, and you’ll get next to no data out. Make sure you use the app every time you get out of the car however, and in a month to three months you’ll look back and think “Right, I know I can do things differently” or, “Maybe I should put some money aside for that upcoming service”.I know a couple of people that drive a company car and whilst that seems glamorous, having to track your fuel and mileage and present a report at the end of the month, is not. It’s also one of those things in life that you’ll live until the day before and you’ll never manage it, get into the habit of using aCar however, then your reports will be in on time, every time.Ratings
  • Speed (5/5) – There’s absolutely no lag here and inputting data is so easy, every app should have this approach to data input.
  • Features (5/5) –  As you’ll have noted above, there’s no shortage of features here and, if you go for the pro version, it seems more like an office suite than a phone app.
  • Theme (5/5) – Another five here for theme, with it’s brilliant icon scheme and balanced aesthetics, no app has made stats look good, until this one.
  • Overall (5/5) – If you were looking for a car companion then you really have nowhere else to look.  Nowhere.


Pros

 

  • Incredible amount of options makes this app more than a swiss army knife for drivers.
  • Perfect for those on a budget and those that dread service bills.
  • A must for someone who has a company car or someone that has to declare mileage.
  • Fuel is a drag, spending money on your commute isn’t fun, using aCar you can learn to budget.


Cons

  • A dedicated tablet app would be fantastic but, this will look okay on 7 inchers like the Nexus.
  • The ability to backup to Dropbox or Google Drive would be nice but, putting it there yourself isn’t difficult.


Conclusion:
If I were going to recommend a car app to you, then it’d be this app right here, you know why? Because quite simply, it’s the best. In a number of ways, aCar stand out from the competition like no other, in part due to the fact that it does absolutely everything. Also, it’s clean, balanced aesthetics make for a compelling app that’s easy to use and easy to look at.

I keep saying that this is going to be a super useful app for those that are running a car on a budget, because it really is. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on the car, being prepared for an expense – thanks to the app’s built in Reminders – is a lot easier than having it spring on you. A service might cost $300 but, if you put away $50 every week running up to it, your wallet on the day is going to be pleased.

If you’re considering on using this app for any serious length of time then I seriously encourage you to consider the Pro version and if you’d like to do this be sure to install the Unlocker app from the Play Store here besides, it’s hardly expensive for what you’re getting.