By Jim Nash on April 12, 2010
While everyone is talking about the bigger iPad these days, the iPhone is perfectly suited for a few tasks — namely, killing time while you wait in line somewhere. And where is one place you just can’t avoid a wait? The gas pump. Mileage applications actually make those fill-up stops productive by tracking your mileage and, as we discovered, quite a bit more.
Having bought five of the top-rated iPhone mileage apps to see how well they work, I was surprised. Surprised at all the thinking I had to do to set them up. It occurred to me that I paid a lot of money for a device to think for me, and here I was thinking.
OK, I'm over it. Let's look at these app stars to see if they're worth the effort and money.
Gas Cubby ($6.99)
This app has the most straightforward page for entering mileage data. It's all there: odometer, gas cost/amount/grade/brand, location, payment type and tire pressure. You can assign tags to each fill-up to help you better understand your gas habits. Tags can be labeled "business" or anything that you can search for and use in a database (for really ambitious drivers). This captures enough information (and on multiple cars) to make a fleet manager smile, or a family with a big garage.
Score: 8 out of 10
Car Minder ($2.99)
This is a good middle ground when it comes to mileage apps. You won't become exhausted from submitting information that you will never use (such as your car's vehicle identification number). And – bonus! – not only does the app sport an attractive design, but navigation is fairly simple. The gas log breaks mileage down according to lifetime, past year and past three months. You can use Car Minder to track services and repairs, too.
Score: 7 out of 10