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Dune Buggy/Automotive Apps For Your Smartphone
By Gary Holbrook, submitted January 23, 2012

I have only had my smartphone (a Droid X made by Motorola with cellular service provided by Verizon) since the end of March 2011, so by no means do I consider myself an expert on these types of phones and their available applications and options.  However, I would like to share some of my thoughts, experiences, and downloadable apps as it relates to using these types of cellular phones in a way that may be beneficial (or just plain fun) when the automotive aspect is taken into consideration.  I did have the advantage of getting an education on Droid phone from a friend of mine in advance; he was able to help steer me in a direction that helped to satisfy my needs.  I have absolutely no experience with Apples's Iphone and its available applications, but I would gladly add that sort of information to this compatible page if I were to receive relevant experiences from others who use and are familiar with the product.  If you would like to help contribute information to this page, please click here
. Word of Warning: I do not consider myself an expert in smartphones, related products or downloadable applications; this article is only presented as a way to share my personal experiences with others.  Do not consider this article as an official recommendation for any smart phone, product, or application; your preferences may differ from mine and your experiences may result in a different outcome.  Please check and follow your particular phone manufacturers recommendations when applicable.

The phone itself, a Motorola Droid X

It should go without saying that it was a great idea for me to purchase both a protective case and screen protector for my Droid X, as my prized possession takes more abuse than it actually deserves.  An extra cigarette lighter adaptor was also a great idea; the one that I originally purchased with my Droid X also has a port (with sliding cover) that allows for an additional USB plug in, which can be used to also charge up relative products (don't forget to check your manufacturer's specs to see if this method of charging is safe for your product).  Recently, I also purchased a combination vehicle phone charger and FM transmitter (2nd Generation Audio FM Transmitter / Internet Music Adapter plus integrated Car Charger for the Motorola Droid X with Gomadic TipExchange, $34.95/free shipping from amazon.com) that allows me to use both features at the same time, thus only a single cigarette lighter receptacle is necessary for both options.  More on the advantages of the FM transmitter later when internet music is discussed.

Motorola's factory car mount (Motorola Vehicle Dock for Droid X) did not really mesh with my Droid X once the protective case was installed, so I have been experimenting with other options.  Currently, I have installed the Scosche DashDock Universal Dash Mount in both my Toyota 4Runner and my dune buggy.  Originally, the Scosche DashDock Universal Dash Mount had a gel-like material self-adhered to the pedestal mount bracket, which acted as an adhesive grip so that the phone would stay in place.  This gel-like material seemed to be a great idea at first, but its disadvantages quickly surfaced.  The higher temperatures of a closed-up vehicle during the summer heat caused the gel to soften up and leave a slimy residue on my Droid's phone case.  I decided to remove the gel from the pedestal mount and replace it with self-adhesive hook velcro, while also attaching a small square of self-adhesive pile velcro to the back of my Droid's phone case.  So far, so good.

Useful Automotive Apps for the Droid X

Initial descriptions are from the Android Market Website. Some applications are free (and may have already been installed on your smartphone before your initial purchase of the phone itself), others may require purchase; please read complete description and requirements before install.

Android Market - Shop Android Market on the web. Purchase and enjoy instantly on your Android phone or tablet without the hassle of syncing.

Lookout Mobile Security -
Protect your phone with award-winning security & antivirus from Lookout. Lookout is lightweight, free antivirus for Android.

K
eepScreen - KeepScreen block screen timeout when predefined applications are active. Save your battery with short timeout but have great user experience with preselected "no timeout" apps. Useful for reading mail, browsing, or guide with Google maps.

Car Dashboard - Car Dashboard is both a speedometer and a Car Home dock replacement app. Use this app to watch your speed and easily access 20 customizable shortcuts! The app automatically launches when placed in a car dock that has a magnet or similar. (This app is great if you want to compare its GPS speedometer display reading with your dune buggy's speedometer; very helpful if your front tires are not standard VW Beetle factory diameter)

Google Maps - Download the latest release of Google Maps, and never carry a paper map again. Get Google Maps with Navigation (Beta), Places, and Latitude. Download the latest release of Google Maps, and never carry a paper map again. Get Google Maps with Navigation (Beta), Places, and Latitude. (I don't think that I have used my Garmin since using the Navigation option on this app.  No need for the extra cables and cigarette lighter receptacle splitter)

Super Compass - Super Compass, app and home screen widget, GPS, cool styles, Safari
, iPhone, Night Super compass, both app and home screen widget, several styles and backgrounds to choose.

Latitude - In the background "Google Latitude" is an application that updates regularly. "Mobile Google Map" for "Latitude" If you use functions in the background could not be updated only occasionally your location and the network location information.

Accuweather - AccuWeather for Android, your source for accurate and localized weather.  AccuWeather for Android has all of the accurate and localized weather information and interactive features that you need! (I like this app because the current temperature is always displayed in the top tool bar, even if the screen is locked)

Pandora - Pandora radio is a personalized radio service that streams music on your phone. Pandora® internet radio is your own FREE personalized radio now available to stream music on your phone.  Start with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs or classical composers and Pandora will create a "station" that plays their music and more music like it.  Already a Pandora User? Just log in to enjoy your stations. (I use the 2nd Generation Audio FM Transmitter / Internet Music Adapter plus integrated Car Charger for the Motorola Droid X with Gomadic TipExchange in conjunction with this application)

Slacker - Slacker Radio is free, totally customizable radio with over 100 genre stations. Listen to free personalized radio on your Android device. Listen to over 100 expert-programmed radio stations or create your own custom stations from millions of songs. With a Slacker Radio Plus or Slacker Premium Radio subscription, you can store your favorite Slacker stations on your Android smartphone and listen even when you don’t have a wireless or Wi-Fi connection! (I use the 2nd Generation Audio FM Transmitter / Internet Music Adapter plus integrated Car Charger for the Motorola Droid X with Gomadic TipExchange in conjunction with this application)

Google Sky Map - Google Sky Map turns your Android-powered mobile phone into a window on the night sky. (This app doesn't necessarily have any use for your automotive needs; I just think its really neat)
(Automotive Apps for the Apple iPhone and Others can be found here)
 
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