Parking App is a multifunction app centered around helping you remember when and where you parked. Combining a timer, an “address book” of parking zones, and a handy photo display to remind you where exactly you parked, the app is intended to help you avoid tickets and towing. Its heart is certainly in the right place, and I can imagine some getting some decent mileage out of it, but there’s a pretty sharp drawback – the app has to be open for it to remind you of anything.
- Meter-style Timer
Designed to be set when you park your car, this meter is set by sliding a switch beneath it. The style is cool, but the timer can only be set in 5-minute increments.
- Easy to Use Photo Interface
Thankfully, there’s no rummaging around in your camera roll with this app; simply take the picture, confirm/cancel, and you’ve got an instant reminder of where you parked.
- Dodge the Sweeper
You can set up any number of parking zones with parameters for when it’s okay to park there, including which days of the week, which weeks of the month, and which hours every day. You just tap a zone to indicate you’re parked there, and if you are in a zone that’s about to become illegal, you’ll be warned.
There’s a lot of potential here. If you’re the type that really sticks with an app on your phone, Parking App could become a map to the overwhelming parking situations in major cities. Over time you could add great parking areas, complete with when it’s safe to park there. Heading to a certain area? Have your parking choices right there in your phone. The downside to all that is that you’d have to do the legwork of discovering and entering a city’s worth of parking before you get to leave the work of remembering the details to your iPhone.
I really was happy with the way photos were integrated into the app. You just take the picture and you’re done. If you need a redo, it’s right there – no leaving the app to mess with your camera. I definitely approve of developers taking external functions of the iPhone and putting them straight into the app. It makes the general feel and experience with the program so much smoother and easier.
Unfortunately, one of the most useful features of this app – the alarms and warnings for when a meter expires or when a parking zone is about to become a no-go – only work if you have the app open. Essentially you’ve got to set up the parking app in the morning when you park, go through the day using your iPhone as normal, and then you must remember to open up the app again towards the end of the day. This would be even worse if you’re parked in a zone that you’ve got to remember to move from at longer intervals, like to escape weekly street sweeping.
For all the good features of this app, the basic function is to remind you when your time is up for parking. I’d personally need a reminder to keep my parking app open so my reminder works! That seems fundamentally broken, and if it’s possible to fix, the developers really need to do so in order for this app to function the way it should.
The parking database function is nice, and could be plenty convenient. Unfortunately, the timers and warnings are pretty much worthless if they don’t alert you outside the app. If you have lots of areas you have to juggle parking in on a daily basis, this will help you keep them straight. If you have a driveway or a parking spot, I wouldn’t put the brakes on for this app.