02
Nov
acar
Last Updated: November 13th, 2010

In this day and age, it’s increasingly difficult NOT to become at least a little interested in the small (or maybe not so small) charges that you incur on a regular basis. With gas prices soaring, tracking your vehicles fuel economy has become a regular practice for many consumers, myself included. It can be hard, though, to maintain a database of all your mileage information and aggregate this data in a pleasing and useful way.

Update by Jaroslav (11/2/10):

In light of the new version of the app (2.3.0) as well as aCar's first birthday that is coming up on November 5th, we thought we'd update the review with a roundup of the new features and throw a giveaway of 20x aCar Pro licenses. Scroll towards the bottom for more info.

Update: This contest is now over. We have selected the winners - see if you are one of them towards the bottom of the page.

What's new in v2.3:

  • There are now a few more options available right from the app's main page, namely:
    • Expense Records - a place where you can jot down the expenses of your vehicle for future reference
    • Trip Records - like Expense Records, only for trips
    • FAQ - really helpful if you're just getting started with the app
  • Bug fixes aplenty
  • "UI Improvements" - I haven't really noticed any, but Armond, the developer, says they're there

Wait, let me back that up. Rewind. Enhance.

It can be hard, though, to maintain a database of all of your mileage information and aggregate this data in a pleasing and useful way if you've never heard of aCar.

I discovered this little gem about 6 months ago and, because of its usefulness and ease, I have actually begun to enjoy filling up my tank (though my wallet may beg to differ). The basic idea of this app is that, whenever you fill up your tank, you input:

  • How much gas you put in
  • What your odometer is at and
  • The price of the gas you put in

aCar also has some handy accommodations for the off-chance occurrence that you forgot to tell it about your last fill-up.

Now that we know what it is, let's talk a little bit about how to use it. I will say that, despite how much I love this application, it can be a bit daunting the first time you open it:

snap20100902_144740

It does a lot of things, and you can tell that immediately. The first step is to tap on the "+ Vehicle" button and add all the information about your car (you can keep track of multiple vehicles). After you've added a car to your inventory, it's time to get some gas. When you tap the "+ Fillup Rec" button, you are presented with four text boxes and some options:

snap20100902_145309

Input your total mileage and how much you put in the tank. If/when you tell it the cost per gallon, it will auto populate the total cost. Nifty! You can then tell it what grade of gasoline you used, how you paid for it, and whether or not you missed a fill-up. Lather, rinse, repeat every time you fill up. After the second fill-up, the "home screen" will tell you your mileage and show some nice charts about your fuel consumption and spending.

In addition to that, the "Charts" icon will whisk you away into a wonderland of graphs and charts to show you how much that car of yours affects your wallet. In a similar vein to the charts, the "Statistics" section will tell you everything you could possibly want to know about your car's fuel economy:

snap20100902_145348  snap20100902_145354

 snap20100902_145403

In addition to the amazing job aCar does with your gas mileage, you can also use it to keep track of your scheduled maintenance. You can input any work you have done, which is useful to provide a more complete pictures of the running cost of your vehicle, as well as set up reminders for oil changes, tire rotation, and all the other things I can't remember to do until it's too late.

After using the app for a while, it becomes second nature to open the app alongside your wallet when getting work done on your car, and you can get a really great picture of how often it's happening and how much it is costing you.

snap20100902_145418 snap20100902_145445

You can also donate to the developer and gain the ability to backup and restore all your car's information at any time. This is especially handy if you change phones often, which I do.

Overall, I would have to give this app no less than a 9 out of 10. It knows its functions, and it does them extremely well. You can get a very clear picture of how much your car is costing you. You can also use it to let you know when your car needs its scheduled maintenance so it doesn't end up costing you more in repairs.

The only downside that I really see in aCar is the user interface which, in all actuality, isn't really that bad. While nothing is there that shouldn't be there, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what to do first. After you get used to it, though, it becomes second nature to use this app at every opportunity.

I know that I, personally, will never be without this app. It’s a must have, in my opinion.

Want to give aCar a spin? Check the AppBrain page here, or scan the QR code below to launch its Market page on your phone!

QR code for https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zonewalker.acar

Giveaway

And the winners are:

David D'Haene
Brandon Gier
Eric Peterson
aaron reyes
marcus Lingan
Mario Morales
Jeremy Wielopolski
Chris Ruska
Mike Wallace
ken
Dan Roberts
Adam Pober
Michael Arnold
Brian Lowry
Douglas Murray
Albert Flecha
Rone Diesel
Joseph Case
Marc Young
cecil e roof jr

Emails have been dispatched notifying them of how to collect their winnings.

Thanks for playing!

The aCar developer was kind enough to sponsor a giveaway of 20 free Pro licenses.

The Pro license unlocks the following features without having to install another app - all your data will be intact:

  • Manual data and settings backup.
  • Hourly, daily and weekly automatic backups.
  • Manual data and settings restore.
  • Data import from various sources: Mileage app, Road Trip app, Auto 3in1 app, Fuelly.com, FuelFrog.com and any plain CSV file (Excel compatible)
  • Data export to Excel compatible CSV format.
  • Full-screen statistical charts.

How To Win

Entering the contest is really simple - just make sure you complete the steps below.

Step 1.

There are 2 parts in this step: complete either one of them to be eligible or both to double your chances of winning.

  • Follow @AndroidPolice on Twitter, then tweet the following message exactly as below:

Entered to win a free aCar Pro license from @AndroidPolice after reading this review: http://bit.ly/ap-acar #Android

OR

Step 2.

Fill out this form, so that we know how to contact the winners.

Step 3 (optional).

In the comments below, tell the aCar developer what your favorite aCar feature is.

Again, steps 1 and 2 are required to enter.

Terms

The contest starts immediately and runs until November 10th, 11:59PM PST.

Winners will be announced here and notified via twitter, Facebook, or email.

Good luck, everyone!

Brad Ganley
An Android power user, Brad consumes most of his free time with unhealthy amounts of cell phones and cell phone related things when he isn't playing with his son. Brad is also an avid movie-watcher and tea-drinker.
  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Awesome review, Brad.

    I think the biggest value for me would be maintenance reminders.

    I wish the app had a database of manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals, so that I don't have to enter it all myself.

    • Brad Ganley

      A manufacturer based interval setting would be awesome, but I'm sure that so much variance exists that it would just be impractical to implement. Maybe a future update will prove me wrong, though.

  • RodeoFive

    I found this app a month ago. Really useful!

  • http://www.reddit.com Xenophon

    If I had a car, this would be on the top of my list.

    My fiancee's car, however, may do well from this glut of information at my fingertips...hmmm....

    Cheers on the review!

  • http://www.24-car.de Kai

    a very nice und useful app

  • Klaus

    Does it support switching to metric?

    • http://www.zonewalker.com/acar Armond Avanes

      Yes, go to application Settings (accessible from options MENU on the main screen) and change the "Unit" option to whatever you like. You'll find many more customization options there.

      @Everybody: Please don't hesitate to contact (email) me directly if you're having any problems, questions to ask or feature requests.

      • Brad Ganley

        Thanks for the response, Armond. You are very talented and active developer, and i hope you liked my review. You do good work.

        • http://www.zonewalker.com/acar Armond Avanes

          Brad,

          It was definitely pleasant to read your in-depth and detailed review! I highly appreciate your time and efforts.

          I just hope to see more reviews like this rather than just a quick and brief recommendation.

          Best Regards,

  • Dave Riley

    Great Review Brad, gonna take it for a test spin!

  • http://www.TheInformNation.com Eric

    Keeping track of multiple cars. I put a lot of money into my girlfriends car and want to be able to track spending.

  • Desmond Teoh

    Very useful app for recording all the expenses for your cars especially for maintenance portion. Good job

  • Santa Chhat

    My favorite feature is being able to keep track of my gas mileage. I can keep record of my mpg after every fill up.

  • http://www.wikispeedia.org jim pruett

    Brad,

    Take a look at SPEEDERASER, aka "Advanced Cruise".

    Its a very unique app that comes with a box that hooks to your cruise control.

    We have samples for reviewers.

    http://goo.gl/iIKqD

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