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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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!
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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.
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
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.
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!