23
Feb
ff

The expansive parking lots of your local mall can be a nightmare as you scan the sea of metal and glass to find your car. There are plenty of apps that will set a GPS marker to help you find it, but you have to actually remember to use them. Auto Finder takes care of things for you all on its own, though. Just install the app, and it always knows where you left the car.

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Auto Finder uses the sensor data from your device to determine when you get out of the car. It simply marks that location on the map so you can find it later. This all happens in the background and requires no setup. The longer you use Auto Finder, the more accurate it is supposed to get. The app also supports directions and manual locations.

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With something like this, you have to wonder about battery life. We've been checking this app out, and so far it hasn't made a dent. The interface looks nice too – clean and big on the holo. You can also choose between the Google Maps satellite and standard view. Auto Finder is free, but might get some premium features later.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Tim242

    That will be a drain on battery. CarLocator is much better. You open it, mark the spot, then close it.

    • efan

      they addressed that. they said it doesnt. and that the other apps require you to remember to use them. did you even read the article?

      • Tim242

        I suppose you always believe everything you read?

        • efan

          i'd rather trust AP than you when you suggest a 4 dollar app that hasn't been updated in 2 years and your arguments for using said app are addressed in the article.

          • Tim242

            Dec. 21, 2012 is not 2 years. There's no reason to update the app. It works flawlessly. Do you think apps should be updated just for the sake of updating? AP didn't say how long they have tested it, nor did they say how they tested it. They don't leave the house much.

          • Godspoken

            Poor AP writers are chained to their desks, never to leave their rooms and taste the sweet air of freedom.

          • RyanWhitwam

            The sweet air of freedom burns my lungs anyway.

          • Josh Brown

            I'm the developer of the app. Battery life was literally the first thing I looked at when I was still in the prototype phase. On all of my devices and on a bunch of other devices in the testing group no one noticed any battery draw.

        • RyanWhitwam

          The terms of use for Android Police require you to believe everything we say.

          • Marina Boykis

            great article, Ryan. these kinds of apps are must have!

    • godutch

      They could mark the spot where you disconnect from the carkit, that could be done without draining too much

      • Josh Brown

        It does, and even better you don't need to tell it which bluetooth device is your car stereo. It'll figure it out on its own after a short while (and some of the logic works even if it's not sure).

    • Glich

      I played with car locators trail it worked well but it the auto remember was unreliable unless i was using my GPS to navigate before i shut down my car.

      • Tim242

        It's not often I need to be reminded where I parked my truck. I just open the app and mark the spot manually. There's even a one click widget to do the job even faster.

      • Josh Brown

        The other car locators usually added an "automatic" mode as an add on. Auto Finder is centered around it, and as such more effort was spent tuning it and getting it right. There are a lot of little tricks the app uses to make sure the GPS is accurate enough before you get out of the car without wasting your battery.

        One is that it will turn Wi-fi on while it's looking for a fix so it can use network location to aid in getting a GPS fix (it turns it back off when it's done, and this can be disabled in the settings). It also starts looking for GPS a little bit before it thinks it will need it.

        Not all auto-parks are created equal. There's an easy way to do it and a detailed way to do it. Auto Finder puts a lot of focus on getting this right.

  • mlj11

    There needs to be an app like this, but for multi-storey car parks. I think those are where people have most trouble remembering which level their car's on.

    • sssgadget

      Or you know just right it down .. Level 3 (ish) then use your keyless entry to make that sound ;)

      • xnadax

        You're absolutely write.

        • Mike Harris

          Absolutely (ish).

  • Matt
    • JLishere

      Yes but it's also $5

      • Josh Brown

        I tried Valet when it first came out and honestly wasn't impressed. It was pretty, but the UI was confusing and awkward. Their auto park didn't work as well for me either, but ymmv.

  • Paul_Werner

    I use this:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.janschoppenhorst.parknow

    Personally, I like how Parking Now looks compared to this app.

  • Rook HD

    doesn't hurt try... I'll be pleasantly surprised if this app does what it says

  • heike1975

    Agent does this too already

  • http://www.twitter.com/ninjustin ninjustin

    I've been using Dash for this. I have an OBD2 bluetooth adapter so it give's me plenty of options.

  • Davi Caseira

    It looks good! I'm only missing a timer so we can remember to move our car while on timed parkimeters.

  • turdbogls

    I totally could have use this this weekend. why didn't you post it before? lol

    went to disney to see my mom finish the half marathon, time was running a little tight, trying to get the little one ready we just toally forgot to look where we parked. thankfully, my wife and I are somewhat competent and were able to find the car in about 2 minutes...but still.

  • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)

    Dude, where's my car?

    On another note, if you can't remember where your car is, then maybe you shouldn't be driving...

  • Glich

    i have tired few of these. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.edwardkim.android.carlocatorfree is the best with one major cavate . The auto record when your car bluetooth disconnects is not reliable unless you were using a different GPS app when you parked.

  • MrWicket

    I usually just make a note in Google Keep but this may come in handy, thanks AP.

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