We've been checking out quite a few car Apps in the past couple of weeks. We've looked at CarBUZZ as well as Edmunds, and both were fun Apps. Maybe it's because we love cars. This time, we are checking out eCarPark PRO. It's an App made for people who park in large areas, such as a huge parking garage, malls, an amusement park or a downtown area with parking meters.
It's Made for Parking
The name makes that apparent, but the features of this App are useful for just about any parking situation where users may have trouble finding their car.
GPS – Users can record GPS information and mark their location so that they can easily find their car later. This could be very useful at amusement parks and large outdoor festivals, sports events, etc.
Voice Record – You can record a quick message that will help you remember how to get to your car. For instance you may say, "third level, to the left of the elevator" and play it back while looking for your car for easy finding later.
Photo – This is great for taking pictures of where you are parked so that you can find your section later. If your car is located in parking garage section A-2, you can take a picture of the car and that section for easy recall later.
Take Notes – Take notes, maybe write down a row or parking section, a street address if you parked downtown. Or remind yourself how much the fee will be when you exit the parking garage.
Parking Meter – We love this feature. After dropping money in the parking meter, you can enter the amount of time you have left. The clock will always show you the current time remaining and you can set a push notification to remind you when your time is almost up. The push notification (Below) can be set to go off however far in advance you'd like it to. For instance, if you want to know ten minutes before your meter runs out, you can set it for that, and so on.
Push Parking Meter Notification
The homescreen interface is okay, but it (pictured above) does feel a bit odd at first. We think laying the four yellow icons in a line across the bottom and moving the parking meter up slightly may have been a tad more user-friendly. Often times, we hold an iPhone with one hand, this makes the user have to extend their thumb across the length of the phone when they want to reach the top icon opposite to their hand. It's also nice to have all those additional options in one place that is away from the rest of the interface. However, we may grow into it.
Who Will Enjoy the App?
The only limiting factor of this App, and the description says it itself:
This app was developed with two situations in mind:
– people who park in big open parking.
– people who park inside a building.
It's not going to be for everybody, but those who live in a bigger city and have to park downtown on a daily basis or within large parking garages will find the App useful. In that respect, the developer is right on target.
The App is useful for its purpose, and does everything it aims to do–does it very well, in fact. The various features all come in handy, and users may not find themselves needing all of them, but they may use some at different times or stick to one or two they like. It's nice to have options.
We mentioned that the homescreen interface was a minor gripe, but nothing to cry about. The App is made with a certain kind of user in mind, that definitely limits its appeal.
Despite the limited appeal, the target user will probably be happy to purchase the App and will find it to be a lifesaver in crowded parking conditions. We would recommend it to anyone who works in more crowded downtown areas of larger cities and those who may need to find their car after a visit to Disneyland. The two bucks the App costs isn't a huge investment, but we would like to see how well this App could do at 99 cents.
4 out of 5 – Buy it only if you park in large areas on a frequent basis. Otherwise, it's not for you.