The time has come to make the long journey to this year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Here at Feedback, we’ve prepared for the “Road to ‘Roo” by downloading and testing some free iPhone apps that we think will help us (and you) get there with minimum hassle.
First things first, if you haven’t already done it, download the official Bonnaroo app! Manage your way around the festival and mark points of interest using the “Festival Map” feature. You can also plan your route and stops along the way from your current location with “Road Trip.” An excellent addition to the app is “Radio Bonnaroo.” Stream it to get you in the mood and and be sure to play around with “Roo Camera.” Take photos on your way and e-mail them to your friends to make them jealous.
Another friendly suggestion from your pals at Feedback – Use the schedule feature on the app to plan out your day so you don’t miss out on your favorite bands!
Now, on to the meat of this post.
Making sure you don’t get lost is pretty important. We’d hate for you to be headed to Bonnaroo, take the wrong exit and end up in West Virginia and not Tennessee. Here are a few apps we recommend to help you get there.
Name of App: Mapquest 4 Mobile
Developed By: Mapquest
Mapquest 4 Mobile has some unique features that make it very useful for travelers. With this app, you can choose to see icons for places like hotels, food, shopping centers, and gas. Check out the name of places near you by tapping an icon on the map and, if you like, add it to your route. Mapquest also provides the voice option typical of most GPS systems as a guide, which will help you avoid a near-death experience caused by checking your phone while driving.
Name of App: Maps
Developed By: Apple (using Google Maps)
The iPhone’s preinstalled Maps app has different map views that might make finding where you’re going easier. Based on Google Maps, the app’s satellite feature enables you to see real-life views of where you’re going. If you’re a visual person who associates landmarks with directions, give it a quick once over before hitting the road. For safety’s sake, I wouldn’t use this en-route unless you have a passenger/navigator telling you the directions.
Knowing traffic patterns, police alerts, and construction areas is valuable when traveling and can save you a lot of time and, if you’re lucky, money. The apps below have similar features in this regard but different aims.
Name of App: INRIX Traffic!
Developed by: INRIX, Inc.
INRIX Traffic! lets you know about, well, traffic. This app made our list because it covered a lot of bases drivers would want to know about: accidents, construction, live police, and fixed camera traps. You can even report incidents you see along the way and earn karma points. As a warning, some of the apps options are a little misleading because you have to upgrade to INRIX Traffic! Pro ($9.99/year or $24.99/lifetime) to access them, but they don’t impact the overall effectiveness of the app.
Name of App: Trapster
Developed By: Research Unlimited Corporation
As you might have guessed, Trapster’s main focus is speed traps. From live police to cameras, it provides information on known enforcement points, toll booths, road closings, dangerous intersections, and school zones. “Known points” are permanent structures or favored police hideouts that will be of interest to drivers. Another cool thing about Trapster is its ability to use social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter, so you can alert your friends as well.
>> Gas Finders
Scrambling to find a gas station when you’re running on empty can be stressful; however, there are apps for that.
Name of App: Cheap Gas!
Developed by: GasBuddy.com
This simple ad-supported app is all about finding the information on the variable that most affects your wallet when you travel (especially by RV like the Feedback Mobile Lab) gas prices! Harnessing the power of GasBuddy.com, the app allows you to search for gas by cost or by proximity to your location. Because Cheap Gas! uses a system that awards user input, prices are typically updated shortly after they change at the station, leading to greater accuracy and reliability.
Name of App: GasBag
Developed By: JamCode
What the GasBuddy application lacks, GasBag makes up for. Instead of a fast list style, the app utilizes Microsoft’s Virtual Earth to display pins with a station logo for bigger gas resellers (i.e., Texaco, Exxon, et al). Nearby stations are identified by GPS and populated onto the map in a clear manner. Gasbag also allows you to record gas purchases and calculates your vehicle’s fuel efficiency based on how often you’re filling up. Despite this unique feature, for us, it doesn’t offset the delay in updates compared to Cheap Gas!
>> More Finders
Name of App: AAA TripTik
Developed By: AAA
Unlike many of its other services, AAA’s TripTik is available to anyone. Map out your destination using its search tool and find food, gas, and hotels along the way. While such finds are common in map-based navigation apps, TripTik offers more unique options – campgrounds, service stations, and key places to visit like museums, wineries, and historical houses. The app offers details about each place and the option to call or get directions.
Name of App: Yelp!
Developed By: Yelp
We assume everyone already knows about Yelp, but, just in case, we decided to add it to the list anyway. Yelp breaks down businesses near you into categories so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. You can read/write reviews, get directions, add photos, and check-in to a business. This can be very helpful to you and the masses, especially if you’re traveling great distances to get to Bonnaroo.
This is just a short list of the apps we’ll be using as we make our way to Manchester. As you can see, from navigators to gas finders and everything in between, there are all sorts of services out there to make your trip as pleasureable and hassle-free as possible. Use them well and have a safe and merry time on the “Road to ‘Roo!”
Be sure to follow our field team (@dbrowell, @ideaman, @alucas9) on Twitter for their latest updates and findings from Bonnaroo, as well as @feedbackagency for our observations from afar. Feel free to use the #RoadToRoo tag to share your travel adventures and check the Feedback blog daily for recaps and other fun things from Bonnaroo 2010!