Here's a review of the brilliant iPhone application Parker, which can help you find parking spots based on sensors at those parking spots. This could save you many hours of driving time if it can be used in your area.
iPhone Application: Parker
If you drive in a big city you know that one of the hardest parts of driving is stopping. That is, finding a place to park. Often you can find yourself circling blocks hoping that you will find a parking spot. Often you find a parking spot, but it is so expensive or so far from your location that you might as well have taken the bus. The iPhone application Parker seeks to solve that problem, and in those areas where it is usable it appears to do it quite well.
What the iPhone App Parker Does
Parker is a brilliant idea for an iPhone app. It uses sensors which have been put in parking spots across the country to tell how many open parking spots there are in an area. It then combines this information with information on parking garages and the cost of meters in the area to give you an excellent idea about where to park. It does this by telling you approximately how many open spots are on each road rather than trying to pinpoint exact parking spots which could disappear quickly.
iPhone App: Parker's Interface
As with any iPhone app used while driving the question needs to be not how good does the app look, but how easily and safely can the app be used while driving? In the case of the iPhone Parker app the truth is that this would be far safer on an iPad than an iPhone simply because it would be easier to see and require you to take your eyes off the road for less time. That said, it is very easy to navigate and has a full tutorial which shows you how everything works so if you have a mount on your car dashboard for the iPhone it would be very easy to use safely. Simply touch the map in the area you are going to and if it has sensors there it will bring them up.
Overview of the iPhone app Parker
There is no doubt that this is a well designed and well thought out app which has a lot of value built into it. In fact the only major flaw at this time is that it is extremely limited in the areas in which it can be used. These are currently limited to the Fort Totten Metro in DC, Hollywood in LA and Roosevelt Island in New York City. Even in these cities these areas seem specific enough that the app won't be useful unless you live or work in one of these areas. Parker is not going to be much more than a novelty for most people at this time, but even for those who might not use these areas a lot this is an app you must keep an eye on because as they expand the coverage it will become more impressive and could easily become a 5 star app.
- Source: Author's own experience.
- Images: Screenshots taken from Parker app for iPhone.