Keep tabs on fuel prices with GasBuddy iPhone app

Jan 4, 2011
Tech

Website GasBuddy has had an app available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch for some time, but the fuel tracker recently dropped its third-party developer, Bottle Rocket, in favor of releasing its own branded app. The new free app GasBuddy is now the official mobile portal to GasBuddy’s info, while the Bottle Rocket version transitioned […]

Website GasBuddy has had an app available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch for some time, but the fuel tracker recently dropped its third-party developer, Bottle Rocket, in favor of releasing its own branded app. The new free app GasBuddy is now the official mobile portal to GasBuddy’s info, while the Bottle Rocket version transitioned to Fuel Finder, and retained its $2.99 price tag.

GasBuddy offers a simplistic interface for displaying its gas-pricing information, but — no pun intended — your mileage may vary when it comes to accuracy and actual usability. GasBuddy uses your current location to find the nearest service stations, and displays current gas prices so you can see if driving an extra block north will save you some green.

I tested the app while running some errands in Chicago. When stopped next to a gas station, GasBuddy was able to indicate it as the closest station to me, and gave me the correct pricing information. I was able to see that its prices were no different from the station up the road, but I was also disappointed to see that other stations in the area didn’t have price information at all. GasBuddy relies heavily on user participation, so if others in your area aren’t dedicated to sending in updates, you might not be able to rely on the app for saving money. If information is available, you’ll be able to see prices for different gasoline grades or for diesel. You can sort results via distance or price, and view them in list or map format. Tapping on a particular station will give you station-specific information (again, when available), such as air-hose availability or if the store is open 24/7.

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GasBuddy offers a log in portal that works with accounts on its web site. Submitting prices doesn’t require an account, but if you like others knowing that its you doing the legwork, it’s worth registration. Tips update to both the GasBuddy web site and to the app within minutes.

GasBuddy is free, so there’s no risk downloading to see if there’s enough information available for your traveling needs.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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