TakeMySpot iPhone app an intriguing option for car owners in cities

Jul 15, 2010
Tech

The free TakeMySpot iPhone app has the right idea, at least. It’d be great to know without driving all over town whether there’s a spot available to park in your neighborhood. Unfortunately, at least for now, too many roadblocks stand in the way of TakeMySpot being an essential app. For starters, while it’s fantastic that […]

The free TakeMySpot iPhone app has the right idea, at least. It’d be great to know without driving all over town whether there’s a spot available to park in your neighborhood. Unfortunately, at least for now, too many roadblocks stand in the way of TakeMySpot being an essential app.

For starters, while it’s fantastic that TakeMySpot automatically shows where your car is using your iPhone’s location services, that only actually works if you turn the app on while you’re still in your car, or just exiting your car at least. If you go into your apartment a few blocks from your car and then try to “park” your car in the app, your results will be less than accurate. Unfortunately there’s no way to manually place your car at a particular address, so unless you activate the app right when you park, you’re out of luck.

Then, of course, there’s the issue of finding a spot. If someone who uses the app forgets to ‘unpark’ their car, they’ll be displayed as parked in a spot that could potentially be yours. And then there are all of the people without iPhones or without this app, so it’s a bit impossible to judge when a spot would actually be open with any sort of accuracy. Besides that, the app forcing you to sign-up and register your car means people with the app can see actually which car is yours and how long you’ve left it. A bit of a creepy thought, I’d say.

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Still, if this catches on, there’s a lot TakeMySpot does right. Being able to specify how much time you have left on a meter is a great feature. The same can be said for the parking regulation notifications that are available to New Yorkers using the app. If this app catches on and users start plugging in their city’s parking regulations across the country, that will make this an essential app for an out-of-town driver who wants to avoid getting their car towed.

The idea that by giving up a spot for another user you earn virtual points that translate into charitable donations is also rather heartwarming, though it’s a far from an essential concern of mine when I’m looking for a useful parking app.

Overall, TakeMySpot does some good things with the technology available to it. Most useful for folks looking to put a placemarker on where they’ve parked and a note on how much meter time they have left, perhaps one day it can help people all over park as a community. Until then, there’s just a bit missing to make this a must-own app.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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