Driving back and forth every day to the office can be a burden if your commute is more than 20 minutes on average, which it is for most people. If your drive lasts at least as long as a broadcast sitcom, you probably have a routine for keeping yourself from going mad on the road. If you don’t you should.
We have a list of apps that we think will help make your commute easier by letting you know what the traffic is like, how soon your bus will arrive, and where to find the cheapest parking lot in the city…
If you are not going to use Google Maps to help direct you to your destination, Waze is the next best thing. In fact, Google uses Waze’s community-based traffic updates to let you know if there is an accident on your route. In addition to real-time traffic updates, this user-based social mapping service also includes gas station information, one-tap navigation to Facebook events, and easy access to destinations that you visit regularly. The app even learns your commuting hours and preferred routes. All of the information collected in Waze is automatically uploaded to the community database as you drive, so you can easily share road conditions with others. This app is available for free.
Of course, no commute would be worth its salt if you couldn’t spend some quality time with Sebastien, Jeff, and Cody as they talk about everything Apple. Apple’s podcast app makes it easy for you to catch the latest episodes of “Lets Talk iOS.” If you don’t already know how to subscribe, check out or recent how-to post. Your morning commute will never be the same again.
If you drive for your commute, instead of letting someone else do it for you, and you’ve listened to all of your podcasts for the week, or just want something more in-depth to keep you occupied while on your long commute, use this app to access more than 5,000 free audiobooks. After you’ve listened to all of your favorite free audiobooks, you can purchase individual ones for $0.99 each, or subscribe to a monthly service for $7.99 that gives you access to a growing selection of professionally narrated best sellers and hand-selected classics that have been edited for maximum quality. This app is available for free.
Taking public transportation is fantastic for saving on gas, reducing traffic, and generally helping the environment by contributing to less cars on the road. However, public transportation can be a serious pain in the butt, too. This app lets you know when your bus is running late, gives you the best route based on real-time arrival information, and find the nearest bus stop from where you are currently located. The comprehensive list of cities includes regional transit information for dozens of major cities, including cable car information for San Francisco. This app is available for free.
Are you supposed to pick up a co-worker along the way and have left a few minutes late? Send them an update to let them know you are on your way. This notification app tells the recipient where you are, how long it will take to get there, and even lets them know what mode of transportation you are using. You can schedule Twist notifications in advance for meeting reminders, request a Twist from someone so you can find out where they are, and make shortcuts of your most frequent Twists to the same person and destination. You can even connect with multiple recipients so that everyone will know when the group will converge. This app is available for free.
If you are taking a bus, train, or other form of transportation that lets you take your eyes off the road, you can get up to date on all of your favorite news sites without having to worry about a network connection with this app. Before you leave for work in the morning, check out the headlines and add interesting articles to Pocket for offline reading. You can also save video clips for watching while on your commute. Save anything you’d like to read later into Pocket and it will be there for you when you are ready and you won’t need an Internet connection to access it. This app is available for free.
If you live in a big city, you know how difficult it is to find parking. Once you’ve found a lot, it is just as hard to find a reasonable price for storing your car for the afternoon. Some people pay hundreds of dollars for a designated spot in a private lot, but we are not all so fortunate to have such luxuries. This app helps you find parking lots nearby and gives you a pricing comparison so you will know where to go to get the best deal. If you live in New York, you will get even more benefits with exclusive discounts at hundreds of parking facilities. This app is available for free.
Gas prices are seriously upsetting to me. I am lucky enough to be able to bike around my hometown and don’t have to gas up very often, but whenever I do, I am in awe of how much it costs to fill my tank. I can’t imagine how terrible it is for people who have to commute every day. In my opinion, every cent counts and finding the cheapest gas nearby is priceless. GasBuddy finds the cheapest gas based on your location and based on a designated city, so you can plan where you are going to stop along the way. This app is available for free.
How do you get to work? Do you drive, take public transportation, or ride a bicycle? Are there any particular applications that you use on your way to work? Feel free to share with us.