Photo: itunes store
Ever turned off the freeway only to find yourself driving miles before you reached the golden arches of McDonald’s?We researched a couple of mobile apps that aim to save you time and gas money: RoadAhead and iExit.
RoadAhead lets you plan where you’d like to stop, while iExit works more like a Twitter feed, pulling up listings and offering separate apps for categories like Food and Hotels. RoadAhead only has one app that includes different categories like nightlife and pets.
Since RoadAhead is free (iExits cost $1.00), we decided to take that one for a spin.
Finding a rest stop
First, we let RoadAhead find our location—though users can manually select a highway by looking up its state or freeway number—then we searched for restaurants. After choosing one we liked—Taco Bell!—we sorted by distance from our exit.
A long list of locations appeared in list form with a symbol identifying the category on the left (fork and knife for food). The restaurant’s name was front and centre while the exact mileage from our spot flashed right below.
Reviews are shown on the right-hand side and when we tapped one, a map and Yelp reviews popped up. One downside: Sometimes reviews are offered, sometimes they’re not. The good news is most stops off these highway exits are establishments you already know.
The biggest perk
The biggest reason we like RoadAhead is its “Nearby Places” option. Once you click, it calls up listings of every possible stop near you, including ones you might overlook. Just remember to use the categories option, otherwise it will show you everything.
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