Operating a car in 2014 is still in many ways like driving 20 years ago. However, technology is making a big push in our automobiles these days, especially with smartphones. One popular trend, particularly in Russia, is the dashboard camera. In many countries, drivers have taken to scamming insurance companies to collect money by faking accidents (or overplaying the severity of real ones). As a solution, motorists now record their movements, much like the police, for use if something happens
Sygic has just updated their Speedometer app for Windows Phone 8. Speedometer already features a GPS-Based based speedometer to set alerts, 50,000 fixed speed and red-light camera locations and community reporting feature with worldwide coverage but it's the dashboard camera feature that piqued our interest.
Version 2.1 is now live in the Store, and it brings a new, exclusive dashboard camera feature to Windows Phone. The new dashboard camera is not a free add-on though, as users pay a modest $1.99/1.99EUR a month or $19.99/19.00EUR a year for the service. The reason for that is the dashboard camera videos can be uploaded to Sygic's Azure servers for cloud storage. That may seem odd, as opposed to just saving them to OneDrive, but there's a good legal reason. Sygic's Daniela Zelinova tells us:
If an accident occurs and the video was recording, the user can save the video to the cloud, which can then be used later in insurance claims or by police. It's a neat option, one that Americans may be unfamiliar with but some people in other countries will appreciate.
Besides the dashboard camera, bonus benefits for the premium subscription include posted speed limits, so you are aware of what your speed should be, premium speed camera information from TomTom, Eifrig Media, MapaRadar, and more features "coming soon."
Features of Speedometer 2.1
- Alerts for over 55,000 speed traps and red light cameras worldwide
- Alert other drivers about nearby cameras with the touch of a button
- Track trip stats including time spent in the car, average speed and distance traveled
- Set custom speed limit alerts in the app
- Simple, intuitive interface that shows just the info needed, reducing potential distraction
- Built-in dash cam
- Crowdsourced updates of speed trap database and share information with other drivers*
In using Speedometer by Sygic, I found the app very clean and easy to use. It is an ideal dashboard app in that all the important information you need is easily identified, and core features are selected with a tap of a finger. Even if you do not use the premium features, the free parts of the app are still worth the download. The videos themselves are good quality with all the GPS, speed and location info stamped on the video. Although each trip is one long video, when viewed in the app they are broken down into one minute chapters so you can easily hop to the pertinent scene. Videos can then be moved from temporary to saved and from saved they can be selected for uploading at the user's discretion.
The dashboard camera and premium features are exclusive to Windows Phone before migrating over to iOS and Android next month. Grab Speedometer by Sygic and let us know what you think or whether you need such an app!
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.