If I think back to to a time before smart phones and the wonderful world of “Apps for that”, I really don’t know how I coped. How did I find my way about when my sat nav’s battery was dead and the charger was AWOL? How did I check my emails while sitting on the toilet and how did I check for the best fuel prices without either trawling round town or booting my PC up to log onto PetrolPrices.com?
The later has come to my aid in the form of the FuelPrices Pro iPhone App. Put simply:
PetrolPrices Pro is the official iPhone application from PetrolPrices.com. Use your current location to find the cheapest, most up-to-date petrol prices in your area.
Lets see how it stands against the endless supply of other apps available on the App Store (using my iPhone 4 16GB). Note that features such as GPS and mobile data are only available to specific handsets.
Firsty in order to use the application you will have to either have or register for a Fubra passport. Registration is easy and disposed with quickly. You are prompted for you details when you first use the application which allows you 20 fuel price searches each week.
Design and usability
Put bluntly it’s simple, user friendly and clear. Its not flashy or in your face and the UI is a pleasure to deal with.
A simple slider deals with your location. You can let the App use your GPS position to determine your location or you can enter the post code or place name. A scroll wheel lets you decide on your choice of fuel and a slider bar lets you input the station range.
Upon clicking “Search” you are given the full run down of results, these can be either sorted by Distance or more importantly price. The results are pulled from PetrolPrices’s vast database of over 11,000 petrol stations in the UK. Each station shows not only the fuel price but also the distance you are from it.
On finding your supplier of choice a quick click shows you the station’s full address, fuel price its location on googlemaps. The icing on the cakes is that you can instantly order googlemaps to provide you with directions.
While in the results screen you can select to “Save to Favorites” meaning you do not have to either wait for your GPS location or input the post code for areas you fill up in often. You can simply select My PetrolPrice from the bottom menu, favorites and select the saved location you require. Other click brings you swiftly back to the results screen without having to enter a single detail. Lovely.
I have tested the application rigorously over a couple of days and as long as you have a reliable Internet connection and GPS location its a pleasure to use. I’ve not had one crash or had to restart the app in order to try again.
If like me, you are very careful how you drive and how much you pay for your precious litre of fuel you will be very pleased your purchase. Its simple and clear user interface lets you swiftly get the best fuel prices in a specific area without over complicating the process or prompting you to destroy your device in a fit of blind rage.
The fuel price results are regularly updated and I am yet to be proved wrong by results given by the app. I suspect that due to daily fluctuating prices it would be possible that price could be slightly wrong so I would future update to allow reporting of an incorrect fuel price directly from the app itself.
The only drawback is that you are only permitted to have 20 searches per week. So if you are doing searches for friends and family then maybe its better to point them to the website and let them look themselves.
This app is most definitely one which will grace my iPhone 4 home screen app list. Well worth the £2.99 price tag, I would expect that the full price could be easily re couped with just a few tanks of fuel.