More than just Maps
For many of you, this – Google Maps – may well be the only app you use in your vehicle. If that's so, then you're missing out.
An increasing number of cars have apps specifically designed for them, handling everything from entertainment to remote unlocking, and we've rounded up the best of them here.
There are also a growing number of apps that will work in any car, adding functionality, helping you track engine performance and, of course, getting you from A to B with soothing voice directions and high-resolution maps.
Google Maps does lead the way here, with Google now using the data from your device to feed back smart traffic information so the app can plan routes around traffic. Further recent updates enable the app to alert you to traffic issues on a planned route, and offer alternatives with a tap of the screen.
Google not only offers accurate maps and navigation, for free, but also Street View for an advance look at the location you're heading to – great for scouting parking spots if you're heading to an unfamiliar area.
Google Maps is available across Android and Apple iOS, and as far as possible we've selected apps that work across both platforms for this list. If you're after an app specifically for your BMW, Nissan, Ford or Fiat, they're at the back of this gallery.
A heads-up display (HUD) in the car is something we've wanted ever since the days of Top Gun.
It's still an expensive option on a brand-new motor, but if you want it in your car now we have a solution – or at least Hudway does.
The app uses your smartphone screen to project information onto the windscreen of your car. The result is a seriously cool display that also aids safer driving, as your attention stays focused in front – where the road is.
Information displayed by the app includes your speed, the distance to the next sharp bend and when it's advisable to slow down. Also on offer is verbal assistance, with a virtual co-driver grading corners so you know how sharp the next bend will be.
Designed primarily for fog, rain, dark and snow situations where extra caution is needed, Hudway is ad-supported and initially free, so it's worth a try.
Petrol Prices Pro
Up-to-date fuel prices at your fingertips, direct from the oil companies, supermarkets and even from smaller filling stations. With a total of 11,000 petrol stations in the UK covered, the idea is that everyone can pick and choose their ideal station to get the cheapest fuel.
Prices are compared locally as well as against the national average, and you can also see the highest and lowest prices across the country.
If you want to feel like you're getting a good deal without having to drive around comparing prices yourself, then three quid a year for this app should keep you happy.
We can't all afford to rev around the streets like a Saudi prince in cars that cost more than many people's homes. But thanks to the XLR8 app (pronounced 'accelerate') at least we can sound like that's what we're doing.
The app connects to your car stereo via cable or Bluetooth, and plays the revving and tire burning sounds of a supercar as you speed off.
The app is able to use your phone's accelerometer and GPS to determine movement and match it with the appropriate sound, the recordings of which are 'Hollywood-quality', apparently.
Car recordings available include a classic V8 muscle car, plus paid-for extras including a Ford GT40, Ferrari sports car, Lamborghini supercar and Nascar engine.
Yes, okay, this is a stupid idea. Shoot us.
More laudable than the last effort, Drive Safe.ly should make you safer on the road. The app reads out anything important coming in over text or email so that you can concentrate on the road, rather than looking at your screen.
The UK and numerous other countries now impose fines for driving and using a phone at the same time, so this app will also help to keep you on the right side of the law.
The premium version can handle messages of up to 500 words, for those with particularly chatty mates. The free version, for the strong, silent types, manages 25-word messages before giving up. Oh, and it's on BlackBerry as well as Android.
Speed Cameras & Traffic by Sygic
Getting caught out by speed cameras could turn a pleasant drive in the countryside into an expensive disaster, but Sygic has your back.
This app knows where speed cameras and mobile speed traps are set, with data updated regularly, and will warn you in time to slow down safely – as you approach a speed trap area the app will verbally alert you.
There are more than 60,000 fixed speed camera and radar locations logged, with more being added by your fellow users every day.
The app is free, but premium users get extra options such as the facility to use your phone as a heads-up display, and video-recorded routes. The app will also track your driving, so you can analyse the results and see where you could do better.
This is a seriously addictive app that offers turn-by-turn navigation, but also much more. Waze is all about community-based navigation, with users helping to supply real-time traffic and road information.
That means traffic build-up, accidents, hazards, speed traps, road closures and more are all reported and updated on your app as they appear. It'll then reroute you automatically if necessary.
Waze also enables you to send your route to others, so if someone's waiting for you they'll be able to see when you're due to arrive, via text updates.
It'll also help you find the cheapest petrol station en route, and crowd-sourced info on local businesses and other points of interest are also at hand.
If you like driving and supporting community-based apps, Waze is the app for you.
Free | iOS
Like Strava for driving, this is the go-to app for finding great driving routes. Rather than simply offering the fastest driving option, like most apps, Greatest Drive recommends the most scenic, beautiful and fun roads in over 160 countries.
The app enables users to update and review routes, so it's constantly growing and remains current. There's also an option to rate places along the way for staying over, shopping or visiting. Directions can be shared with other users, and favourite routes can be posted to Facebook.
Free | Android
A simple name for an app that simplifies your car's maintenance, this is a great app for logging your car's life, and getting reminders of when you need to take action next.
At the most basic level it's handy for recording fill-ups and monitoring fuel economy. But on a deeper level it's a very good alert system for things like oil changes or air filter checks. The end result should be a car that runs more smoothly and serves up fewer expensive shocks.
Business users will find the expenses section of this app helpful, while enthusiasts working on a restoration project or just running an old machine should also find plenty to like.
£2.95 | Android
In-car performance displays were once reserved for Fast and Furious fans with money to spare, but smart readouts of car data including horsepower, torque and more can be channeled through your smartphone for a few quid.
The Torque app on Android connects to an OBD II Bluetooth adapter (about £10) that connects to the car's engine.
From that the screen can be set to show MPG, CO2 emissions, transmission temperatures, 0-60 speed ratings, and videos of a journey with data laid out over the top.
There's even an option to set up GPS-tagged tweets to send at certain points on a planned trip, and for the petrol heads there's a 'turbo boost' feature that enables you to fine-tune performance by tweaking the settings of fuel injection sensors in supported cars. Well worth the money.
Ford Sync Destinations
Now in its third generation, Ford Sync is one of the most comprehensive in-car systems on the road, and its app also offers a lot.
Navigation is one of the big pulls here, with recent favourite locations, searched spots and much more available at a touch.
You can pre-plan routes so they're ready to go once you're in the car, with traffic and accident data fed right in to offer the quickest option.
Vehicle Finder is another handy extra. This remembers where your car is parked, and can guide you back there on foot using GPS. It'll also alert you when a parking meter is running low, so you can head back and top it up.
My Fiat App
Yes, Fiat owners, there's an app just for you. Any 2012 or 2013 model is supported, including the numerous Fiat 500 variants.
Primarily, My Fiat offers vehicle information including operating instructions, entertainment controls, warning lights and indicators, maintenance schedules and manuals.
Parking Reminder uses GPS to show you where your car was parked so you can easily get back to it, and if you're parked on a meter it'll remind you when it's time to feed it more money.
Other Fiat apps include Mopar, for finding parts, and Access, which is specifically for electric Fiats. That's ridiculously fragmented, but at least they're all free.
The Nissan Leaf is one of the most eco-friendly cars on the road, with a pure electric drive system. Anyone high-tech enough to own one is going to expect a decent app, and that's what they'll get.
The Nissan Leaf app offers myriad controls for the car including twin climate settings, so you can pre-cool or warm the car before getting in.
Battery levels and the tracking of charging is also included, as well as the ability to start charge cycles either manually or on a timer.
Since charging up on the go isn't a quick option for electric cars, the app also offers an at-a-glance check on the driving range left in the car. Handy.
Free | iOS
BMW currently only offers its app for iOS devices, which should make other phone users jealous as it's got plenty to offer.
The app enhances the in-car experience by enabling your Twitter, news calendar and local Wiki data to be presented on the dashboard display. It will also display data from the car including fuel level, range and mileage.
Eco Pro analyser is a system that monitors and rates your driving style, and offers advice for more efficient driving – the result should be improved fuel economy.
Then there's last-mile navigation. This continues the in-car navigation via the phone as you do the last leg on foot, without the faff of exiting it and going into Google Maps, where we began this gallery. And so we reach our destination.