Looking to add a dashcam to your car? It can be a pricey endeavor, especially when it comes to installation and choosing the right hardware. Here’s something you may not have considered: just use a smartphone to take the place of a physical camera.
That’s right, there are a variety of dashcam apps that can turn your smartphone (or an old one you don’t mind keeping in your car) into a dashcam. All you need is a working phone, a power source and one of these apps, many of which can provide a more comprehensive experience than actual dashcams.
If you’re thinking of adopting a dashcam, which Kim recommends (just tap or click here to see what she has to say about dashcams) consider using one of these fantastic apps instead.
1. Nexar AI
This free community-based AI dashcam is more than just a way to capture footage while on the road. It’s a way to keep an eye on your surroundings as well as take in any warnings the app will ensure pop up on your screen while you’re driving.
Warnings are prompted in real-time by community drivers and the camera’s own visuals, which can help you avoid potential collisions. The app will also automatically detect and record dangerous events on the road as you drive along, which gets automatically uploaded to your private Nexar account.
You can opt to use your smartphone’s camera, or buy the Nexar camera to use in tandem with your phone. If you want the Nexar camera, it gets delivered straight to your door. Easy-peasy!
2. Smart Dash Cam
Smart Dash Cam is a formidable dashcam option with built-in manual and auto recording modes, so it’s ready to capture what’s happening at a moment’s notice. The free version contains ads, but you can upgrade for a small fee for an ad-free experience. It also features a functional overlay of your recording, with the ability to start and stop at your leisure.
While it doesn’t offer background recording so you can use it with other apps open, it still has plenty of useful options for you to use it instead of a physical camera. It’s also up for grabs for both iOS and Android users.
CamOnRoad is a free alternative to hardware dashcams that does its job very well. In addition to being completely free with no ad-supported or premium versions, it includes 2 GB of free cloud storage for dashcam recordings. All users need to do is register their app. That alone makes it a more valuable app than most other automobile-centric programs.
It also utilizes your phone’s GPS to help offer road conditions throughout your journey. You never know what’s going to happen during a trip, so it’s best to be prepared. While this app is available for Apple users, Android users may have to wait.
If you’re an Android user and would like more information about CamOnRoad, contact them here.
4. AutoBoy Dash Cam
AutoBoy Dash Cam is a simple, reliable dashcam that continuously records the road out in front of you. It will also automatically delete older files so you never run out of memory during crucial moments.
Additionally, its GPS sensor will work from your phone to include integral data to provide footage to insurance companies or the police. While most will find the free version has plenty to offer, it also comes with a paid upgrade that has even more features including a smart crash sensor, LED back-light and YouTube backup.
Unfortunately, AutoBoy is currently only available to Android users at this time.
Whether you opt to get a physical dashcam or utilize one of the apps we’ve mentioned, having a dashcam is important for any car owner. Choose an app that makes the most sense for your needs and drive with peace of mind.