Green apps that can save you money
As the market for applications running on mobile devices like Apple’s iPad and iPhone grows, so do ways to save you money and cut your carbon emissions.
Among them is Avego, a ride-sharing app for the iPhone that lets you offer vacant seats in your car to others and search for free seats if you’re car-less, all in real time. You receive updates on how far away your ride is, so you don’t have to wait around. And it even calculates how much gas-money each passenger should pay. Users create a publicly viewable Avego profile and their reputation can be rated by other members. Paul Smith of Triple Pundit calls the service “brilliant” and an example of “what can be done to reduce traffic, right now, at no additional cost and disruption to our current transportation infrastructure”.
3rdWhaleMobile’s FindGreen app gives GPS-equipped Android smartphones, BlackBerry, and iPhone owners a guide to local retailers and services listed in GenGreen’s Green Business Directory. TechCrunch’s Matylda Czarnecka thought the iPhone version was one of the “top ten apps to make you more green“. But some users in Google’s Android Marketplace complain of few or no listings in their area.
The remotely controlled home may still be in the realm of sci-fi for most, but the future is now for iPhone and iPad users keen on conserving energy and who already have their homes wired to dim the lights and turn the heating on from afar. Lutron’s Home Control+ iPad app allows RadioRA 2 or HomeWorks QS users to control heating, lights, and their window shades.
Control4’s MyHome app for the iPhone and iPad (an Android-powered version is planned) does all that and gives you control of your home entertainment and security systems. The Control4’s iPad app offers “a high-end home product, slick design, and a dashboard offering rich media around energy”, writes GigaOM’s Katie Fehrenbacher.
Finally, zerogate’s MeterRead iPhone app puts control of your energy consumption and subsequent savings in your hands by recording your electric meter readings and suggesting ways to improve efficiency. While it may not have the sexiest graphic interface, iPhone App Review’s Kevin Morris thinks MeterRead is worth its 99-cent price tag.