Parkbud Review

Parkbud – A Great iPhone App For Parking

Posted in Apps, iOS, iPhone on 27/05/2011 by Cormac Moylan

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Parkbud Review

Parkbud describes itself as a “luxury, immersive car locator and parking app that combines functionality and thoughtfully engineered sound, animation & design”.

That’s a very boastful self description. And it’s also a very truthful one. Parkbud is a stunning iPhone app that deserves to be installed on the iPhones of all car owners. And at only $1.99, it’s a steal!

Check out the below video and read our review of Parkbud after the drop.

The Parkbud UI is very pretty and follows a robotic-esque design throughout. You can instantly tell that a lot of effort went into tweeking the design elements. The design is subtle and elegant. Cute sound effects add to the design and adds to the interaction when using the sliders and menus within the app.

A dial that looks not too dissimilar to an egg timer is presented on the app home screen. Four buttons across the bottom of the app provide links to a map, a camera, and a notes app.

To get to work with the app, you must click on the dial on the home screen. Unfortunately, it isn’t too obvious that you must click this element in order to setup your parking alarm. Clicking on the dial opens a calculator-like interface. From here you use a number pad to enter the amount of time you intend to spend while out on your errand. If you make a mistake, you can use the red cross to erase the last entry. A dial in the right hand side presents you with an alarm timer. By default the timer is set to 15. This will result in a notification alert 15 minutes before your parking meter expires.

Pressing the blue tick will save your alarm and returns you to the home screen which then displays a countdown to when your parking will expire.

You will receive an alarm notification alerting you that your parking meter is about to expire. This notification uses the default iPhone chime noise. Time to run!

The map feature in Parkbud is great for a number of reasons. First of all, it uses your location and provides you with a straight forward Google map that shows your location. This is very handy for when you’re in an area that is not too familiar and you want to find your way around. But more importantly, the map will show you the location of nearby car parks making it easy to find parking.

You can also pin your location on the map. Pinning your location will drop a car icon on your current location, making it easy to find your way back to your car if you become lost or find yourself in a hurry to return to your car.

Parkbud also utilizes the iPhone camera. You might find it useful to take a picture of the surrounding area where your car is parked if you’re a touch forgetful!.

Finally, there is a notes feature built into the app. I can’t think of any particular reason why I would use this notes feature. However, it looks beautiful and is far more useful than the default Notes app that comes with my iPhone. It’s pretty weird that a parking app has a better notes app built into it than the default Notes app, but hey, who am I to complain!

A settings button which uses the traditional cog wheel is accessible from the app home screen. Here you can adjust the internal sounds of the app, the default alarm time, and whether you prefer kilometers or miles for measuring distance.

The Verdict

I love Parkbud. It’s one of those apps that I never thought of looking for in the App Store but having used it for 10 minutes, I’m in love. I can see myself loading up Parkbud every time I park my car in a paid parking area and for when I need to find parking spaces.

Some people may find the UI a bit tricky to deal with initially but you will soon find that the app presents you with everything you need in an intuitive nature and the app quickly becomes a joy to use.

However, I would like the option to use a ringtone instead of the chime. I might not always hear the chime, especially if I’m walking around the city. This is the only reason why Parkbud didn’t receive a mark of 5 out of 5. One of the app’s unique selling points is the alarm notification and if you can’t hear it, then it’s a bit disappointing.

At $1.99, Parkbud is a steal!

Rating: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Great notifications
  • Beautiful and easy to use UI
  • Great for finding parking spots
  • You will never lose your car when you park
  • Camera feature will help the forgetful!

Cons

  • Bit slow to open up
  • Can only use a chime as an alarm notification


  • Bob

    Why wouldn’t you just set the alarm on your phone??

  • Hobidere

    Why wouldn’t you just use a piece of paper and and hourglass???

    • You could if you wanted to… Parkbud also helps you find parking areas on a Google map. Don’t think a piece of paper will do that for you! 🙂

  • Hobidere

    Why wouldn’t you just use a piece of paper and and hourglass???

Author

Cormac Moylan

Cormac is the head honcho behind MacTrast. Based in Cork, Ireland, his first foray into the Apple world was way back in 2006 when he purchased an iMac followed by a Macbook around 4 weeks later. He currently owns a Macbook Pro, iMac, Mac Mini, iPhone 4, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. But he prefers to buy watches. Go figure!