Turn Your Smart Phone into a Dash Cam

If you’re lucky, you have never been in a situation where you have been in a car accident. Or even worse than that, a car accident that wasn’t your fault but you still get stuck with the bill because there were either no witnesses or no evidence. Well, worry no more! With every single smart phone touting video cameras, some in HD, it was inevitable that someone would make a dash cam app for your car. If you have a car dock for your phone, you’re already set up for this app to work. I personally tested such an app and I’ll give you the general run down on the perks of having such a device.
If you have an Android phone, an app called Dailyroads Voyager, is available for free on the Android Marketplace. This app is loaded with options, but before you download the app be sure to update your phones operating system, as anything before the most recent updates will make your camera bug out. After downloading the app you’ll have a plethora of choices before you. You can set it to turn on automatically when it detects your car dock. Not all car docks have small magnets that alert your phone of this, so that option may not work for you.

Another great option is the button overlay. When you turn on the app you can still use your phone as a GPS, but the app can still be controlled from any app within your phone. It overlays a button in the bottom right corner
Dailyroads Voyager in action.
(which you can move in the options) that allows you to turn on and off the camera, or save the files immediately. Speaking of files, Dailyroads comes with uploading options. You can set it so that anytime you reach a video limit it will upload the file to a server of your choice and then delete the file on your phone. This insures you don’t clutter your phone with video files and it will automatically start a new one. The other great thing about that option is that you have these videos saved for good. You can use them for fun, or to keep copies in case you were in an accident and your phone was damaged.

You can also customize how large your video files are by quality or length. The options are so varied that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a setting that works for you. I do warn you though, you absolutely should have your android charging in your car while this app is running. Having your phone video record AND GPS navigate is quite a drain on any battery. I took it for a test drive and was surprised at how it also kept track of where I was while recording. One annoyance was that I have a rooted phone and cannot update my operating system, so the video was a bit wonky and it kept beeping every time it started a new recording. Of course, my Droid Razr is actually a refurbished cell phone, so it was rooted before I even got it (previous owner did it). If your device isn’t rooted, you should be fine.

I highly recommend getting a Dash cam app if you do a lot of driving. It’s not simply out of paranoia, but it is great for insuring any accident that may happen is documented correctly. It would be a wonderful thing if everyone’s car had this on board, would lighten a lot of headaches. Safe driving everyone!

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