App Review: Zipcar for iPhone

Unlock or lock the car with your iPhone. Then honk the horn with the iPhone. How, you say? With Zipcar!

Zipcar for iPhone/iPod Touch

Zipcar has zoomed it’s way to the iTunes App Store! The app was originally showcased a few months ago and is now available for free in the App Store.

The Zipcar app allows members to locate and reserve a Zipcar anywhere in the world. However even if you are a not a member, you still get practically full access to the app, even the use of the horn and car unlocking/locking sounds from a virtual “play” remote.

The app automatically finds Zipcar locations using your iPhone or iPod Touch location services but you may also choose your own country and city. If location based mapping does not suit your fancy, you can also search by time/day, type of vehicle and model of vehicle.

As seen in the images, these are the Zipcar locations throughout downtown Vancouver, BC. Tapping on any arrow alerts you to the locations number of vehicles at the specific location and tapping for more information shows you the types of vehicles available, the prices and other vehicle features.

In terms of navigation, the app is great. Menus are easily found and used and only relevant information is presented. The accuracy of the app is somewhat odd though. One of the locations in Vancouver, BC said it had three vehicles and when I arrived, there was only one. However, the app did not reflect this. So I am not sure if the app updates in real time or at least near real time for the individual location inventory of available vehicles.

10 Cool Things Members Can Do With Zipcar

Zipcar also lists “10 cool things members can do” with the app. The best part of this list is that some of the list (1, 3, 7, 10) can be done by non-members

1.) Find available Zipcars on a map using your current location, a
favorite location or any location

2.) Reserve a Zipcar anytime, 24/7

3.) Sort cars by time available, car type and model

4.) View upcoming reservations

5.) Easily locate your reserved Zipcar by honking it’s horn

6.) Unlock or lock your Zipcar after scanning your zipcard at the start of each reservation

7.) Get directions to your Zipcar

8.) Tap to contact Zipcar if help is needed during a reservation

9.) Extend or cancel reservations on the go

10.) Play around with the virtual key fob and make sounds even when you’re not in a reservation

One cool thing that I thought should be added to that list for non-members is the ability to lock or unlock your own car using the Zipcar app. Confused? Here’s how!

How To Make The Zipcar App Lock/Unlock Your Own Vehicle

1.) Make sure your vehicle has remote locking/unlocking (a fob)

2.) Put the fob of your vehicle in your pocket

3.) Fire app the virtual “play” Fob in the Zipcar app

4.) Use the Zipcar app virtual FOB to “unlock” or “lock” your vehicle while using your other hand to actually unlock or lock the vehicle using the real fob in your pocket.

Yep. Epic props.

Overall, Zipcar provides a lot of requested functionality that its members have asked for, with even more features coming in later updates. The app provides all the needed details for reservation and even let’s you use the virtual fob (and use my wicked awesome idea) without being a member. To top it all off, the app is free!

Zipcar is scored a 5 out of 5.

Zipcar is available on the iTunes App Store for free.

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