This may have happened to you at some point of time in your life — you just cannot remember where you parked your car. Blame it on the ever-increasing vehicular population or simply our overloaded brain capacity that diminishes the ability to remember simple things, it is a common issue. Valet for Android is an elegantly designed app that helps you solve this problem.
Available on Google Play for just a dollar, the app opens with a relevant background image of a street with cars parked to the side, covered with a subtle dark tint. Next, the Valet logo beautifully fades in at the top. ‘Simple’ is a keyword that was probably coined just for apps like this one; all you see is a squarish frame showing Google Map data, and text below that says ‘Park My Car’. So let’s say you’ve parked your car on a street or in an outdoor parking lot, just hit that button and it puts a big black marker pin on the car’s location. Remember, this app is only useful when you park outdoors, as GPS unfortunately doesn’t work indoors. Oh how we wish something could be done to remember parking spots indoors as well! There has been more than a few times when I’ve ‘misplaced’ the car at those vast basement parking spaces.
Anyway, hitting the “Park My Car” button reveals a couple of other handy tools. A mechanical alarm clock icon lets you set a timer or an alarm; this can be helpful if the place you’ve parked only allows you to do so for a specific time. The use of white coloured font on that tinted background looks delicious. Also, certain elements will feel familiar to Android 4 users, like the horizontal slider to set the timer or like the triangular markings at the corner of text, that let the user know of drop-down menus in the Alarm. The ‘X’ button takes you back to the previous menu, which lets you manually “Unpark” your car. The last button is the all-too-familiar ‘Share’ button used in Android, allowing you to share your car’s location with other apps.
An “A” button next to the Park button uncovers, what we think is, the trump-card feature this app has to offer. Think about this for a second — this app won’t be of any assistance if you forget to use the app in the first place, right? The “Auto Park My Car” is a simple yet highly effective if you have a Bluetooth-enabled music system in your car (if you don’t, we highly recommend you consider it!). Now, once you select your car bluetooth audio device, it will automatically “Park Your Car” the moment it disconnects with your phone. Brilliant execution, we say! But just to point out something that didn’t go down my throat well — this feature is enabled via an in-app purchase
that costs ten times the money spent on buying the app itself. I hope it is brought down to a reasonable level.
Let’s say now it’s time to get back to your vehicle. Opening the app again reveals the black pin on the map, and your location is represented by the typical blue dot seen in Google Maps for Android. It also shows you the name of the road the car’s been parked on and how far you are below the map — a nice touch. If you’ve gone too far, the “My Location” button at the top-right corner orients the map to where you are. What if you need directions to get back to your car? Clicking the first button opens up Google Maps with the pointer set to your car’s location.
Valet for Android is a simple, elegant way to remember your parking spot — why just parking, any spot you’d want to remember. Car owners will definitely want to have this app aboard their Android phones. You can download it from Google Play for $0.99 here.
Update: The developers have now slashed the in-app purchase price to almost half the original cost.