We wanted to love an app with a cool-looking Eco-Driving Efficiency Gauge. Wanted to, but just couldn’t.
The Recapp Rating
||Get greenMeter! + Add to Favs|
The GreenMeter app is designed to measure your car’s power and fuel efficiency. Whether you’re concerned about fuel consumption and costs, or just enjoy the challenge of getting more miles out of this tank than the last, GreenMeter provides some intriguing possibilities.
Unfortunately, there’s something standing in your way: Getting GreenMeter to work right! The app uses the iPhone’s built-in gyroscope, and apparently has no need for GPS, “thanks to a novel algorithm that computes parameters over the entire speed range,” according to the app description. As you might imagine, this means calibration is key. There are some default settings to approximate the size and make of your car, or you can dig through the Internet and find the exact parameters GreenMeter requires. After that, the app asks you to calibrate to a flat surface. We did, but once we were driving, we weren’t sure how to place the phone. Holding it in our hand affected the meter differently than placing it on the seat, which we imagine is different than being snapped into place on the dash. Simply tilting the phone changed our fuel efficiency significantly more than our driving did. Hm.
It’s worth noting that even if you do get GreenMeter properly calibrated and situated, the data it gathers is rather minimal and really only useful in real time. We think there are probably more important things to be looking at while driving — and better ways to spend six dollars.
Reviewed: Aug 31, 2011 | Nick Hurwitch