Every now and then, I walk out into a parking lot and totally blank on where I left my car. Far more often, I head out to visit a client in the downtown area and find that I have to run out to the meter to put more change in because something came up and the visit ran long. Parking Meter addresses both of these situations and helps you find your car and reminds you to extend your meter if you need to do so.
For parking, the app will record your location using GPS (if available) and allows you to take notes on where you parked (eg, section B3) and take a photo with the built-in camera of your iPhone. When you are done with your trip, you can pull up this info to remind yourself of where the car is located. There’s a link back to the built-in Maps application so you can get directions back to the car if you need them.
When you set your parking location, you can also set a reminder for the expiration time of your meter. Parking Meter can set off an audible or vibration alert a certain number of minutes before time expires, but this only works if the app is running. What I really liked is that you can set Parking Meter to send an email alert, either to a regular email account or to an SMS gateway so you get a text message before time runs out on the meter. There’s a handy little list provided to get the most common SMS email gateway addresses. Just don’t make a small typo as you enter your address — Parking Meter will delete your entire entry when you click back on the field to edit it.
There are other apps, like Park’n Find, that offer more detailed info about your parking location but I like the combination of GPS location and email/SMS reminders for meters. Sound off with your preferences in the comments.