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Sygic's Speedometer app needs more leadfoots to build its speed-trap data

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | May 9, 2014
Despite its name, Sygic's new Speedometer app does not simply replicate a feature cars have had built-in for more than 100 years (although it does do that). It's a free, elegantly-designed utility (iOS and Android) that works as a speedometer, trip logger, and crowd-sourced police and incident reporter. In other words, it's the perfect app for a road warrior such as myself--someone who frequently goes on long trips and who, ahem, occasionally slips over the speed limit.

Open up Speedometer's options menu, and you'll see what other features the app has. You can view your trip logs, change your units from metric kilometers to miles, and check out nearby traffic warnings.

What the Speedometer app is missing is something truly unique — such as crowd-sourced speed, so you can determine how fast the traffic around you is driving. But we'd probably need to pay for a feature like that.

Sygic's clearly working on its data problem. The company just posted a new, 2.0 Android version of this app. According to Sygic, it includes real speed limits and mobile speed-camera warnings, and the warnings now take driving direction into account. The database has also added or updated "thousands" of speed cameras, per Sygic. I tried it, and the extra data is nice, but speed-camera warnings still aren't as useful as real-time data on speed traps — since most people will know where speed cameras are, especially if they're used to driving in the area. 

Sygic's Speedometer app is gorgeous, with minimalist, elegant styling and an uncluttered overall look, and it works well. Unfortunately, its usability is limited: Its police/incident reporting feature needs a more robust crowd-sourced network to be useful, while its trip logger is interesting but still inadequate for a true road warrior. Still, it's a start. If Speedometer accumulates enough users, it could certainly grow up to be something awesome.


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