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Android App Review: Crash Cam

22 Apr 14

Nobody wants to think about getting into a car accident, but it happens. Even worse though is when, after the accident, you have to argue about who’s at fault.

Crash Cam is an app that can help with that argument (although not the driving beforehand, unfortunately).

Dashboard cameras aren’t a new invention, but an app like Crash Cam means that rather than having to buy a device specifically for the purpose, instead you can turns you smart phone into – well, into a crash cam. Or a driving cam, if you don’t actually crash.

Once you’ve got your camera set up and you’re out on the road, Crash Cam will detect any sudden or abrupt movements (like braking to avoid the car that just pulled out in front of you, say) and start recording automatically. Or you can set it up to record continuously as you drive, if that suits you better.

For Crash Cam to be properly effective, you really need some sort of cradle or other way to fix your phone in place on the dashboard – it’s all very well being able to take a video during a crash, but unless your phone in locked in the right place that video’s going to be pretty blurred and useless as your phone goes flying round the car.

This is one thing that actual dash cameras have over this app – they come with a way to set them in place. But they don’t come with the ability to text or play Sudoku like your phone does, so you know. Also, the cost of a basic phone cradle, even on top of the price of the app, may still seem like a better price that what you’d pay for a dedicated dash cam. And either way you’re still going to buy a phone, right?

Without a phone holder or an actual car accident I can’t give Crash Cam the full review it deserves, but I can confirm that it does indeed record videos, and that the interface was pretty straightforward to use. Like most preventative measures, this app is one that you hope you never actually need to rely on.

And if you can guarantee that you’re never ever going to have a car accident, and that you’ll never ever have to prove who was right and who was driving like an idiot, then you have no need for a crash camera.

But who can say that with any certainty? Crash Cam is insurance. Hopefully you never get into a situation where you need its recordings, but just in case, $4.24 isn’t too much to pay for a little peace of mind.