Developer: Reach Unlimited Corporation
Price: free Download on the App Store
Trapster is an iPhone application that warns you when you're getting close to police speed traps, red light cameras, and other traffic-related traps. Traps are reported by users, and are then rated by other users to determine credibility of the report (and the reporting user) over time. Trapster allows the user to customize the sound and vibration settings based on the type of alert.
Trapster has a simple, clean user interface and seems to have a decent number of users - there were over a dozen alerts in my immediate area.
Despite the interesting idea behind Trapster and the clean user interface, the app in its current incarnation isn't of much use for a variety of reasons:
1. Many of the reports are old. I don't care if someone spotted a cop car on Washington and Bundy on August 13 at 9:17 am, given the fact that it's now almost two months later.
2. Since Apple doesn't allow background processes, to use the app you'll need to remember to turn it on every single time you get in the car. Got a call coming in? Can't use Trapster anymore.
3. Dubious usefulness overall. Knowing where speed traps are in a timely manner: useful. Knowing where red light cameras are: not so useful. Call me crazy, but I tend not to blow through red lights whether there's a camera there or not.
Trapster is a great idea in theory that will hopefully become a great app in practice once Apple allows apps to run in the background. In areas where they give out speeding tickets based on camera information (like Washington DC) I can see how this would be very useful.