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46

SmartGas, a Windows Phone app to help you find the best gas prices

SmartGas

While gas prices continue to rise, SmartGas is a Windows Phone app that could help you find the best fuel price in your area. SmartGas will not only search for the lowest price for gas in your area but also calculate your smartest station based on the round trip cost of driving to and from the station.

I liked the concept behind SmartGas and saving a few dollars never hurts. However, a few performance issues, a cluttered appearance and some confusing in-app purchases holds this app back. On the plus side, the app is a universal app for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8. Bottom line - SmartGas has potential but needs a little renovation.

Finding the biggest bang for your buck

When you first launch SmartGas, you will need to set up your vehicle profile. This profile includes your gas tank size, ballpark gas mileage and options to include Costco and Sam's Club in your search results. SmartGas will use this information in calculating the most cost efficient gas station locations - finding the biggest bang for your buck if you will.

SmartGas set-up and main pages

Once you have set up your vehicle, the main page of SmartGas has options to search for gas stations based on your current location or by City, State or Zip entry. To better help the app calculate things, you also have the option to enter how much fuel is in your gas tank at the moment and which fuel type you prefer (regular, mid-grade, premium or diesel).

When all the variables are set, just tap the 'Find Gas Stations' button tile and SmartGas will generate a list of gas stations. You do have the option to skip this set-up page for your gas station searches and go straight to the search results page. You can always adjust your current fuel level while viewing the search results.

SmartGas Search Results

Speaking of which, search results come back in three views that include:

  • Closest Station: This will be the closest station to your location. It may not be the best or smartest price but if you're running on fumes, it may be the safest bet.
  • Smartest Station: This will be the gas station that will cost the least to fill up your tank based on the price of gas and the cost to travel to the station.
  • All Stations: This is a listing of all the gas stations in your area. The list can be sorted by distance, smart price and price per gallon.

Regardless of which category of results you view, SmartGas will display the approximate cost to fill up your gas tank (based on how full your tank is right now) and an option to generate driving directions to the station.

It should be noted that the All Stations display is considered a premium feature. You will have access to this feature for the first few searches you conduct. After which, you can unlock this feature for ninety days through an in-app purchase of $.99. You can also remove the ad-support for ninety days through IAP of $.99. The 90 day period is a little confusing and I wouldn't mind both being straight up purchases not time limited.

Overall Impression

As far as performance is concerned, SmartGas's pricing information is fairly spot on. Some stations in my area had changed the price of gas but the difference wasn't dramatic enough to really make a difference.

There were a few performance bugs present. The sort feature when viewing all the gas stations didn't work and the app didn't always identify the closest station.

SmartGas Windows 8 version

Along with the performance bugs, SmartGas's appearance leaves a lot to be desired. It has a bare boned appearance and gives off the impression it was slapped together overnight. Simple layouts aren't a bad thing but SmartGas just has a cluttered appearance. So much so that at times it was difficult to distinguish the ads from the app itself. And the Windows 8 version isn't much better.

I like the concept behind SmartGas and the app has potential of being a decent Windows Phone app to have lurking in the shadows. The app just needs a little chutzpah to make the appearance more visually appealing and a little fine-tuning to fix the bugs. Restructuring the in-app purchases might not be a bad idea either.

QR: SmartGas

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Comments

There are 46 comments. Sign in to comment

This article comes RIGHT out when my car is bitching me, telling me to refuel it. :P

This seems way better than GasBuddy.

KMF79 says:

I like your sarcasm.

datisdesign says:

What an ugly interface !!

Andre Blonde says:

I agree from what I see the app looks ugly. Another question is: You guys in US have different prices on gas ⛽? How come? Everywhere I've been it's standardized by government. Except when the crisis comes on petrol stations are closed. There comes bidding.

adrian1338 says:

Ofc you have different prices on gas. Shell stations for example are always 2 cent more expensive but you get a 2 cent discount with a shell card. And also you have standardized tax on petrol but no prices. which country has government given prizes for this? UAE were the Liter just costs 0.02 Cent

btgusto says:

This app is visually unappealing to me.  I'll stick with gas buddy and its live tile

InlineV says:

Does it include fuel type? I'd love to have an app that highlights E85. I'm tuned for E85 currently so I have to plan my outings based on where the E85 filling stations are.

KMF79 says:

E85 has been found to pollute more than gasoline.

InlineV says:

I'm actually more interested in its really high octane. It comes in at 110 or so.

willied says:

Great idea, but the UI and 90-day thing are lame.

petteriusa says:

Aye! That UI looks straight out of the late 80's! Also are they serious with that 90 day limit?

sdreamer says:

Definitely GasBuddy. The only thing I like is the price total estimation, but the UI is atrocious. It's like it was made fo WM5.0

badger8080 says:

Isn't that what gasbudy is for

dalydose says:

Cortana will tell me where the stations are, but not the prices. This service should partner with Cortana.

HoosierDaddy says:

I need an app that has an option of just top tier gas. Too many brands to memorize and then ignore in this or gas buddy.

KMF79 says:

I wish Gas Buddy allowed me to choose to search for stations further than the default 3 miles it's set too.

exkerZ says:

Hmm.. People say there are better apps

Schikitar says:

I could never understand why Americans call it "gas", you do know its a liquid, right? I know it better as "petrol", derived from its actual name of petroleum. You guys and your funny words for things, I suppose all parts of the world are the same. ;)

MA7mgte#WP says:

It's short for Gasoline.  I still prefer GasBuddy.

InlineV says:

I don't bother with either term. It is either E10, E70, E85 or in some rare cases, E90. Ethanol is my friend. I'm not happy unless my exhaust smells like a corn distillery.

mister2d says:

What about the way you guys say aluminum? Why is it pronounced "al-u-min-i-um" there? WHY? lol

Ixia says:

Cos it's spelt al-u-min-i-um here :)

Jabid21 says:

Because gas is the short form of the original word, gasoline. also, soccer is the short word derived from association football.

Posted via the WPC App for Android!

schlubadub says:

It's short for "gasoline" but you'd think their abbreviation could be for something that doesn't exist or lead to confusion. If I said "my car runs on gas" then I mean it runs on LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) i.e. Propane / Butane. They are gases, even if they are in a liquefied state (compressed). But petrol/petroleum is a liquid, so referring to it as "gas" is confusing. It's like saying "my car runs on helium" when it actually uses petroleum and "helium" in the example is just a brand name of petrol. *sigh*

KMF79 says:

What an ignorant comment you made. Lol. Gasoline.

Mark Kaplan says:

I like Gas Buddy

Jazmac says:

I found Del Taco and Taco Bell in the search results.  Its efficient too.

armyvet66629 says:

Just as I was going to post a fart joke, I read your post. I was going to post that it would find which restaurants' food gives you the most gas.

Zuka_WPC says:

Windows SmartGas? No Xbox, no buy! Fight the machine! Lol

gamo62 says:

Gas Buddy isn't giving any love or updates for WP devices. It hasn't been updated since January of LAST YEAR!!! Really?

hagjohn says:

I have no problems using GasBuddy.

Has it needed an update? I don't think it has, if it ain't broke don't fix it

It could use a refresh and add things like ethanol or kerosene to their app.
Also I don't think the ticket entries don't work. I log on the site and it doesn't show the number of entries. Actually it seems just to subtract from my points...

KMF79 says:

I'd like an update so it searches further than it's default of 3 miles.

Not sure why that happens to you..but when I tap to find gas it lists gas stations up to 19km away, which is about 12 miles.

Mr Lebowski says:

That's because it works !

johaas says:

Not gonna lie...that's one of the worst app interfaces I've ever seen. Bad color scheme and looks incredibly cluttered. But I guess if it helps people find those gas deals, it served its function.
 

hagjohn says:

Not the most attractive app.

TMavC5 says:

Man, that interface sure is ugggggly.

elitelibra says:

Smartgas and smartglass I see that. Hmmm does Microsoft lol

onlysublime says:

is there a gas app that will list direction instead of just distance?  that annoys me about gas buddy.  sure, some gas station may be .3 miles away and another be .7 miles away but the .7 miles away one is in the direction I'm driving so I don't have to do u-turns, navigate multiple lights, etc.

PToonen says:

Sweet mother of mercy, that UI is a crime against our eyes! How did this end up on the frontpage?

lcw731 says:

Ironically, this article prompted me to reinstall Gas Buddy!

shielah says:

I love gas buddy..and it's free..why pay