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Breakdown service Green Flag released an iPhone app recently, beating both the RAC and AA to create the first such app.
The 'Rescue Me' app allows users to contact Green Flag in the event of a breakdown, and provides some other useful features such as traffic updates and driving tips.
The app is simple to use and provides some potentially useful features for Green Flag customers and motorists in general.
The main function of the app is to pinpoint your location via GPS and allow you to quickly call to report a breakdown:
This is handy, provided you have a decent 3G signal wherever you have broken down, though providing a postcode may make it easier to explain the location to Green Flag when you call.
Also, providing a means to text or send the exact location to the Green Flag operator may save valuable time explaining this information and speed up the process.
If you haven't already got cover with Green Flag, then the app provides contact details for you to purchase cover and get some assistance, which could be a useful sales driver for the company.
For non-Green Flag customers, the app does still offer some useful features, such as this section which allows you to set reminders for when car tax, insurance, road tax etc is due for renewal.
The most useful feature, and one I haven't found on any other motoring apps is the option to find traffic updates for any area in the country, by pinpointing the location on the map:
This could be especially useful at the moment, with snow and ice causing extra problems for motorists, though I cannot tell how up to date the information is. Some kind of date and time information (e.g. last updated 18:00) would make me trust the information more.
Also, allowing users to enter a journey start and end location and providing information on potential issues along the route would be even more useful.
I can imagine that a number of customers will be relieved to have the app if they are unlucky enough to breakdown, and it is a useful app, but one which could be made better.
Also improving the traffic updates section, and perhaps adding a route planner would make it more appealing for non-members to use, many of which may become customers if they have the app and happen to break down.