July 18, 2011 at 8:08 am

Best iPhone Music Apps for Not Crashing Your Car

best car music apps for the iphone

Driving under the influence of a cellphone is as dangerous as driving drunk. What can we do, now that music is migrating to the smartphone? It’s a pressing issue, because as much as 80 percent of music listening happens in the car, by one estimate.

Well-heeled music fans might consider a new car with dashboard-level integration with your phone’s music collection, and even certain music apps. We’ve witnessed both MOG and Pandora controlled from the dash of a Mini Cooper and BMW recently extended that functionality to its entire line of upcoming cars. In addition, plenty of cars ship with a plain old iPod connector for playing music stored on your iPhone — even if it can’t access music services like MOG and Pandora.

But for most of us, listening to a smartphone in a car means connecting a regular audio cable to an Aux In jack, streaming tunes wirelessly to stereos via Bluetooth, using a custom iPhone connector, or, failing that, trying an FM transmitter or maybe even one of those wacky cassette-shaped adapters. In all of those cases, you might still need to futz around with your phone while driving (or stopped at a red light), which can lead to arrests, if a cop thinks you’re texting, or worse.

To bring you the cream of the crop in iPhone car music apps, we contacted the developers of every car music player app in the iTunes store, starting a couple of months ago. The below list is comprised of the apps from those who responded, so all of these apps come from active developers who have not abandoned their projects.

Then we tested every single one of them in the interest of science, safety, and entertainment. Of course, none of these should be taken as license to break local laws about smartphone usage and driving.

Most of these apps share the same functionality — like swiping the screen left or right to skip to the next song or rewind — so design is an important factor here. To decide which app is right for you and your iPhone, check out these reviews, screenshots, and recommendations:

Big Button Music Player Was Named Truthfully

BigPlayer Car Music App for iPhone Offers Solid Safety Features

Car Player‘s iPod Front End Has Pink Fuzzy Dice

Excellent CarTunes App Brings Safety, iTunes Playlists to the Car

Chilli X PlaySafe Reacts Lightning-Fast To Finger Swipes

Cruise Control Is The Basic Cable of Car Players

FlickTunes Car Music Player Packs Sophisticated Gesture Controls

FluxTunes iPhone Car Music Player Gets the Gestures Right

GestureMusic Car Music App Offers Solid Options

Don’t Get Played By iSwipe‘s Car Music Player

iSwipeMusic Car Player Is Best Left On The Side Of The Road

Music Car Control Player App Counters Highway Noise with Speed Data

NavMusic Adds Scant Driving Features to iPhone’s Music Player

PlayNow Is Probably Not Worth a Dollar

Slow Down‘ Car Music Player Is Your New Belgian Mother-in-Law

Tilt Track Plays With Your Accelerometer So You Can Keep Your Eyes On The Speedometer

TuneControl‘s Car Music Player Exudes Retro Cool/a>

TuTuneMe iPhone Music Player Offers Excellent Controls for the Car

(Photo courtesy of Flickr/Hartmut Massny)

  • Anonymous

    This is so funny. I had just gotten my iPhone and I bought this app ShiftyVox while my wife was driving us home from the Apple store. It made my voice sound so crazy that I screamed, which startled my wife, and we almost got into a wreck. Anyways, this app is awesome. Check it out. http://www.subtorioussound.com/p/shiftyvox.html

  • Percieved End

    Also found one called music control which works really well:  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/music-control/id454700062?ls=1&mt=8

  • Anonymous

    The app LeechTunes is basically made for driving. It has full screen album art, and is entirely based on gesture controls. One tap anywhere on the screen pauses. Swipe left to advance to next track and swipe right to go back a track. Also full playlist and artist browsing support.

  • Sebastian

    I like in:play