Technology doesn’t just exist to make “life” easier — it can also make winter easier. Here are eight apps that will help you survive through Canada’s coldest months.
Anyone who doubts the accuracy of weather forecasts clearly hasn’t downloaded the right apps. Forgo the weather app that comes pre-installed on your phone and get up-to-the-minute hyper-local forecasts with Dark Sky. It doesn’t just give a forecast for your city or county — Dark Sky will predict exactly when it’s going to start and stop snowing right where you’re standing.
If you’re a member of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA), then this app could be a lifesaver if you find yourself in the ditch or with a dead battery. You can easily request roadside assistance from your phone without placing a call. The app will then deliver your location information directly to a technician.
Winter Survival Kit
Just think of this as the “kitty litter” of apps. Developed by the North Dakota State University, the Winter Survival Kit is one of the best apps for when you’re stranded in a winter storm. It will help you calculate how long you can run your engine to keep warm, send you alerts to keep you safe from carbon monoxide poisoning, notify your friends and family and call emergency services.
Stuck in traffic or trapped inside due to a snowstorm? This app will help pass the time and will be a hit with players of all ages. The classic game sees participants filling in the blanks to create funny phrases.
Possibly the hottest app of 2018 (and we’re not even two months into the year yet), HQ Trivia is a live game show that you can play on your phone to win real cash prizes. Yes, that includes us Canadians! Not only that, but the host American Scott Rogowsky told the CBC News he wishes Canada was his country. As a consequence, expect plenty of CanCon, including references to SCTV.
Winter is the primetime to see northern lights, owing to longer nights and darker and clearer skies. Endorsed by aurora chaser and photographer Andy Keen, Aurora Alerts provides a forecast of when the lights may be visible in your area, taking into consideration other visibility factors such as moonlight and cloud cover.
When temperatures drop, energy bills spike. It seems like basic math, but those bills can still come as a shock when they arrive in the mail. Meter Readings helps take the surprise out of the equation, by predicting what your usage will be for coming months.
Road Conditions Apps
Nothing puts a damper on a winter road trip like a patch of black ice or heavy traffic. Google Maps can help, but several provincial bodies have created their own apps with up-to-the-minute information. For example, in BC, you can use the B.C. Highways app, which allows you to check road conditions and access more than 600 traffic cameras across the province.