The overdue Zipcar app is here, bringing the convenience of sharing a car in most of the same ways you can do on the Zipcar Web site.
In a departure from the Web site, however, the app’s main search function uses Google maps with roll over pins to show where Zipcars are parked rather than giving a comprehensive list of available cars close by. (An availability list is coming soon, Zipcar says.) Otherwise, the app includes tools to reserve cars, adjust times, cancel reservations and estimate the cost of reservations.
For those whose Zipcar pet peeve is leaving the keys — and subsequently their keyless entry — attached to the inside of the car (as all keys are in Zipcars), the coolest function by far is the app’s keyless entry. Tap the center button of the app and an image of a keyless entry appears. Not only does it actually honk the car’s horn by way of your iPhone, but it also locks and unlocks the car. The tool activates when you first swipe your card on the reserved vehicle— a more than welcome utility.
In terms of marketing, Zipcar does plenty within the app to explain to non-clients about how the car-sharing service works. They go just far enough that it’s noticeable but doesn’t step on the toes of clients who just want to use the tool.
For a company innovative in nature, it took too long to release an iPhone app, but Zipcar did it well. It does about everything you’d hope it would do and, man, keyless entry, what fantastic news.