Zipcar parks its iPhone app – finally

Zipcar/photo illustration
Zipcar's iPhone app webpage hadn't been updated, so we took the liberty.
Zipcar iPhone app screenshot
Zipcar started in Cambridge, Mass. in 2000. Now it's the world's largest car-sharing company.

From the "iPhone MMS? Meh." department.

Does it seem like iPhone users have been saying "finally" a lot lately?

Apple on Monday approved an iPhone application from car-sharing company Zipcar that allows users to find nearby cars, make reservations, and unlock a reserved car's doors from the device's touchscreen. The app, announced in July, had been stuck in Apple's approval process.

For the uninitiated, Zipcar offers hourly car rentals to members in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington DC. Reservations are made online, and the "check-out" process makes innovative use of RFID cards and custom built-in cellular modems.

To be truthful, the app's core features – locating, booking, and modifying Zipcar reservations – have been available on the company's mobile website for some time. The iPhone app snazzes things up a bit – and makes renting a Zipcar just a little bit cooler.

For instance (and fellow Zipsters will back us up on this) take the locking and unlocking process: you used to have to pull out your membership card and tap it on a special sensor on the windshield to lock your Zipcar. Talk about parking lot embarrassment! iPhone users can use their phone as a key fob, tapping a button and walking away. Try not to look too smug.

But the one gotta-try feature of the Zipcar iPhone app? Hit a button and your Zipcar will honk its horn, helping you find it in, say, a crowded Ikea parking lot. Urban geeks rejoice.

iPhone-equipped Zipcar members can download the app from iTunes by clicking here.


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