This season, legions of drivers are hitting the road, whether for gift shopping, visiting relatives or to attend their companies’ mandatory holiday parties. We already know that our iOS devices can help us with:

  • Shopping (btw, the Amazon, Price Check and Red Laser apps are essential iPhone shopping tools for purchasing or comparing prices)
  • Travel arrangements (Orbitz is a must-have for booking tickets right on the phone, and Kayak‘s comparison tool is awesome)
  • And navigating to unfamiliar addresses (the built-in Google Maps is pretty good, but for more robust turn-by-turn navigation, it’s hard to beat Magellan RoadMate or the TomTom app)

But you know, when it comes to driving, there’s one more bit of functionality available for the iPhone, thanks to Cobra: Radar detector.

Made to work with the iPhone via Bluetooth and a companion app, iRadar lets you know in real-time when there’s a police radar or red light camera detector around. And if a particular area sets off false alerts, you can mark that, as well as update the Red Light Camera warning database — all through the phone.

Soon, there will also be access to a user-created speed trap alerts database, just like the crowd-sourced Trapster. And all of this will cost less than a standard radar detector, for about $129.

Of course, people could just simply obey their driving laws, and not worry about the expense or procurement of gadgets like this.

But hey, who are we kidding? While things like beepers, VHS and answering machines have come and gone, the almighty radar detector survives, thrives and even adapts to new technologies. It would be an inspiring story, if not for that pesky ethical dilemma.

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