DVR apps are designed to turn your phone into a video recorder and save on the cost of purchasing a hardware camera. The top rated apps provide all the same basic functionality you see in midrange dash cams, with the notable downside of having to activate the app and place your phone in the appropriate cradle every time you drive.

Some dash cam apps are more profitable, than others, for different types hardware panels , and there are even some apps that provide functionality that you can’t get from a physical device. For example, some dash cam apps are actually capable of connecting to an OBD2 Bluetooth scanner for a completely different experience than anything you can get from a hardware dash cam. Therefore, although these applications are not always as convenient as a hardware device, they are the most useful. alternatives for video recorders.

There are many dash cam apps out there, too many to cover each one individually, so we’ll just take a quick look at five of the most popular Android apps that are available for Android on the Google Play Store, some of which are also available for iOS. The ratings provided are taken from the Google Play Store and reflect the real opinion of users about the functionality and value of each application.

many dash cam apps can work when they’re out of focus, meaning they’re capable of recording when there’s absolutely no outward sign that your phone is recording.

This makes some of these applications suitable for use as spy cameras but completely except for the question of whether DVRs are legal it’s important to remember that recording people without their knowledge is illegal in many places.

drive recorder

Screenshot of the Drive Record app.
What we like
  • Supports background recording.

  • Ability to automatically record when the application starts.

  • Can store relevant GPS data related to the accident.

What we don’t like
  • Includes distracting ads at the bottom.

  • Automatically stops recording if you open an app from the background.

  • Uses a lot of battery.

Price: free (ad supported)
Rating: 4.5

Drive Recorder is Tzutalin’s top notch video recorder app that includes a lot of great features and customization options. The key features are that it is capable of recording automatically when the app is launched, and it can also continue recording even in the background.

This combination of features makes the app very easy to use, and it doesn’t interfere with the normal use of the phone for calls, text messages, music playback and podcasts, or anything else.

Drive Recorder also includes many options that you can use to fine-tune your experience, such as changing the quality of the video you’re storing, changing the length of the recording, and even choosing whether or not to record audio. It also has the ability to record accident-related GPS data, which can help prove your innocence if another driver claims you were at fault.


Autoguard Dash Cam Screenshot

Autoguard includes a user interface that provides information such as speed and heading.
Screenshot of Autoguard dash cam app
What we like
  • Sync videos to YouTube.

  • Runs in the background while other apps are active.

  • Automatically records when connected via Bluetooth or in a car dock.

What we don’t like
  • There are no options for uploading videos to cloud storage services.

  • The time is not marked on the recorded videos.

Price: Free / $3.49
Rating: 4.2 stars

AutoGuard is a Dash Cam app by Hovan Yoo that has free and premium versions. The free version is supposed to be ad-supported, but no ads are visible on the home screen while recording. The paid version advertises things like the ability to sync YouTube videos and run AutoGuard in conjunction with other apps.

While most dash cam apps show a view of the road or whatever you’re recording, as do the hardware cameras on your dashboard, some can also run in the background. AutoGuard is an example of a dash cam app that can run in the background and the paid version can run at the same time as other apps. So if you have a navigation app, you can leave the dashboard enabled while you use it. You might even be able to have a small AutoGuard icon in the corner while in other apps, depending on your hardware.

One of the main problems with applications video recorder versus hardware devices is that you need to configure the application every time. Some dash cam apps like AutoGuard make this a little easier. When you place your phone in the car dock, an app with this feature will automatically turn on and start recording.

DailyRoads Voyager

Daily Roads Voyager App for dash cams

The DailyRoads Voyager Dash Cam app contains information about the quality of your GPS signal.
Screenshot of the DailyRoads Voyager dash cam app
What we like
  • Runs in the background while other apps are active.

  • Set g-force sensitivity to record when triggered.

  • The video protection feature saves records such as accidents.

  • SD card storage.

What we don’t like
  • Advertising in the free version.

  • Drains your battery quickly, turns it off when not in use so it doesn’t run in the background.

Price: free / $4.99
Rating: 4.2

DailyRoads Voyager is a dashcam app from DailyRoads that is available in both free and paid versions. The free version is ad-supported, although no ads were immediately visible on the main recording screen, and all ads disappear if you make a donation or make an in-app purchase.

DailyRoads Voyager includes standard features such as loop recording and allows you to set the length of loops and the amount of total memory space used before older recordings are overwritten. It also uses your phone’s GPS and g-sensor to work exactly the same as the hardware dash camera and you can even adjust the g-force sensitivity needed to start recording.

This app can also be run in the background with extra video/photo capture buttons that can be overlaid on top of other apps.

Smart Dash Cam

Smart Dash Cam App

The free version of Smart Dash Cam comes with on-screen banner ads.
Smart Dash Cam App Screenshot
What we like
  • Turn off the screen while recording.

  • Collision detection for event recording.

What we don’t like
  • Distracting ads in the free version.

  • Cannot run in the background.

  • The phone may become warm during use.

  • It’s hard to find a video.

Price: free (ad supported)
Rating: 3.6

Smart Dash Cam is a free Dash Cam from IP Cam Soft, which also makes IP camera apps. It has an auto-loop recording feature, Google Drive cloud storage integration, and a collision detection feature.

Unlike other highly rated free dash cam apps, Smart Dash Cam is ad-supported, which means a large banner appears on the screen every time you use it. While this seems annoying, it’s important to note that you really shouldn’t be looking at the dash cam screen while driving, so the ads may look sticky, but they don’t hide any important information.

While in shop Google Play no paid version of Smart Dash Cam you can buy premium application version for iOS Without advertising for $2.99.


CamOnRoad application for dash cams

The CamOnRoad app includes toggles for voice recording and cloud storage.
Screenshot of the CamOnRoad application for the DVR
What we like
  • Simple interface

  • Absolutely free.

  • Small amount of cloud storage space.

What we don’t like
  • Cannot save video to connected SD card.

  • GPS navigation is not as good as dedicated GPS apps.

Price: Is free
Rating: 4.1 stars

CamOnRoad is a completely free dash cam app from Smart Labs that has no paid or paid version. Smart Labs provides 2 GB of cloud storage for dash cam recordings for free to registered users, and you can get additional storage space with an optional in-app purchase.

While dash cam apps will never be as easy to use as hardware dashboard cameras, CamOnRoad is an example of an app that does what dedicated physical dashboard cameras don’t. In addition to turning your phone into a DVR, it also has a built-in function GPS navigation .

Some dash cams have built-in GPS to prove where a particular accident happened, but they don’t actually give directions like a real GPS unit.

CamOnRoad was previously available for both Android and iOS, but is currently only available for iOS.

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