CNET - by Rick BroidaSeptember 22, 2016 12:46 PM PDT

Recently I wrote about apps you can use to track your mileage, noting that my preferred choice was MileIQ. It's not free, but the excellent interface and seamless automation got me thinking it was worth the money.

I'm glad I didn't sign up for an annual subscription, though, because I found an alternative: Everlance, a totally free mileage tracker. It's available for iOS and Android now.

Update, September 22: Everlance has switched to a premium model, meaning the free version no longer includes automatic mileage tracking or advanced PDF reporting. If you want those features, it'll cost you $7.99 per month (via in-app purchase) or $59.99 annually. Those prices put the app on par with MileIQ, a very similar app. And, alas, without those features, Everlance isn't much different than most other mileage trackers that require you to manually enter trip data.

Back in the old days, you tracked your mileage (a very important task for freelancers or anyone who gets travel reimbursements from their employer) by writing odometer readings in a little notebook -- assuming you actually remembered to do so, of course. Then you had to transcribe all that data into a form or spreadsheet or whatever. Bleh.

Thanks to modern phones and apps, you don't have to mess with any of that anymore. Everlance will automatically record your trips, then generate a report you can use for reimbursement or tax filing.

As I said, lots of apps can do likewise, but nearly all of them cost money -- either up front or on a subscription basis. The cheaper ones tend to have clunky interfaces, or at least require more manual input regarding each trip.

Everlance, like MileIQ, makes trip classification super easy. For each recorded drive (represented as a "card" that shows a map of the route), swipe right if you were driving for work or left if it was for personal or some other reason. Bam. Done. Do this once a day or once a week or whenever.

The app also lets you manually log expenses (complete with receipt photos) and revenue.

There are a few limitations, of course. Your only data-export option is a CSV file (delivered via email), and the app can't automatically classify drives based on, say, the time of day. It would be nice, too, if you could turn off automatic drive-detection at certain times to help minimize the battery impact.

Speaking of which, Everlance will definitely take its toll on battery life, though based on my brief tests, it uses less power than many other background apps (such as GroupMe and Facebook).

I realize not everyone needs to track their mileage. If you do, Everlance is by far the best option I've found, combining a simple, attractive interface with a price that's impossible to beat.

I've been using Everlance for the past several months, and it has earned a permanent spot on my phone. The developers have added some valuable new features, including an easy way to specify round-trip drives and automatic "favorite places" detection. Unfortunately, the app is still missing the time-of-day features I noted above. Even so, there's no better free app for tracking your mileage.

- by Rick Broida, CNET