My smartphone is like a second appendage to me – I’d be lost without it. However, one thing that I do avoid is talking or texting on my phone while driving. With this in mind, I spoke with Lisa on the Today Show about a range of new apps that are designed to stop people texting or calling while driving. Below, I have given a quick rundown on what they do and, where able, given a cost. With approximately 40,000 people fined last year for talking on their phones, it’s probably not a bad idea to look into one of the apps on offer.
Drive First App
- New Android app that stops people texting/calling when driving
- Detects when car is in motion
- Redirects calls to voice mail and blocks text messages when car is in motion
- Auto-responds to texts that driver is unavailable
- Allows access to three key contacts in case of emergency
- Allows GPS function of smartphone to work
- Has override button for passengers (might defeat the purpose of having it in the first place)
- Available in US in 3Q 2011
- Not available in Oz yet
- Bluetooth communicates with smartphone
- App tells smartphone it will stop texts/calls when car is in motion
- Ongoing cost could put people off buying
- Available for Blackberries, Windows Mobile and Symbian phones
- Device costs $60 plus app $25 plus monthly fee of $8.95
- Uses trust system
- Person must switch on system when driving
- Will read text messages aloud when driving
- Must switch off service when you stop driving
- Free version reads out first 25 words of text
- Pro version will read out whole text
- BlackBerrys, iPhones, Android and Windows Mobile phones
- Pro version is $13.95
- App uses GPS chip in phone
- Once app realises smartphone is moving faster than you can walk it will lock some functions.
- You will not be able to write texts or make phone calls
- Flaw is that it can’t tell if you are driver or passenger
- Passenger can turn off the service, but only if you are using mobile wireless broadband.
- For Blackberries, Android and Windows mobile phones
- $4.95 a month or $49.95 annual subscription.