As a parent of two young adult drivers and a third soon to hit the road, nothing scares me more than texting while driving. Drinking and driving scares me too, but since that danger has been around since long before I started driving I’ve somehow internalized that risk a bit better.
Being an engineer at heart and by training, I’ve been looking for a solution to the problem. I know that the buzz of the phone and the unread/unresponded message is like a drug to many and that the best solution would be a “hands free” way to read and respond. And the bluetooth/hands free voice solution works so well on most cars and most phones now, so why can’t we do the same with texting?
I’ve been trying out an app on my Android called Blue Control ($2 in the android store) that a friend suggested to me. I can’t seem to make it work with my car’s bluetooth service, but it is very possible that the problem is operator error.
So I went looking for other options. I found an app available on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry called Text’nDrive. The iPhone version only supports email right now but the Android and Blackberry version supports SMS and email. I went ahead and purchased the Pro version for $21 even though there is a free version on Android as well. Apparently the free version only reads your texts while the Pro version lets you reply as well.
I got Text’nDrive to work but not on my car’s bluetooth service (even though that was the selected audio input/output device in the app). It does indeed read your incoming texts to you and tells you who they are from and then you can reply via voice. I couldn’t get the reply by voice thing working right but again, it may be operator error. If I could get Text’nDrive to work with my car’s bluetooth audio, then I’d work harder to figure out how to get it to do the reply thing correctly.
I’m all ears if anyone out there has found an app that does this well. “This” to me means connects seamlessly to any car’s bluetooth audio service and reads your incoming texts and lets you reply with voice. That is a killer app in my opinion and it will have the added benefit of making the roads safer for us and our kids.
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