Using Your Phone While Driving Legally
Using your phone while driving legally and being able to do much more than listen to music, and talk to friends and colleagues is almost impossible. Sure, voice command capability lets you do a little more, but not much. If only there was just a way to be able to navigate through apps without taking your hands off the wheel. Even better would be to have a mount for your phone that puts it where you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to see it. Quit wishing, AppYourCar is here.
AppYourCar Puts Smartphone Control at Your Fingertips
The AppYourCar controller clips on your steering wheel and is small enough to fit in your pocket. There’s a thumbwheel that lets you move around the screen of your phone, while buttons on both side of the controller give you other functionality, depending on what kind of phone you’re using. The controller connects to your phone by Bluetooth and costs about fifty bucks.
The controller fits most steering wheels and can be mounted however you need it to make it as comfortable and safe to use as possible. Since it has buttons on both sides of the controller that correspond to specific actions (Swipe forward, swipe back, select, play/pause, etc.), you don’t have to ever take your hands off the steering wheel to gain full control of your phone.
There’s also a wireless dashboard mount that lets you put your phone up where you can use it like a heads up display. This keeps your eyes on the road at all times. If your phone supports it, the dashboard mount supports wireless changing. If not, it also has a cable that can connect to the power outlet in your car. About a hundred bucks nets you the controller and the wireless mount.
Makes Using Your Phone While Driving Intuitive
Even with your phone in your line of sight with the road, using your phone while driving is safer if you can do it intuitively. This means grouping certain apps together into a single interface so they’re easier to find. The AppYourCar app does that, using three categories: Navigation, Communication, and Media.
The app is fully customizable, letting you select what apps go in what category. The app doesn’t let you have access to video files, though. This is an added safety feature, since you’re only supposed to be glancing at your phone now and then. Since the app has to be running for you to use the wireless controller, you can’t bypass this safety feature.
Each Unit Is Platform-Dependent
When you order your AppYourCar component(s), you have to specify what kind of phone you have. This is because the controllers for Android and iOS (No Windows Phone controller available) have different labels because they do different things. For example, the back buttons on the Android controller let you navigate between the three categories while on the iOS controller they swipe left and right and turn VoiceOver on or off. This means you’re stuck with one platform/environment unless you pop for two. There’s only a discount of about ten dollars when you order two, so it won’t be cheap if you need both.
Available in a Variety of Colors
The controller is available in your choice of nine different accent colors to match the interior of your car. The colors are turquoise, pink, white, purple, red, yellow, grey/silver, blue, and brown. The dashboard mount is all black.
AppYourCar Is an Indiegogo Project
AppYourCar is an Indiegogo project with almost enough funding to go into full production. The prices mentioned above are good for the length of the Indiegogo campaign, after which they’ll go up significantly. The campaign is set to end before the end of January 2015. People that participate in the campaign will be those that the developers listen to the most when it comes time to upgrade the app and give it more features.
My Thoughts on Using Your Phone While Driving with AppYourCar
I think that even with the AppYourCar package, using your phone while driving is still going to dangerous because it will still be distracting, while giving you the false confidence that your eyes are still pointed at the road. I can see this on the open road with little to no traffic or other surprises. In the city or residential areas? Not so much.
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