Hard to admit? Well you are not alone. In fact, studies have shown that around 85% of Americans use their phones while driving. Of course ideally nobody would touch their phone in the car, but it seems as a society we are way past that point. The challenge is how do we minimize the risks of smartphone use in the car and make it as efficient and safe as possible.
In our search for new apps that complement our mounts to tackle this challenge, we finally found one that’s worth writing about. Let me introduce you to Drivemode.
“Don’t Look”, “Don’t Think”
The Drivemode app gives you the ability to access the most commonly used functions of your phone like calls, messages, navigation, apps, and music utilizing a “No-Look” user interface that is designed to eliminate the need for you to take your eyes off the road. Using a combination of voice narration, big color changes and animations, and a huge touch area to input simple gestures, the unique UI lets you control your phone without actually focusing your eyes on the screen.
Drivemode allows you to run apps like Google Maps or Waze while controlling other functions like music or calls through a transparent overlay on top so you don’t have to manually switch between apps just to skip a song, for example.
In addition, Drivemode uses smart technology to learn from your routine in order to recommend frequent destinations (like “home”) and contacts (like your spouse) and present them at the top of your list to minimize the mental distraction that comes from searching on your phone (“Don’t Think”).
So is it actually useful?
So all of this is great in theory, but is it actually useful?
After spending some time with the app and actually putting it to the test behind the wheel, we can honestly say Drivemode is the most well thought out driving app we have tested so far.
The new user interface takes a few minutes of fiddling around with to get used to, but once behind the wheel it all starts to make sense. The voice readouts and color changes communicate where you are in the menu, and you can swipe anywhere on the large input area which eliminates the need to search for small buttons on the screen.
Our favorite feature was the overlay music controller, allowing us to skip songs with the swipe of a finger while never losing sight of our on-screen navigation.
Overall, we love to see solutions like Drivemode starting to emerge to help drivers be safer and more responsible behind the wheel. It’s up to each and every one of us to take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of those around us by properly utilizing available tools like car mounts and driving apps. We used our iMagnet mount with Drivemode and boy was it effortless to drive!