Five Apps And A Few Tips For Using Your iPhone While Driving

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using iphone while drivingIt’s not safe to use your cell or smartphone while driving, but we all know how convenient it can be to talk on the phone or send a text message, especially to inform someone you’re on our way or that you’ll possibly be late.

The key to using your iPhone while driving is to reduce the number of steps it takes to make a call, send a text message, or check driving directions.

The iPhone includes a few built-in features and apps that might be useful while driving, and there a few third-party apps that can help keep your eyes on the road.

Voice Activation

The Siri app available in iPhone 4S includes the most advanced voice activation features for making phone calls, sending text messages, playing songs, and much more. Using it while driving can enable you to keep your eyes on the road, instead of trying to type a phone number or send a text message, which you should never try to do while driving.

using iphone while driving

If you don’t have iPhone 4S, no problem, because the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and and 4G also feature enough voice control features that come in handy while driving. See my article, “Stop Tapping & Start Talking: Voice Control Your iPhone.”

iphone while driving

Pasties

I never attempt to type a text message while driving, but I do use an app called Pasties ($1.99 or Free Lite version) to send preset, commonly used messages to my wife and a few other designated people. With Pasties, you set up individual common messages (e.g., “I’m on my way.” “I’ll be late.” “Call me later.”) you want to text or send via email.

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iphone while driving

Pasties can also save you a few more taps because it allows you to set a  message to a specific person in your Address Book.  When you tap on the message it will paste it in a new SMS addressed to the assigned person, and then you simply tap again to send it. It would be great if the message were sent with only one tap, but at least it keeps you from typing messages while driving.

Face Dialers

I’ve never liked the Favorites list in the Phone app of the iPhone. It requires 2-3 taps to access, and if you have more than a few people on the list, it can be difficult to read and navigate especially while driving. So this is where an app like Face Dialer (.99 cents) comes in handy. It allows you create photo icons of people you call, text, email frequently, and initiate contact with a single tap.

iphone while driving

You can put all your photo contacts in one folder, or put the icon of the person you call the most on your homepage. By using this app you don’t have to hunt for a contact’s name in your Address Book or your Favorites list.

The ad supported Tatap Call free is another option that enables you set up phone icons for the people you call regularly. You can double-tap on an icon to make the call directly, or  a single tap will display menu for calling, texting, and emailing the selected contact. The add-free version is .99 cents.

iphone driving apps

iPhone Earphones

Also, don’t forget that the earphones that come with the iPhone are also useful while driving. If you must talk on the phone while in route, the earphones allow you to both answer a phone call and talk to someone using the mic button on the cord.

iphone driving apps

You press the button once to receive a call and press it again to end it. If you receive a call while talking someone else, you again press the button once to switch over to the new call, and press again to end it and return to the original call.

Voice Search

It’s not uncommon to need to search for an address or directions while driving, but again it can be a big distraction to do so especially if you’re trying to manually type a message. If you must do a search while driving, two handy apps, Google search app and Dragon Go come in handy.

using iphone while driving

Both of these apps have really good voice to text recognition features. And most often when you get search results, you can simply tap on the phone listing to make a call, or the listed address to open it in Map application or to get directions.

See my article Dragon’s free mobile apps to find more tips about voice to text recognition for the iPhone.

Let us know about the apps you find handy for safer driving while using the iPhone.

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Comments (18)
  • Janet

    Vlingo and Evi are 2 great apps. Check them out.

  • Adam McNutt

    I use Vlingo. It works on iOS, Android, and Blackberry. Works great, and only one big button to hit. I used to use Siri and Vlingo, then Apple killed Siri and made it only 4S.

    • Janet

      Also check out evi. Does what Siri did. Only not text. I use vlingo to text

  • Michel

    So you write a post about this, then agree with everyone who points out it’s illegal in many places and dangerous everywhere. Don’t you see the hypocrisy in that?

    • Bakari Chavanu

      Lol, Michel, as I pointed out in my article–the first paragraph–it’s not always wise to use the phone while driving. The same could be said for eating a hamburger, playing music too loud, or not looking over your shoulders when you change lanes. However, if you must do anything of these things, like using your phone, try to do it as safely as possible. 

      I’ve been driving for over 35 years now, and am happy to report that I have never caused a car accident, though I have been slammed by two drivers–who by the way didn’t appear to be using a phone while driving. They simply were not paying attention.

      As described in the article, I use a few of the apps and tips with my phone while driving, but I don’t do it irresponsibly. I not really advocating that people use the phone while driving, but if they must, here’s a few ways that might do it. 

      At the same time, readers might heed your warning or argument that they should never use the phone while driving. We all have to be responsible enough to make that decision. I’m not trying to be hypocritical. I’m just recognizing that there are two sides to the argument.

  • Makaha

    Seems to be missing the point about distractions/attention toward the road being the main factor behind problems with cellphones in cars. Just because you can look at it, doesn’t mean you are paying the proper attention to it.

    • Bakari Chavanu

      Good point. Great to post a argument against driving and using cell phone for any reason. 

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.