I decided to see what I could find in the way of a Smartphone app to keep me from texting while driving or tweeting or even calling, without a doubt one of the biggest dangers facing any teen driver. With all the technology of the today to say I’m shocked at the lack of availability of such helps is almost fatally frustrating. My phone being an iphone 5s all that I could find that appeared to be in the realm of affordable were disturbingly ineffective, nothing came close to stopping my phone use. There was one for about $150 I did not try. The four seen above I did and here were my results, there is one possible way to go I would say.
- Reading the features of the Overwatch had me excited that this was the one. My hope being that it would shut me down was dashed as nothing happened. I drove around and texed and phoned without obstruction. I registered, I emailed, I pass-worded three times and when I still couldn’t get it to work I went in search of support…Good luck with that all I found was this crazy facebook site… No email no phone number so I executed the app from my iphone.
- Next up was the Canary. Once again I downloaded registered emailed pass-worded and took off down the road. As my daughter texted me it sang like a Canary notifying my parents of my speed location and infraction, however it just didn’t keep me from using my phone. It is an amazing tattle tale. It is very efficient at telling parents of Voice call, texting etc adding the speed of travel and location at the time. No doubt this will help my parenting but in no way did it keep me from texting and driving or calling any one for that matter. The one really cool feature is that it sure shows parents where there kids are or where they were per a map at their web site. I did love that. With this one being so good at informing the parent of the child’s behavior the way to enforce expectations is now in the hands of the parent and in my experience taking a kids phone away is close to a death sentence for them so I do feel this one can really help a parent.
- Then I tested the Drive Safe Mode. Again my hopes were high as it even asked my who I could call in an emergency. They too wanted my email and a password and a username.Yet once again my hopes were dashed as I drove off texting and calling to my hearts desire. It just kept messaging me, “Drive Safe”.. I had to laugh like, “really do you think any teenager is going to see that and stop. It too was tattling on me but not near as efficient as the canary and both apps are free so it seems a clear choice for the iphone is not Drive Safe Mode. I would guess this one does better on an android.
- Lastly was the AT&T Drive Mode..this one didn’t require as much registration or pass-wording etc, but again my hopes were high as it had a very clear screen that came up that seemed to indicate I wouldn’t be able to use my phone when driving. But, no all I had to do was go to my home screen and text at will, it dose have a red message at the top telling me “Drive Mode” but dosn’t do much else that I can see. Again maybe on a Android or an iphone 6 it can do something different but on my test it was a clear loser.
So now my phone still has three of these apps operating and I can still text and call and tweet etc… I do get all kind of warnings from all three apps and my email is filled with reports but at the end of the day nothing comes close to shutting me down which leaves me wondering….