DriveSafe.ly is an application for Android and Blackberry phones, and soon the iPhone and Windows Mobile phones, that reads text messages and e-mail aloud and automatically responds to the messages. The idea is that you will use DriveSafe.ly to have your messages read to you while driving in a car, preventing you from having to look at the phone’s screen or type a response. I first wrote about DriveSafe.ly last month and now that I have the Google Nexus car dock, I have found it to be a perfect solution for handling text messages while the phone is in the dock.
DriveSafe.ly has a setting to turn itself on when the phone is put into the car dock. As I wrote in my review of the car dock, and in another post I wrote about Toggle Settings, the more things that happen automatically when the phone is put in the dock, the better. The last thing I want to do is spend several minutes after inserting the phone in the dock, starting programs and changing settings. Because DriveSafe.ly turns itself on automatically, it is more likely to be used than if I have to remember to turn it on manually. DriveSafe.ly also has a setting to turn itself on when a Bluetooth headset connects with the phone.
While DriveSafe.ly can read text messages and e-mail, I have it configured to only read text messages. Most of the e-mail that I might receive while driving can wait until I am somewhere that I can read the message. Text messages that I receive tend to be more urgent. When I receive a text message while the phone is in the dock, a nice female voice tells me who sent the message and then reads the message. While it is still obviously a computer read message, I have found it clear enough to understand while the car is running. I have configured DriveSafe.ly to automatically send a response telling the sender that I am unable to respond to their message at the moment, but that I will respond as soon as possible.
There are a free and paid versions of DriveSafe.ly. The free version will only read 25 words of a message that are only read in a female voice. The $13.95 pro version will read up to 500 words and messages can be read in a female or male voice. The program can even be configured to read messages from certain users in either a female or male voice. You will find information for how to get DriveSafe.ly from the company’s web site.