Texting and driving is a dangerous combination. Most anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road is a dangerous proposition, but for many drivers, the thought of losing all that potentially productive time is a hard pill to swallow. So how can drivers manage to keep safe on the road yet get some work done? Text’nDrive 2 wants to take a run at it.
Naturally, we start by saying that, again, anything that takes a driver’s attention off the road is a dangerous proposition, and as such, nothing that distracts from a driver’s full attention can ever really be endorsed. But since Text’nDrive 2 has applications not only in transit but also out of it, it has added value on that side of the spectrum as well. What Text’nDrive 2 does it that allows users to keep up with mail and messages in much the same way that they can listen to the radio. It converts e-mail and messages alike into speech, reading messages aloud for consumption. There’s no typing required, no contact with the device beyond the kind involved with, say, a GPS or radio.
But better yet, it works with several different e-mail systems, from Gmail to Yahoo and several others, to ensure that the system works the best it can. There’s also an upgrade available that adds still more functionality to it. While the app isn’t specifically optimized for the iPhone 5, it does offer support for all the iOS hardware, as well as for Android and BlackBerry. Though iOS users should take note that SMS is blocked for Apple hardware at the moment, so for you, Text’nDrive 2 will only read e-mail.
Naturally, like any speech-to-text conversion, there will be some problems. Expect plenty of Doonesbury-esque “Egg freckles” moments as the speech to text concept gets used to your voice. But thankfully, for the most part, the text-to-speech conversion portions seem to work out much better overall. There’s nothing saying that an app like this can only be useful in a car, as the idea of having a way to speak and send responses to messages–powered by Nuance at last report–makes this a pretty potent system indeed.
It’s an excellent start, no mistake there, but things will only look better when cloud-based telephony systems are brought into play. Having things on hand like reporting and analytics tools and call answering systems will only prove better for business as getting a hold of just the right people becomes even easier for users, no matter how–or where–their calls are returned.
Text’nDrive may not be the best use of a commute, but it will likely go a long way toward adding productivity to some businesses, and that’s the kind of thing that’s generally more help than hindrance.