A 2-Trip Review of the iCarMode Driving App
HECN Rating: A+
Think about it. You don’t need to show images to your friends. You don’t need to text. You don’t need try to tap that itty-bitty microphone on the keyboard and try to dictate a Facebook response.
iCarMode breaks down what you actually need to do at 35-75 mph into 4 easy buttons. Music, GPS, Contacts, and Phone. That’s the first page.
On the second page are 4 more handy functions, Where Did I Park, Places Nearby, Parking Meter, and Shortcut–a wildcard button that you can set to open any installed app.
Within 30 seconds after opening the app settings, I got it. And so can you.
The hardest thing was trying to figure out which GPS app I wanted to use. Waze, Apple Maps, or Google Maps. There are 8 others to choose from as well.
The music player is great. Setting your playlist, shuffle, etc is as easy as…it’s just easy.
Making a call is pretty simple. Tap on “Phone” and you’ll be presented with 2 pages, each with 6 big buttons for contacts, which you can set for yourself. The dialer is taken from older iOS configurations. As much as I like iOS 8, the combination of older buttons on a larger screen make them gigantic–perfect for tapping at 40 mph.
The “Where Did I Park” feature is like many others, using GPS to drop a pin where you park. You can then use GPS to track your way back to your vehicle. The “Places Nearby” feature mines Google Maps information across 6 categories, Car, Food, Fun, Stores, Transportation, and Services. Oh, and theres one for “All” as well. The Parking Meter feature is a timer, simple and easy.
Using the app while driving is intuitive. It doesn’t make pretty colors. It doesn’t have meters or anything else to distract you from driving.
You download an automotive app, maybe play with it a little at your computer, and then put it to work in your car. Generally people don’t prepare to use the app, which would mean getting to the car a few minutes beforehand to open and test it. That would make sense. But humans often do not make sense, especially with a smartphone in their hands. We turn it on, open an app and expect it to work. We don’t expect it to understand it perfectly on the first trip, depending on length. But it needs to be intuitive enough that we can figure it out completely by the second or third trip. Anything else is headed for deletion.
If you are looking for a driving app that you’ll actually use, I can pretty much guarantee that spending the $1.99 for iCarMode will be a better investment than spending $1.99 for something else. Like a cup of coffee.
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