Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Editor’s note: There are more than 1 million apps available for download from Apple's App Store and a similar number of Android apps available on Google Play. Staff writer Brian Nordli weighs in on one of the applications he deems worthy of being the Sun’s App of the Week.
Phone App: AT&T Drivemode
Where can you find it: Android’s Google Play Store/Blackberry’s App World
Cost: Free for AT&T customers
What is it: Everyone has been there before. You’re in the car driving and the phone rings, a text jingles or a Facebook message pops up, prompting, begging for an immediate response.
It’s illegal to use mobile devices while driving in Nevada, but not everyone follows the law. In time for Distracted Driving Month, AT&T’s app Drivemode is designed to minimize phone distractions while the car is moving.
When the app is on, incoming alerts are silenced, phone calls are sent to voicemail and the Drivemode main screen blocks access to text services. Using GPS, the app has an auto-mode that enables its phone-limiting functions as soon as the car exceeds 25 mph. Its functions cease once the car has been stopped for more than five minutes.
The app also comes with a parent mode that can sync a teen driver’s account to the teen’s phone. Once installed, it will send an alert to the parent if the teen has attempted to tamper with the app settings.
Still, Drivemode doesn’t completely cut a person off from the outside world. The app allows users to input five numbers that they can call or receive calls from while it is in operation. Users can also call 911 if they’re having an emergency.
But in the age of smartphones, Drivemode is there to eliminate those distractions and make sure you keep your eyes on the road.