Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An App For That? Mobile In Airplane Mode For Car

I saw a nasty accident a couple of hours ago. A guy in a car in front of me was using his cell phone and rear-ended the car in front of him. I stopped and both people got out. Nobody appeared to be hurt but both cars had to be towed away.

The accident has helped me decide that - from now on when I'm alone in the car - my phone is going into airplane mode before I start driving. If I do this I do need to remember to take my phone out of airplane mode when I get to where I'm going and get out of my car. It has me thinking about a few interesting phone apps:

  1. A bluetooth enabled airplane mode function. When the car starts the phone goes into airplane mode. When the car is shut off the phone goes out of airplane mode. This app would only work for cars that have bluetooth installed.
  2. For cars that don't have bluetooth - a phone app that could be tied to the GPS radio. When the car is moving the phone goes into airplane mode. When not moving the phone goes out of airplane mode. This one would require some sort of timing offset to prevent people from picking up their phones when stopped at a light, stuck in traffic, etc. It may also be a problem when trying to walk and talk on the phone at the same time.
  3. An app that allows the user to put the phone into airplane mode for a set period of time. I did find an iPhone app that does this called aTimeTool. This app requires the iPhone be jailbroken which I haven't done yet. There are probably other apps that do this - i'll do a little more looking when I have more time. I like this type of app - It would allow me to set my phone to airplane mode for 30 minutes when leaving my house for work and automatically go out of airplane mode 30 mins later. That's just about the amount of time it takes me to get to the door of my building. I would not have to remember to take the phone out of airplane mode. I could also use an app like this when at meetings and other functions.
I've done minimal searching on the web and only for iPhone apps that can turn airplane mode on and off. I'm not sure what is available for other phones like the Android.

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