June 23, 2017

Apple Wants to Block Your Texts When Driving

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Apple Wants to Block Your Texts When Driving

Apple wants to help curtail distracted driving, which is what’s behind its latest feature that will block texts and other news alerts while you’re driving. The “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature will be added to iPhones this fall as part of Apple’s iOS 11, the latest version of operating software for the company's mobile devices. Users can choose to disable the feature.

Learn how one YPN group asked members to put their business on hold behind the wheel by pledging to not text and drive.

Here’s how it works: When your phone is connected to a car using either Bluetooth or a cable, or senses the car is moving, the phone will block any notifications, such as text messages and news updates. If a text comes in while you’re driving, the phone can be set to automatically send a response that says you’re unable to respond at the moment. You can designate special contacts to still pass through.

The iPhone screen will go dark to prevent drivers from using apps while behind the wheel. Passengers in the car who are not driving will be able to disable the feature and use the phone with all of its features. Drivers will still be able to access Apple Maps, Apple’s navigation application. However, they will not be able to input destinations as they drive. Google Maps and other navigation apps will also work, but with some limitations.

Apple CarPlay, which allows drivers to use voice commands to listen and respond to text messages, will still work in cars that are equipped with it. The feature is available from several auto makers and works through a computer screen in the car.

“It’s all about keeping your eyes on the road,” says Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. “When you are driving, you don’t need to be responding to these kind of messages. We think this is going to be a really important step in safety.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says eight people are killed each day in crashes that involve distracted driving.

Source: “Soon, iPhones Will Block Texts While Driving,” CNN (June 6, 2017) and “iPhone Will Get ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ Mode in iOS 11 This Fall,” USA Today (June 5, 2017)