Review: Drivesafe.ly Text to Speech for Email & SMS

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 04 21.31Review: www.Drivesafe.ly Pro for BlackBerry
Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆
Price:
Free or Pro for $13.99

I been testing out drivesafe.ly for the past few days which I find useful since I drive a lot during the day. With two BlackBerry’s on me at all times & on the road I like having a safe and easy way to know whether the message I just receive needs my immediate attention without being distracted from the road. With many states banning texting while driving & the fact that it is dangerous this comes in handy.  I have tested similar technologies that promised good service but they have not met expectations.

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Drivesafe.ly is a simple application you install on you Berry you can get it from either App world or directly from their website. Note that there are two different version of the application a free version and the Pro Version, the free only reads up to 25 words and the pro up to 500 words and a few customization options.

Setup: Once you have the application installed just make sure you check the options you like, and Un-check the boxes you don’t need. There are options to select a female voice or a males voice for the transcript. It also includes the option to select Text messages or emails or both, including senders name, subject, and the body of the message. You can set the option to play via Speaker, earpiece, Bluetooth, & headphones, make sure you have the correct one selected.

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Important part of setup: TURN OFF THE AUTO TEXT if you don’t want to annoy people, you can do that by going to settings > Advance settings found towards the bottom, and un-check the auto response boxes. The auto response replies to the reader that you have heard their message and that you will get back to them and tells them to download the application as well. The reason I mention this is because some people may get annoyed by this and may Blacklist your email. But there is a good side to this you can edit the Auto response create a custom response.  Drivesafe.ly does not require anyone to use the auto response or any of the options on there but some come set by default so make sure you explore through all the settings.

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Text to Speech capabilities: This service really impressed me on how clearly the female voice sounds, (I did not test the male voice).  The service even reads to you words in Spanish, my brother and I even had some fun typing some bad words to see if it would read them, :), Yes it does work. There is an option for acronyms to be read as well. The way the application works is by sending your email data over to drivesafe.ly which turns around and streams the voice over to the BlackBerry. For this application to work you must have a data plan for it to work. The transcription is fast on EDGE and faster response in turnaround time.

Security: I asked How safe is the data transfer?  & this is what I was told “Our application uses iSpeech.org. None of the information is stored. All of the audio is streamed”

Usability: The application itself is simple to use to turn on and off just go to the application and click on the ON/Off button. To Exit the application you need to go to the settings & click exit application or else the application runs on the back ground.  I was told that they are working on a convenience key feature for easy On and Off activation.  To stop a from playing simply click the end key on your Berry.  The application also disables when the profile is set to silent if you have that option check on the settings.

Cons: Only one major thing that I have seen is some users are not aware of the auto response message being sent and are in a way spamming their contacts with the auto response & those receiving the message may not like it. Make sure you turn that option off or change it to a personalized message. Second thing I did notice is that sometimes when you get multiple messages it did skip a few.

Overall I really like the service & how useful it can be, for those that don’t need it everyday I recommend trying the free version. This application will probably not stop everyone from texting & driving because if they get a must reply to message people will likely still use it. This service really helps me from having to take my Berry out of the Holster every time I get a message. What it really does help with is keeping users from getting distracted from the road because reading a message requires you to take your eyes off the road. I see some good use for this application, specially if they were to implement speech to text.

22 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Hi, do you know whether Drivesafe.ly would read also italian words?
    Thanks
    ciao!

  2. It will probably still read them they might sound a bit funky but it did read most of the Spanish words correctly

  3. i like this app except the part of having to tell it to read the e-mail or txt, unlike the Voice Command module in WinMo where it does it automaticly for calls, e-mails, and txts and also allows you to send it to a bluetooth device, only part of WinMo i like.

    • This app works well with my Bluetooth. Also, it’s set to automatically read your txts and emails. You don’t have to tell it to. – But it has the flexibility of customizing it to your needs. Sometimes I set it just to read texts or just to read emails. LOVE THIS APP!

  4. Luis, did you get a chance to evaluate the bluetooth option as well?
    I tried to use it in my car (bluetooth enabled), but while phone calls will stream to the car just fine DriveSafe.ly will just sound a strange click but will not open the bluetooth on incoming messages. I’m curious if you got it to work.
    Thanks,
    Zax.

  5. I have the “Pro” version of this app and I love it. In fact, in the pro version you can edit the auto response and it let’s the other person know it will be a little while before I return their text. I really like this app. Its VERY useful!

  6. Yes it did work on my Jabra Bluetooth headset but not sure on a car Bluetooth. I forgot about that part. It does have two different Bluetooth options I just tested the headset Bluetooth options

  7. I installed this a couple of days ago and didn’t turn off the auto response and when someone would send me a text it auto responded with a screen full of garbage to the sender so I uninstalled it. After reading this review I reinstalled it and went back through the settings and turned off the auto response and now it works better but I don’t know why it sent garbage as a response before. Also the first time it went in to a loop once because I got a “do_not_reply” email and it replied and the other end kept sending an error message back and drivesafe.ly would respond and it would respond back etc. etc. It was kind of annoying, thank goodness I have a 2,000 message plan.

  8. I love this app. they gave it to me free for fanning them on facebook :-)

  9. That’s a pretty good deal if u can get a few friends to fill out a survey u can get a few friends to follow them on FB.

  10. Using the free version! Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe its perfect!!!!

  11. EXCEPTIONAL!!!!! No problems loading the program and after giving the proper permissons; it worked flawlessly. Very quick email to text conversion. Voice easy to understand. Very accurate, so much better than some of the other programs out there. Initially used it in the car only, but now I leave it on almost all the time. Now I don’t have to find and pick up my BB to see what the message is. Very convenient.

  12. This program appears not to work with T-Mobile in the UK.I have spoken to the network who do not support it.I have contac unable to helpted Drivesafe.ly who are unable to help

  13. It’s a cool app even if you aren’t on the road. It installs a menu option in the messages app so I can listen to certain emails on-demand while I’m doing something else. Also great when your hands are tied getting dinner ready but you’re expecting an email or text. It would be even better if you can open the messages app and tell it to read all your messages from top to bottom– kind of reminds me of the days when the first thing I did after coming home was listen to my answering machine!

    Cheers!

  14. Whatever you do, DO NOT let your friends on that you have it running on your Blackberry, or at least know when to turn it off. I’ve gotten some pretty good prank messages from them at the wrong time and the wrong place! Think while standing at the urinal. Haha.

    Cheers!

  15. Why does it read out the SMS number instead of the name saved on the phone ? This is the only part of drivesafe.ly that I dislike. I don’t know all the numbers in my phone, but I have most numbers assigned with names – does anyone know if this can be fixed ???

  16. Amazing App on my Bold 9000! Ive had it for a few months now and havent had any problems! Can walk around at work with my bluetooth headset in, and it automatically reads the texts right into my ear so nobody else can hear!

  17. Love this app especially the speed sensing feature turns on automatically by the time my car reaches 35 mph! Love it

  18. Hi, drive safe is amazing it works very, but i would like use it in spanish too, will you make a spanish version soon?

  19. I have Pro installed on my BB Curve. I really like it. My Blueant earpiece does not work with it when I recieve emails and texts. I have tried both settings but no luck. Any suggestions for a fix or a bluetooth headset or ear piece that does work.

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