Review: www.Drivesafe.ly Pro for BlackBerry
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.
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.
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.
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.