In a perfect world, we would all ignore our phones while behind the wheel, but the sad truth is that some people just can’t resist the dopamine boost of a new text message or Facebook notification.
Major companies like Apple and Google are already working to solve this problem — even if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want it fixed. iOS 11 will automatically put your iPhone in Do Not Disturb mode when you’re driving, and Google’s Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones offer a similar feature. Now, thanks to a new Android app, you can automatically flip on Do Not Disturb while you’re driving for any Android smartphone.
The free app Driving Detective is based on the same “Do Not Disturb While Driving” software Google developed for the Pixel 2. It also works with any device running Android 4.1 or up, and setting it up is easy. Just download the app and open it. You’ll get a prompt asking for “Do Not Disturb” access. That’s it.
Driving Detective assumes that you’re cavorting around in your car by taking measurements of your current speed — since odds are good you aren’t running 56km per hour to the local Taco Bell (or running home from Taco Bell, if your tummy regrets your lunch choice).
The one issue with the app is that it might trigger Do Not Disturb while you’re riding public transit. However, you can easily toggle the app off by opening it and tapping the switch in the top right corner. That, or you could just use the app’s “mistake” as an opportunity to enjoy a short break from the constant drip of smartphone notifications.
Driving Detective lets you decide whether the app should block all notifications entirely or let through priority alerts (Reminders, Events, Alarms, and messages from a select group of contacts). You can also specify whether the app should trigger on weekdays or weekends — in case you don’t mind a distraction or two while you’re joyriding around town, but will go ballistic if you hear one more ding during your daily commute.