Smartphones can serve an enormous number of purposes, many of which can make driving an easier and more enjoyable task. Remember that using your phone while driving is illegal, but you can mount it in a dashboard clamp so that you’re not holding it when your hands should be on the wheel.
Here we take a look at the best ways to use your smartphone when you’re in the car, to really get the most out of your mobile device.
You’ll need one of those dashboard mounts when driving as it’s pretty much the only way to make full use of your device while in the car. Many can be picked up for just a few pounds, attaching via suction pads either to the dashboard itself or the windscreen above it, giving you a great view of your handset’s screen without it getting in the way.
Using a Bluetooth headset will also help you make calls from the car, and while most handsets have a loudspeaker function you may want a bit privacy from your passengers. Using a headset helps you to stay focussed on the road while chatting away.
Google Maps comes pre-installed on many handsets and remains one of the best options for navigation, offering turn-by-turn directions and an excellent search facility. Other than this, the NavFree app is brilliant, offering detailed maps that are available to store offline for those times when you’re out in the countryside and don’t have a decent mobile data signal.
While your handset is mounted on the dashboard, you could also consider one of the many dashboard apps that are available, such as Drive. These offer a simplified interface for things like your music player and mapping service, with big controls that are easy to tap so that you are not distracted from the road ahead.
How to use it
As we’ve already mentioned it’s illegal to have your phone in your hand when driving and your concentration should remain fully on the road. Mounting it on the dashboard lets you make a few taps as an when its necessary, but this is more about skipping a track on your playlist than trying to type out a text message.
Making calls, listening to music and using a navigation app are all possible and legal, but don’t allow yourself to be distracted from the most important thing; driving safely. It could be a good idea to set up your navigation app and music player before you set off.