Apps 2.0 for Android Gives A Hands-Free Solution for Texting While You Drive

21, an app that lets you go hands-free while driving and still receive and respond to text messages, has expanded its availability from BlackBerry and dropped into the Android Market with its 2.0 version. Currently the Android version will read your texts and emails aloud in a robot voice while only allowing you to respond with speech-to-text for SMS exchanges, though the coming weeks should see a version allowing for full functionality with text, email, and Twitter. iSpeech, creators of, recently opened the service’s API up to other mobile developers, so expect even more functionality in future releases.

Personally, I have found that many speech-to-text implementations can be as distracting — if not more — than simply typing out a text. Really, we should all be able to simply wait until we arrive at our destination to catch up with all the messages we are bombarded with while driving. Not to mention the whole process of using a phone while driving is quickly becoming illegal in more and more locations.

[via TechCrunch]

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  1. Amen, to the waiting until you get to the destination.

  2. I am in agreement. Just wait until you get there. If it is really important, I’m sure whoever is texting you will call. Otherwise it’s not worth it.

  3. Crap!…it doesn’t integrate reith gmail easily…what’s the point on an android phone?…pop + imap = fail

  4. Really nice on the Galaxy S. Blackberry was much slower. I would add when you get used to the app. To get rif od say command and send try again or cancel message. That takes up a lot of the time. For when you first stqart very nice.

    Overall very nice. Would be nice if you can pick certain voices for certain people. Last time I checked Robert is not a girl. If you could use his voice or another would be a realy nice touch.

  5. Agree with the author and the first two posters, wait until you get there…
    Better yet, get a program like unavailable which sends out custom responses to any texts you get automatically and has an option to mute the message noise so you aren’t tempted to check and respond.

  6. Are these apps any more distracting than talking on the phone while driving? Personally, I think that talking w/ someone requires more brain-time; requires your brain to be more engaged in the conversation, and less focused on the task of driving. I know that there’s been several times that I’ve been talking while driving, and missed an exit or had a close call because I’m heavily engaged in the conversation.

    With these handsfree message apps, you can simply choose to ignore it, or wait until you’re at a stoplight, etc, to respond. I’ve been using the Vlingo Incar app, and it’s definitely a nice option to have.

  7. Why don’t they just call each other on speaker phone?

  8. @Eric, that is so 20th century. :-)

  9. Wooo! That Robert sounds quite sexy!

  10. Vlingo definitely has them beat with the added option to ask Vlingo questions (ie “how tall is the statue of liberty, when was abraham lincoln born–and all the other random things i’m curious about while driving)

    ask it “what is the meaning of life and the universe”…it actually reads back the answer. serious.

  11. I agree w/Joshua, imho Vlingo Voice is the best speech to text app available. I see idiots all the time with a phone to their ear swerving, going too slow, and overall not paying attention, so it isn’t just texting thats the only problem. I think bluetooth should be required behind the wheel and Vlingo Voice works well with your bluetooth device. That and with the safe reader option thats a part of this app, there’s no need to touch your phone.

  12. For the “wait until you get there” crowd, what about business travelers? I often have to drive 4-6 hours from jobsite to jobsite, and texts from family/co-workers often need a more immediate response than that 4-6 hour window.

  13. Wyatt Beougher- Okay yeah pull the hell over on the side of the road then. You won’t though but when the day comes that you seriously hurt someone else on the road or yourself cause you were too damn busy playing with your phone instead of watching the road I am sure you’ll ask the judge for mercy!

  14. Gunner has it right. The latest studies show that it is the act of engaging in remote “conversation” (whether voice or text) while driving fundamentally dangerous.

    Of course voice conversation > text-to-speech conversion > actually typing for safety while driving. But they are ALL dangerous.

    They just are.

  15. @Wyatt. What did you do just a few years ago before all these cell phone advancements? If you have that demanding a life then you need to use the phone not SMS etc, and with that Bluetooth

  16. Studies also show that it is as dangerous to have your dog loose in your car. So any dog loving people out there. Leave the dog at home, not free to roam in your car while driving.

  17. I love the ones that drive with their dogs on their lap! I just wanna throw a bag of wet noodles at them freakin idiots! There are a lot of distracting things people do while driving: eating, having a conversation with someone in the passenger seat, adjusting your radio, yelling at your kids in the backseat to stop arguing and the list goes on and on. What’s worse, is more and more people have a GPS stuck on their dash or window these days, and those things are just as distracting as anything else, if not more because you’re taking your eyes off the road trying to read or look at directions.
    The point is, 90% of people on the road are distracted in some form or another, but apps like this and Vlingo Voice make it much less distracting and that my friends, is what it’s all about. I’m reading a lot of comments here from people who act like all they do is concentrate on the road with both hands on the wheel and that’s BS. Every single one of us have been distracted at one point or another, it’s what we do to limit those distractions that matters.
    I’ll climb off my soapbox now. tytyvm

  18. be better without the annual $13.95 fee for voice response…sorry if that little item has already been posted yet

  19. Try the Car Tunes Media Player if you want a car application for music. :-)

  20. Vlingo is already perfect and free. Even better when I pair it to my bluetooth car stereo. Normally I’d try out this app but I can’t see how it could be better than Vlingo.

  21. Does the person you voice to text to have to have Vlingo or To? Another words if I speak my text will they be able to see it on any cell phone that sent me a text?

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