Sprint's "Drive First" service is now available, giving peace of mind (sort of) to parents everywhere.
The carrier's unique software will block out all sorts of phone options when it detects that the device is in a moving car. It won't make the phone completely unusable, rather it puts sanctions into place that could prevent a distracted driving accident.
It runs in the background and kicks in when it's able to detect the phone is moving at speeds of greater than 10 miles per hour. The service was first introduced at the mobile CTIA conference earlier this year.
Here's what it does to prevent unexpected distraction:
- Incoming calls immediately directed to voicemail
- Texting alerts disabled
- Automatically send reply message to incoming texts
And here's what it does to prevent driver-initiated distractions:
- Only three apps enabled
- Access to just three contacts
In addition to being available for individual users, the service appeals to parents and companies as well, allowing top-level users the ability to control phones for children or employees.
This is very similar to an app launched by T-Mobile in January. The same software developer is behind both carriers. However, the T-Mobile app blocked out all apps, a feature that could be a problem if you need to access GPS or other car-related service.
The app does have an override feature, since you could be on a bus or train, or a passenger in someone else's car, so there is some level of personal responsibility required for the service to be effective. Hey, at least it's something.