App Reviewed By: Stephen Hewitt
UPDATE: The comments posted for this review are suspicious and we believe are comments made by employees of the maker of DriveReply (more than one user has posted a reply from the same IP address), please take that into consideration if you read the comments.
Using your phone while driving is dangerous. At least that’s the message we’re getting from an increasing number of states within the US and countries worldwide. In the UK, using your phone whilst driving has been a driving offense for some time with on the spot fines now issued if caught.
DriveReply by Iconosys Inc is an essential Android app if you’re a high volume texter/caller and drive a lot.
Upon launching the app you are greeted by 4 options. Driver, Passenger, Messages, Settings. Very simple. Simply hit Driver if you’re going to be driving and would like the app to take care of your calls and text messages. Assuming that GPS is on, it will try and acquire a signal which will ultimately determine if you’re driving or not.
Any messages sent to you during this time will be auto replied to using a response of your choice. As for calls, we’re not too sure whether the app should auto cancel calls or whether the driver has to do this. During our tests, the app didn’t cancel any of our calls automatically but did however send a message to the caller once we canceled it or they hung up. The text replies were sent very quickly, almost immediately after the call/text came in however our messages did include an extra ‘null’ at the end of each message. It does look like this is fixed in the latest update however.
Customizing the messages is extremely easy and you can have a separate message template for both texts & call replies. When changing the default messages, the app automatically sends a text message from your phone to you with a receipt of such. A bit weird we thought. A simple dialog box would be sufficient.
If you’re not driving you can simply change the setting to Passenger and the app will stop filtering calls & text messages and will also stop using the power hungry GPS. You can also setup a ‘no reply’ list so it will ignore any particular people you want should you not want them on the auto response.
As with all Android apps you can put this to the background and let it do its work. Battery usage isn’t affected too badly. An hour of using the app as a Driver had seen my battery drop by roughly 5%.
Despite our odd couple of flaws with the app which at least one of them has been fixed in the last update I would recommend this app if you’re worried about your social/business life getting ignored whilst on the road. It makes me wonder how long it’ll be before phone manufactures are forced to implement these apps as standard.
DriveReply is available from the Android Marketplace or the DriveReply website now for $4.95
Final Comment: A solid application but we feel it is still work in progress.