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Driving You to Distraction

A new Windows 8 phone feature might be worth copying Apple...

Stephen Green


October 17, 2013 - 12:00 pm


Windows Phone 8 is getting a nifty new feature:

Something that may appeal to motorists: a new Driving Mode will automatically silence incoming calls and texts so that you can focus on the road. You also can configure the feature to automatically send out a reply to say that you’re driving.

It can be activated automatically when the phone is linked wirelessly with a Bluetooth device in the car, such as a headset. Apple has a Do Not Disturb feature for iPhones, but that needs to be turned on manually.

What the Driving Mode won’t do, however, is block outgoing calls or texts. And there will be ways to override it. The feature won’t stop a teenager from texting while driving, but it will help reduce distractions for those who want that, says Greg Sullivan, director for Microsoft’s Windows Phone business.

During six years of iPhone use over three different models, I had to turn off the “Ask to Join Networks” feature under WiFi — and leave it off. Every time I drove somewhere, it would pick up local WiFi routers for just a few seconds each, and ask me each and every time if I wanted to join them. The popups were a noisy nuisance. The M7 motion chip in the new iPhone 5S tells the phone when it thinks you’re driving, and automatically stops hunting for WiFi networks for the duration of the trip. I like that a lot, and have switched “Ask to Join Networks” back on for the first time since 2007.

But this Windows Phone feature would be a very nice addition to iOS 7.1.

Hint, hint.


Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

Stephen Green began blogging at in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.

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Perhaps instead of asking Apple to do something that has been implemented elsewhere you should dump your iPhone instead. The iPhone was the best smart phone around a couple of years ago, which is ancient history today, but the world has moved on. Apple isn't ever going to catch up because its Android and Windows phones come have much shorter development cycles. Competition drives excellence. Apple doesn't compete, it builds a cult following. I would say the only difference between the Apple and Blackberry models is iTunes. Soon iTunes will be the only reason to have iPhone.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
And iTunes is only good because.... well, it's Apple.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
iTunes is only good because Apple got their first and locked up the best content. If Apple loses its exclusive rights that will be the end of Apple.
1 year ago
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