As you'll see from the above image I always have my BlackBerry docked in my car and a lot of the time it gets used while I'm driving. Clearly touching your BlackBerry while in motion is a definite no no for safety reasons and in most places the police wouldn't be too impressed seeing you typing away on your trusty BlackBerry.
There are however a selection of apps which I wouldn't want to be without when I'm driving. I don't use them all at the same time - it very much depends on where I'm going, whether I know the route and the length of the journey. So, the following five are what I consider to be the best BlackBerry 10 applications to assist you in the car and get you to your destination as safely as possible.
BlackBerry Maps may not be the most feature rich voice navigation solution when looking at all mobile platforms but it does the job and for me does it well. The application comes pre-loaded on all BlackBerry 10 smartphones and although in years gone by we had maps on legacy devices things have come on leaps and bounds since BlackBerry 10 was released.
With a simple user interface it's just a case of typing into the search bar the address you wish to find and the results will be neatly displayed. Select the one you wish and you'll be shown the route on the map with the options to either view turn by turn instructions or jump straight into voice guided navigation. It gets me to were I need to go so I'm more than happy with what BlackBerry and their partners have achieved with BlackBerry Maps.
There’s a few speedometer applications in BlackBerry World - some better than others, but I’ve been a big fan of TrueSpeed since day one. We all of course have a speedometer built into the dashboard of our car but for me I find it easier and safer to be able to view a larger digital display on my BlackBerry as opposed to glancing down to look beyond the steering wheel. This certainly won’t be for everyone, but if you do have your BlackBerry 10 device in a car dock/mount it’s a safer option in my opinion.
TrueSpeed will allow you to not only switch between MPH/KPH and knots but there are also three color choices for the circular speedometer. On a black background your speed is promptly displayed in white for easier viewing and if you don’t use a dock and have a safe place to lay your BlackBerry on the dash you can switch to HUD (Head Up Display) and pretend you are a fighter pilot!
I have a clean driving license - maybe TrueSpeed is why.
SafeDrive is the perfect companion for you in the car if you tend to get a lot of emails as the application will read them out for you - therefore allowing you to keep your eye on the road ahead. Within the settings you can choose from a few different voices and languages and in addition you can select which part of the message you want to be read out. These are:
I tend to only use SafeDrive for long journeys but when you use it is up to you. At the time of publishing this article the app needs to be open in an Active Frame to work but that is set to change in the very near future.
We’ve featured SayIt a bunch of times here on CrackBerry - mainly as the app gets regular updates and improvements. We do get voice control built into BlackBerry 10 but it is rather limited and SayIt offers so much more than the native version. The app is now headless and with a press of your middle media button you can perform a voice search for a huge selection of things.
We’ve all heard of Siri on the iPhone and SayIt is the best alternative for BlackBerry 10. You can pretty much ask SayIt anything you like from simple questions - to what’s the weather forecast and the results will be spoken to you as well as displayed on the BlackBerry screen. Once again, we can’t condone using your BlackBerry if it is illegal to do so whilst driving but the option is there.
If searching for local amenities is a must while your in the car then BeMaps 10 Pro will deliver the goods. For navigation BlackBerry Maps does a great job, but due to BeMaps 10 Pro having Google Maps integrated you can be rest assured that finding stuff around you will be a breeze. When it comes to navigating to the place of choice you have two options. The first is to use the list of directions that the app will supply. I’m not super keen on this however BeMaps 10 Pro cleverly will allow you to seamlessly move into BlackBerry Maps if you require voice guided navigation - clever stuff.
With layers such as traffic, satellite, transit and bike you can alter the mapping choices to your requirements. If you want to locate a local ATM, restaurant, shop etc then BeMaps 10 Pro is the best way of doing so on BlackBerry 10. Also a perfect application if you are visiting an unfamiliar city or on holiday. As well as finding what you need the app will ensure you won't get lost.
There you have it - my top 5 choices. If you feel that I've missed an important one off the list feel free to hit up the comments and sound off. It's also worth noting that if you are going to use GPS apps in the car then your BlackBerry will consume more battery power so it's well worth having an in-car charger onboard.