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New Technologies, Apps that Help Drivers Focus On Driving

An unfortunate side effect of the digital age is that many smartphone users have trouble unplugging from their ever-present, efficient modes of communication—even while driving. According to www.distraction.gov, the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving, “Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving…” Distracted driving is no laughing matter; it is estimated that in 2012, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes that involved a distracted driver—a 9% increase from the previous year—and 3,328 were killed. To combat the problem, especially among young people, the site offers a variety of downloadable materials to help educate drivers, from sample employer policies and press releases to public service announcements.

Google and Apple have been working on their own solutions to distracted driving: apps that block smartphone use (or the use of certain functions, such as texting), as well as high-tech technologies that integrate smartphone use with automotive infotainment systems. In April of 2014, Apple filed a patent application for a series of apps the company hopes will boost driver safety. According to an International Business Times article, it is believed that one of the proposed apps would use sensors to detect how fast an iPhone user is traveling and whether the user is in the driver or passenger seat. A related app could apparently detect the number of people in a car – if only one person is in the car, the phone would automatically shut down. Apple also announced the development of iPhone-automotive integration technology in 2014. Known as CarPlay, the technology functions as if the user’s iPhone is built into a vehicle’s dashboard, rendering the phone controllable from the center console (touchscreen or knobs) or through a Siri voice activation button on the steering wheel. For example, Siri will be able to send, read, and reply to text messages by voice without the user ever touching the phone. Currently, the Ferrari FF is the only commercially available vehicle that features Apple CarPlay, although certain Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai, and Jaguar models are set to include the technology in 2015.

Google, meanwhile, announced its own smartphone-automobile integration technology in 2014: Android Auto. Android Auto is designed to use the voice-command-based Google Now to operate navigation, communication, and audio functions on Android-based smartphones through voice commands or steering-wheel controls. Google Play Music and other music formats, such as Pandora, will also be accessible through the technology, as will navigation software. A ZDNet article reports that Google “has signed on a number of companies — including Hyundai and General Motors — through the Open Automotive Alliance and current Android Auto product, and an integrated Android OS for vehicles is a logical step-up for the firm.” And what about Microsoft? The same article notes that, “Microsoft has so far only revealed a concept infotainment system dubbed ‘Windows in the Car.’”

Bosch SoftTec, a company that specializes in automotive software, connected services, and smartphone solutions, has introduced its own new technology, dubbed mySPIN. As with Apple and Google’s offerings, drivers who link their devices to mySPIN can operate their apps through the vehicle’s touchscreen, controller, or steering wheel control. Bosch has collaborated with Jaguar Land Rover to introduce the mySPIN technology on select vehicles in 2015. MobileDay works within mySPIN to offer drivers a simple, reliable, and safe way to dial into scheduled calls with one tap from their vehicle’s touchscreen.

There are also a variety of apps available that will disable smartphones, or certain smartphone applications, while a user is behind the wheel. Below are just a few examples of currently available apps that help drivers focus on driving:

  • Safely Go, available as an Android App at no cost through Google Play, allows only calls and texts from 3 “VIP Contacts” (for example, family members or a boss) after the app is activated with one click. The app responds to texts with an auto-reply message that informs others that the user is on the road and driving safely. The app enables calls through Bluetooth or other hands-free devices, and gives the user access to only 3 “driving apps,” (such as maps, navigation, or music).
  • DriveSafe Mode can be downloaded for either Android or iPhone devices. The app completely prevents texting, emailing, and other distractions while driving on Android devices and—on both Android and iPhone devices—creates push alert warnings if the app is shut off while driving, blocks phone use within a few seconds of the vehicle moving, and is configurable to allow a younger user to call parents while driving. New features being developed include allowing navigation and music apps while driving, speed alerts, and mileage tracking. Users must register for an account and select a payment plan before downloading the app.
  • Sprint offers its own free Drive First App for Sprint customers. The app automatically sends calls to voicemail and silences email and text alerts when a vehicle’s speed reaches 10 mph. Exit and 911 emergency buttons on the home screen of a locked device allow users to override the app.
  • Live2Txt, available for Android devices for $1.99 silences audio call and text notifications with one button click and sends a customized response alerting the person that the user is driving. Users can download the app from Google Play.

Whether you’re a CEO seeking to promote safe driving among employees or an individual who wants to detach from the temptation of using your smartphone when you should be focused on the road, technology solutions are available to help (and more are on the way).

Drive safely!

Boulder Startup Week 2014

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This week marks the fifth annual Startup Week here in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. The event is a five-day celebration of the city’s thriving startup community, featuring networking events, coffee shop pow-wows, and a variety of parties, presentations and activities. There is a palpable buzz in the air, people get excited for this event!

From the Boulder Startup Week website:
“Boulder Startup Week is a fun event celebrating entrepreneurship. Our all volunteer team and countless community members have worked hard to create an event that helps build the fabric of what makes Boulder what it is: the people. All the events are listed below, please RSVP and be an amazing participant!  

Something that makes the week special is the surprise acts of kindness that happen. See someone that is new to the room or community? Invite them to meet your friends. See someone looking for a job? Help them out. Getting out of an event? Take some new friends to dinner.”

Tomorrow, May 12th, Startup Week is featuring the popular Startup Crawl. Participants will get the opportunity to check out the offices of 10+ local startups including MobileDay! The event is free, and starts at 5:00pm. Each location is going to have drinks, snacks, and fun activities. More information and a complete list of participating companies can be found here: Boulder Startup Crawl

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Download MobileDay in the App StoreDownload MobileDay in the Google Play Store

 

What is One-Touch Conferencing?

When it comes to Mobile Conferencing, what does ‘One-Touch Access’ actually mean?

One-Touch Into Any Meeting, Hands Free Dialing, Conference Calling, Easy, Mobile Conferencing Call AppAlthough commonly used in the world of conference call services, the term ‘One-Touch Access’ lends itself to a broad range of possible definitions. In our opinion, it shouldn’t matter whether a conference service requires you to enter one code or three – joining should always be as simple as a single touch. In light of its rising popularity, we’d like to take a moment to touch upon our definition of one-touch conferencing and outline the key features of the MobileDay app that simplifies conference calling on iPhone and Android.

 

  1. Auto-detection of conference calls within calendar invites

  2. Custom dialing sequences for each conference number

  3. Auto-recognition and dialing when you’re the host

  4. Carrier and location specific dialing

Auto-detection of conference calls – As a guest to any meeting, you have litte control over the format that the host uses to provide the conference details. We know this, that’s why MobileDay’s call detection logic has been built to recognize a wide range of conference formats and terms so that you’re notified each time you have a call.
Custom Dialing Sequences – All conference phone numbers are not the same, and the use of generic dialing sequences often fails. The MobileDay App takes care of this for you by identifying and applying the sequence for each conference number. In addition, the app also accounts for the different device and OS dialing behaviors.
Hosting Calls – When joining a call that you host, it’s rare that you dial the same codes and extraneous characters as your guests. A truly One-Touch service recognizes when you are the host, and knows to dial you in using your custom host sequence. It may be easier to remember your own codes, but we prefer to remember and dial them for you so you can keep your eyes on the road and stay focused on what’s important.
Carrier-specific Rules – Depending on where you are and where you are calling, your carrier may require that you dial into the conference call a little differently. For example, certain Canadian mobile carriers require a ‘1’ to be dialed first when making a long-distance call but do not require it when it’s a local call. For a one-touch experience, the MobileDay app handles this without your involvement.
One-touch Conference Calling Conferencing MobileDay Mobile App Hands-Free Dialing
                  One-touch Conference Calling Conferencing MobileDay Mobile App Hands-Free DialingOne-touch Conference Calling Conferencing MobileDay Mobile App Hands-Free Dialing

Top 10 Mobile Apps to Make Your Life Easier

MobileDay Favorites: 10 Mobile Apps Designed to Save you Time, Money, and Stress

MobileDay was created to make life easier for the busy professional. In the rapidly growing world of mobile apps, finding the right ones to save you time is essential. Here are ten time-saving apps we’ve found that are sure to increase your productivity:

 

TripIt

Price: Free (with ads) or Pro: $49/yr
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS / Android

TripIt Mobile App Time Saving iPhone Android Travel App make life easier

The TripIt mobile app organizes all of your travel documents into one easily-accessible itinerary. Now your confirmation numbers, boarding times, and terminal numbers are all just a click away. For $49 per year, you can upgrade to TripIt Pro, which enables features like mobile alerts (for gate changes, delays, and cancellations), refund information, alternate flight suggestions, and complimentary VIP memberships to business lounges and car rental clubs.

GateGuru

Price: Free
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS / Android

GateGuru Mobile App Save Time Travel App

GateGuru separates itself from other travel apps by focusing on the “day-of” experience. Think Yelp for airports – whether you’re looking for a good meal during your layover or the best place to grab a last minute souvenir, GateGuru has you covered. Pro-Tip: You can connect and sync your GateGuru account to TripIt or KAYAK for the ultimate personalized travel app experience.

Fancy Hands

Price: Various Monthly Plans
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS

FancyHands Mobile App Save Time Fun App

Fancy Hands caught our attention last month when it was featured on techcrunch. The concept is unique – its an app that acts as your personal assistant. Fancy Hands allows you to type or leave a voice message instructing a member of their team to tackle any number of life’s tedious tasks (such as scheduling an oil change, making dinner reservations, or finding a new doctor and setting up an appointment). The app is free, but the service is based on a flat monthly fee, ranging from $25 to $65 depending upon the number of requests.

Mint.com

Price: Free
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS / Android

Mint.com Mobile App Money Saving Save Time Saving iPhone Application

If Fancy Hands is your personal assistant, the Mint.com app is your personal accountant. It compiles balances, transaction history, and other financial information from all of your accounts and organizes it all into one place. It will also suggest ways for you to save money and send you automatic alerts (like bill reminders) via text or email. If security is a concern, fear not – Mint.com uses 128-bit SSL encryption and all data is protected and validated by VeriSign and TRUSTe.

Waze

Price: Free
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS / Android

Waze Mobile App GPS Navigation Social Time Saving App

Waze is revolutionizing the way people use GPS services. In addition to turn-by-turn navigation, Waze offers a social experience, where people can share real-time road and traffic updates. The app has a game-like appeal by incorporating a scoreboard system, enabling its users to level up from a “Waze baby” to “Waze royalty.” The company utilizes user input to update its servers daily – a development brought to light when a White House representative asked Waze to push notifications about gas stations to New Yorkers struggling to find gas during Hurricane Sandy. The company then asked its users for updates, prompting an enormous rate of responses. Whether your tired of your iPhone’s navigation or you just want a more exciting GPS experience, we highly suggest downloading this app.

Evernote

Price: Free
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS / Android

Evernote Mobile App Sticky Note Reminder Text Voice Snapshot Save Time Organize Productivity

Named a “Top 10 Must-Have App” by the New York Times, Evernote is a great tool for increasing productivity and personal organization.This app lets you take notes, snap photos, record voice memos, and create lists – it then saves all of this information into an organized, searchable database. Even cooler, the app uses cloud storage, allowing you to sync and access the data from any device.

TurboScan

Price: $1.99
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS

TurboScan Mobile App Time Saving Money Saving Scanner App

For $1.99, TurboScan turns your phone into a scanner, allowing you to avoid the cost, bulk, and hassle of a traditional machine. After taking a picture of the document and cropping the image frame, TurboScan uses a feature called “perspective adjustment” to generate a high quality digital image. The app also offers a feature called “SureScan 3x” which has you take three photos of the document to produce an even higher quality image.

WiFi Finder

Price: Free
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS / Android

WiFi Finder Mobile App Free Wireless Internet Save Time saving

The name is pretty self explanatory on this one. JiWire Inc developed a world-wide database for free and paid public WiFi hotspots. It is location-enabled, so you can find nearby hotspots, and it will differentiate between the free and paid locations using pins on a map. To make it more convenient, the app also lets you filter your search by provider or venue type.

Fast Customer

Price: Free
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS / Android

FastCustomer Mobile App Save time Customer Service Waiting time-saving

Rejoice! The wait is over! This app enables one-touch calling to direct support lines for more than 2,000 companies, but get this: it will wait on hold for you and call you back once the customer service rep is on the line. Even without the app, Easy Customer offers a number that you can text a company’s name to and the respective customer service rep will call you back. Download this app and never waste time on hold again.

MobileDay

Price: Free or $14.99 per year ($1.99 per month) for Pro
Download Mobile App: Apple iOS / Android

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Last but certainly not least, is our own MobileDay app. Putting all biases aside, MobileDay is a crucial time-saving tool for any business professional. The app allows for one-touch access into any conference call service and conveniently integrates your phone’s calendar, dialer, contacts, maps, and email. Mobileday works with any voice conference, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Google+ Hangouts, FaceTime, and Skype Audio.