Apple iPhones will soon offer a Do Not Disturb While Driving mode – which blocks all notifications, and turns off the phone’s screen.
Users have to activate it first, but the phone auto-detects that the user is driving and deactivates all notifications (ie from Facebook, WhatsApp and so on). Users will also be able to set up an auto-reply message – ie ‘I’m driving’ – which their friends will see if they text in.
The new function has been welcomed by motoring groups. Apple said increasing driver focus is the aim of the development, which will be included in the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 11, in the autumn.
Pete Williams, spokesman for the RAC’s BePhoneSmart campaign, said: ‘These days it is less phone calls and more the pings and buzzes of texts and social media apps that have the potential to distract a driver from the task at hand.
Tim Cook, CEO, speaks during Apple’s annual world wide developer conference (WWDC) REUTERS/Stephen Lam ‘We’re pleased that at last millions of drivers that use an Apple iPhone are about to be able to put an end to intrusive notifications while they’re behind the wheel.’ In emergency situations, recipients of that message will be able to reply with the word ‘urgent’ to push the message through.
Users will also be able to set favourite contacts who are still able to reach them even when they are driving.