Did you know that Siri can read you your incoming text and email messages without you even touching your iPhone?
If you have the latest Apple iOS (version 8+), it can. The only catch is that your iPhone must be plugged into a power source in order to receive initial voice command, "Hey Siri". You can then request that Siri read you your most recent text message or email. Any power source will do, such as a car adapter or a portable power supply. Having your iPhone plugged into a power source will allow you to keep the entire process hands-free.
Not only will your Apple device read you that distracting incoming text (when properly configured), Siri will even ask if you would like to respond to the text message using your voice as well. Your spoken words are then automatically converted to written text using Apple's built in voice-recognition software. No additional App required, no hands required, and most importantly, no glancing away from the road.
While this may not completely solve the growing problem of texting while driving, voice commanding Siri is certainly a much less distracting alternative. Of course, there is no substitution for turning off your phone when entering a vehicle. Removing the temptation entirely will always be the best solution.
Why does Siri have to be plugged in to receive voice commands? Well, that is a question best left for the engineers at Apple. However, if I had to venture a guess it would likely be due to the battery drain that is caused by Siri constantly monitoring the microphone for the "Hey Siri" input. The only alternative to "wake-up" Siri is to hold your home button down for 3-4 seconds. However, the simple act of holding your phone could land you a ticket in many Canadian jurisdictions.
But let's face it, a ticket should be the least of your concerns when it comes to the dangers associated with distracted driving.
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