Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Samsung announces Drive Link, a car-friendly app

Samsung today launched Drive Link, an in-car smartphone application designed for safe use while driving. Drive Link is built around the three most popular uses of smartphones while driving: listening to music, navigating to a destination and talking hands-free. It also includes shortcuts to other useful driving applications that have also met exacting safety certification standards.

"Drive Link" is the equivalent of the Samsung "Car Mode" built into some of Google Android smartphones without custom interface: an application with large fonts and big buttons giving access to the most commonly used in car.  It meets the criteria of the Japanese Automotive Manufacturers Association, which is one of the most stringent safety requirements.

At startup, "Link Drive" appears in this case a home screen with the date and time, local weather and if the next appointment with the opportunity to easily start a call or guidance to contact or address informed.

The main menu displays three buttons on it to access the interfaces adapted the music player, solution guide and call function, and two buttons displaying a list of applications and a simplified menu settings .

Solution provides speech synthesis on reading it aloud text messages, emails and messages from social networks, but unlike any speech recognition solution is integrated.  The application supports MirrorLink function, an implementation of the standard VNC protocol to interface with the smartphone entertainment system dashboard.
In terms of entertainment, every music file stored in the smartphone is accessible to be played through the car's speaker system. Users can also go well beyond their music libraries with TuneIn (requiring version 6.2 or later), a global Internet Radio app which offers 70,000 stations and two million on-demand programs streaming from every continent. Further compatible internet apps will be made available soon.

Staying in touch during journeys can often be important. With this in mind, Drive Link incorporates a feature called Text-To-Speech, available in English (U.S./U.K) French, Italian, German, and Spanish, which enables all incoming messages, emails and updates from social media websites to be automatically read via the car's speaker system so that drivers' eyes are always on the road, ensuring maximum concentration and safety are maintained. All personal contacts saved in the phone are loaded to Drive Link and users can also make a phone call directly by dialing on the keypad.

Drive Link is launching on the Samsung GALAXY S III (GT-I9300) and will be made available on other smartphones running Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in the near future. The app is downloadable from Samsung Apps in 21 countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.

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