How To Prepare Your Smartphone Before A Trip (The Complete Guide)

smartphone_devices

Follow our tips on how to prepare your smartphone while you are traveling.

If you want to keep your body and your soul in peak condition then sometimes it is a good idea to take a trip.

And go away from home.

Before you can do that though you have to take care of some things.

It is a good idea to always have the safety net of your office and home Wi-Fi.

For some, leaving home or office for a trip may mean they will have to piggyback on a variety of different data networks.

Sometimes it even means that you will have to put up with living in different time zones.

Thankfully, modern smartphone devices can adapt to all of the above-mentioned scenarios.

But for your smartphone device to protect you, you need to learn some tricks.

More precisely, the right tricks.

In this guide, we’ll share some of those tips.

Readers should know that this guide will follow the format of tips.

These tips will come in the form of actionable steps which users can take.

You can also just read through this tips and not take action.

That’s perfectly fine if you can come up with your own ideas after reading our tips.

We want you to get the thinking process going after you have read this guide.

Of course, you will have to do all of that before you actually venture out in the open and start your travels.

Some of the tips are pretty versatile.

In other words, you don’t need to implement them before your journey.

But most of the tips will require you to do a bit of work in advance of your journey.

Needless to say, your preparations for your trip will depend on a lot of things.

Some of them would be,

  • The place you are going
  • And for how many days are you going

We have written this guide so that regardless of your journey and your planning, you can take some benefit out of these useful pointers mentioned right here in this guide.

So let’s get started.

Always Sync

You need to make sure that you are able to sync as much data and content offline as you possibly can.

It will help you a lot while you travel.

Even if you live in the US, it doesn’t mean that you will have a WiFi network to connect to 100 percent of the time while you are traveling.

There is no guarantee where you might get stuck.

So there is no point in leaving your important content in the cloud when you don’t know if you will have WiFi available.

WiFI accessibility has improved a lot in the last decade or so but when you are away from home, there are no guarantees.

Of course, we would like to mention here, there is a good chance that you will get some WiFi coverage as you are traveling.

But most people don’t realize how less internet they will get to use while they are traveling away from home.

Moreover, you also have to think about security.

smartphone

You can’t just go out and connect to any WiFi network.

Most public WiFi networks are unsafe.

So for the purposes of online security and privacy, the best practice is to not spend a lot of time on any given public network.

Try to reduce that time as much as possible.

And if you absolutely have to connect to a public WiFi Network we suggest that you use a VPN service provider.

There are a lot of VPN service providers who have a great service in the market today.

The one you select totally depends on your preferences and needs.

Our recommendation is IPVanish.

It has great security and speed.

That means you will have no trouble in streaming and surfing the web while not giving away your personal data to anyone with IPVanish.

To sign up for IPVanish right now and from the official website, you need to click here.

That will take care of all your protection needs when roaming the online world.

Let’s get back to you roaming the physical world.

Just keep in mind to spend as little time as possible on public WiFi networks.

To make sure that you don’t spend too much time on public WiFi networks you need to sync as much of your content to your smartphone device as you possibly can.

And you have to do that before moving out of your house to start your journey.

There is a ton of variety when it comes to streaming applications in the modern world of the internet.

All of these streaming applications help users to store all of their content on their smartphone device but only for a limited amount of time.

Most of the time this “limited amount of time” can expand to more than the entire duration of a user’s trip.

In other words, you don’t really need to worry about things such as finding the right WiFi before you have the opportunity to start your smartphone streaming application and listen to your favorite tunes.

Some streaming apps also help you to easily stream movies from your smartphone device.

Let’s take the example of Spotify.

Spotify is a streaming application.

The great thing about Spotify’s interface is that users only need to open up a simple playlist that they would like to have offline access to while they are travelling away from home and then hit the Download button (more precisely a toggle switch) that appears on the topmost corner to turn on the feature where the app can make that content available offline.

Users can easily find similar features and switches on different entries in Artists and Albums menus.

These menus appear under the Your Library section.

Streaming apps like Spotify even enable users to download each and every piece of content by one single band.

If that isn’t possible for you then you can always fall back to the option where it allows users to download everything in their current playlists.

Let’s move onto the sample of Netflix.

Netflix works a bit differently than Spotify when it comes to offline content.

On Netflix, you will first have to tap on a given TV show or a movie before the app will show you if there is Download feature available.

If Netflix has allowed users to download that content then users should see a Download button that pops up on their smartphone screens.

As mentioned before, it will all depend on the licensing rights.

If Netflix has the licensing rights to your favorite content then it will make that piece of content available for download.

With that said, users should know that they can download all Netflix Originals series.

Because Netflix is the one that creates them, hence it has all types of licensing rights to them.

When you find the content that you were looking for all you need to do is to tap the button that says Download.

That action will successfully save the episode of your favorite TV show.

If you tapped on a movie then Netflix will download the movie directly to your device.

smartphone_device_traveling_tips

Do you want to see the complete list of all the stuff that you can save?

Then simply tap the option that says Search.

And then click on Available for Download.

Always Know Exactly Where It Is That You Are Going

Seems pretty obvious right?

Not quite.

What we really mean to say is that you need to know if the area you are going to has internet connectivity or not.

If that area doesn’t have connectivity then it will hit your favorite mapping application very hard.

No doubt, GPS would still work because it doesn’t really require any data connection.

But what about those map tiles?

They are never going to load on their own and appear on your screen if the user does not have an internet connection nearby on his/her smartphone device.

If this happens to you then you will have to struggle a lot in order to find any local landmark that you wanted to visit when you left home.

Lucky for you there is a solution.

Google Maps has this feature available on both iOS and Android where users can ache routes and maps.

And they can do so before they actually set out on their journey.

Users can do the same while they are traveling and have access to a strong WiFi connection.

How to use this Google Maps feature?

It is fairly easy.

First, open up Google Maps.

Then open up the app menu.

After that tap on the option that says Offline maps.

Once you are done with that click on Select your own map (this is for the Android platform).

If you are on the iOS platform then you will have to click on the option that says Custom maps.

After that, the app will show you the map and a selector.

You will need to drag the shown selector around a bit in order to select the area that you want Google Maps to cache for you.

When you have selected your area, all you need to do is to tap on the button that says Download in order to confirm the process of downloading for Google Maps.

Don’t want to use Google Maps?

Well, there is the option of Apple Maps as well.

But Apple Maps is nowhere near as simple when it comes to storing offline maps as Google Maps.

Google Maps has a much better system overall as well.

And that is pretty unfortunate.

Since we have done a lot of research in this department we know that if you play around with Apple Maps enough you will come to know that it indeed has a feature which allows it to ache specific areas of any given map.

It can also cache certain routes.

smartphone-tips-while-travelling

But just like in the case of Google Maps, in order to have them available offline you will have to download them when you have internet access.

If you have done so then you can easily put your smartphone device into airplane mode and then continue to zoom out to experience the feature for yourself on your Apple Maps.

So what’s the best way to store routes and maps?

The best way, as far as Apple Maps are concerned, is to search for your routes while you have the opportunity to have an active internet connection directly to the web.

Of course, this isn’t the ideal solution but it is your best bet.

Apart from Google Maps and Apple Maps, there is another mapping app that we would like to talk about here.

It is called Here WeGo app.

As mentioned just now, it is a mapping app.

It is available for both iOS and Android.

The best thing about the Here WeGo mapping app is that it can save entire maps for users to view offline.

But again, you will first have to let the app download those maps before you leave the house for your travel destination.

The mapping app represents just one other option if you don’t like the idea of using Apple Maps or Google Maps.

Just in case, it is a good idea to keep a paper map.

You can just stick it in your back pocket so that it doesn’t take space in your front pockets.

Then use it if you need to.

Modify All The Settings in Your Clock And Calendar Apps

Almost all modern smartphone devices will have the ability to simply adapt to the user’s local time on its own (i.e automatically).

So you don’t have to worry about your clock time.

Your smartphone will take care of the time no matter where which place you decide to land on the globe.

We can’t say the same about alarms though.

Why?

Because they have this tendency to not follow suit.

And if alarms cannot adjust to the new time zone then they will go off right in the middle of the night waking you up for nothing.

Hence, you need to double-check all of your smartphone device’s phone alarms.

Check that you have set them to the time that you want them to wake you up at.

If you don’t plan on using alarms and hence don’t want to mess with the settings then make sure you disable all alarms.

Now we come to your Calendar app.

The Calendar app also cannot adjust to the new time zone most of the time.

But you will have to check first if it has adjusted to your new time zone or not.

If it hasn’t then adjust all your entries.

If it has then you don’t need to do anything else.

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Make sure you have your preferences set right.

You don’t want to be missing any important date or do you?

This is especially important for users who want to try and catch up with all the sports events.

Or even those meetings that keep popping up from time to time.

It is very helpful to know if your calendar has changed corresponding to the user’s local timings.

With that said, it is also true that assuming your calendar has shifted all the dates, you can get a bit disorientated.

And that’s understandable.

Anyone would be if he/she saw all calendar entries shifting backward or forwards a good number of hours.

To modify your settings, we’ll take a look at what you can do if you are using Google Calendar on iOS and Android.

Regardless of which platform you are using, Android or iOS, you will need to go to the Settings menu first.

You can do that by first accessing the app’s main menu.

After that click on General.

Once you have done that you will need to toggle the option that says Use device’s time zone to on.

This option will have a switch in front of it.

You need to enable it if you want Google Calendar to look at your current events and then shirt them to the proper time according to your new time zone.

If you are using Google Calendar on an iOS device then you will first have to open up the app and then go to the Settings menu.

After that, you will have to tap the Calendar option.

And then click on the option that says Time Zone Override.

The Time Zone Override option will have a switch in front of it.

You need to enable that switch.

After that, you will have to choose your current or preferred time zone.

Most of the time this is set to the one that you follow when you are at home.

But since you are out of your home and want to use another time zone that isn’t the one you are using right now, you must select the new time zone on your own using the Time Zone Override option.

There are many Calendar apps out there in the market.

But the majority of them don’t give you options where the app would automatically adjust to the user’s new time zone.

In other words, it is always worth the time to double-check if any of the apps that one heavily relies on has the ability to adjust to new time zones.

Apart from the Calendar app, you might also want to watch out for your fitness apps.

These apps, in particular, go through a lot of confusion when trying to calculate if a single day has managed to last half or twice as long as the user’s normal day.

Take Care Of Your Smartphone Device’s Data Use Settings And Review Them.

This is also very important.

Users who want to go away from home by going to another country should pay special attention to this tip.

Because the last thing anyone coming back home needs is a huge data bill.

Do you want to protect yourself from that bill?

Yes?

traveling_tips

Then consider information about your carrier and its internet plans as your first and most important port of call.

You need to find out your carrier’s terms and conditions about using its service away from home.

In other words, your carrier will apply different rules to your services when you are going abroad.

If you don’t know what those “different” rules are then you won’t have the opportunity to know how much your carrier will charge you.

And if you don’t know what to pay, then you’ll spend all your time away from home thinking about your budget.

That will ruin the point of going away from home in the first place.

So check with your carrier if it offers any kind of travel deals.

Most of the time these deals are temporary.

Regardless, you can keep an eye out for them and then take advantage as soon as you come across some good deals.

With a good deal in place, you can enjoy cheap,

  • Texts
  • Data
  • Calls

all the time while you are traveling abroad.

So what should you do if your smartphone network operator doesn’t offer you a remotely sweet deal?

Well, in that case, try to limit the number of days you go outside your country.

If not that then limit the cellular data that you consume throughout the duration of your stay in another country.

Going to a faraway place on the other side of the globe doesn’t have to mean you change your internet habits.

But if they save you money then you might as well change them.

Let’s talk about what you can do on your smartphone to limit data use.

If you are on the Android platform then you need to head to the Settings menu.

Then you need to tap on the option that says Network & Internet.

After that, it is time for you to select the option that says Mobile network.

And when you are done with that, tap on Roaming and turn it off.

If you want to make sure that your smartphone device indeed has understood the message, you can just go ahead and completely turn off Mobile data on your smartphone device.

While you are doing so, know that the same menu will also allow you to observe the amount of data that you have chewed without a care in the world in recent weeks.

For users who are on the iOS platform, they need to go to Settings and then to the option that says Cellular Data.

After that, they must tap on the option that says Cellular Data Options.

Then the screen should show them options related to Data Roaming.

Look for the one that allows the user to turn off Data Roaming.

And, needless to say, turn off Data Roaming.

This will disable data transfers while the user is outside his/her home network.

Just like in the case of Android, users can turn off their smartphone’s use of cellular data completely if this is the way they want it to be.

Once you do so, your smartphone device will not consume a KB of data unless and until it can find a Wifi connection.

But some users can’t live without the internet.

For them, we say you need to limit your data consumption.

Thankfully most modern smartphone devices allow for that.

To keep your data usage to the absolute minimum levels you can just access each of your favorite apps that you use a lot and then enable the data saver feature on them.

Most modern apps come with these type of features.

All you need to do is to find them.

Popular apps that have such features include,

  • Google Chrome for the Android operating system.
    To enable this option you should first launch Google Chrome and then to go the Settings menu.
    From there you can easily find the Data Saver option and turn it on.
  • Snapchat.
    This app also has a data saver feature.
    To enable it, you will first have to go to Settings and then to Manage.
    After that tap on Travel Mode.
    And you are done.
  • Spotify.
    For this streaming app, you will first have to go to Settings and then adjust the Music Quality option.

You can find similar features in loads of popular apps.

So take advantage of those.

Random, but Important Tips

We have quite a lot of tips coming for you to prepare you and your smartphone device for a great and comfortable trip.

One uncommon idea that we like to recommend to a lot of people is to check up on all the local travel applications that they think they would need.

Users have to do that before they take to the road though.

This especially holds true for big cities.

There are always some bespoke apps that cover most local transit routes such as trains and buses.

These apps can easily save you a lot of time.

And of course, confusion.

Sometimes, you will find that transit firms develop these apps themselves.

Other times city authorities come up with these apps in order to help the general public.

Our research tells us that in a lot of cases these apps can prove more useful than Google Maps and/or Apple Maps.

Some other obvious tips include the need to make sure that the smartphone device you are using has the protection of all the various types of lock screen apps.

Or defense, in other words.

While traveling, there is always that small chance that you might lose your phone.

And after you lose it, you don’t know if it will end up in the wrong hands or not.

To safeguard yourself and your smartphone, make sure your data is safe.

And no one can open your apps with sensitive data.

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Sometimes it is worth it to put some form of contact information directly on the lock screen of your smartphone device.

Doing so give you the chance that if someone finds your phone (and assuming wants to return it to you) at least there is an address where that person can contact you.

Of course, for them to do so they would have to be feeling really altruistic at that given moment.

So how do you go about doing that?

Well, if you are using an Android smartphone device then first you need to go to Settings.

And then make your way to the option that says Security & Location.

After that tap the Screen Lock option.

You actually need to tap the cog that appears right next to the option that says, Screen Lock.

After that, it is just a matter of tapping the Lock screen message.

Now you should have no problems in setting your own custom message.

For people who are on the iOS platform, their best bet is to open the iOS’ Health app.

After opening it, look for the Medical ID option.

And then tap on Edit.

After doing that, the user should go ahead and name himself/herself as the first emergency contact.

While doing that, the user should also make sure that the Show When Locked option is activated.

There is an alternative approach as well.

Just create your own custom but temporary trip wallpaper.

Use this wallpaper’s image on your smartphone device and put your contact information, in a nice font, on it.

We know that we have mentioned that you need to sync a lot of content on your smartphone device if you are planning to travel.

But, we also recommend that you should keep plenty of space empty on your smartphone device.

Why?

Because you would want to save all the photos you are going to take on your adventure.

Most probably, you will also make some videos.

So, in order to avoid a situation where you run out of room but are still not finished with your travel, it is considered a best practice to leave plenty of space empty on the device.

Remember, if you run out of space, you can’t just cut/paste data you don’t need to your laptop or desktop.

Why?

Because you are away from home.

There are many ways in which you can free up space on your smartphone device.

What If I Am Traveling Via Car?

Then you must ensure that you have the absolute perfect in-car setup for all your smartphone needs.

The thing about traveling on the road is that your smartphone device can become your perfect companion.

But only if you allow it to.

If you have done some hard work and have set up the smartphone right, then you can look forward to a comfortable journey ahead of you.

To start off, you are going to need some hardware.

And then you are going to need to install some good old apps to solve a lot of your traveling problems.

Once you’re done with the coming tips you will have a safe and sweet in-cart smartphone system up and ready to run.

The main thing to remember here is that everything will flow from your smartphone device.

In other words, it will power your entire in-car system.

And don’t worry about the actual setup here.

There is a lot of room for flexibility.

To put it another way, if some of the tips that we mention don’t make sense to you, then, by all means, you can take our recommendations and put your own little twists on them without any problems.

Don’t Get Distracted

Distraction causes a lot of lives in the US.

So this tip is very important.

If you need some facts on this then click here.

We think they are pretty clear.

If we believe data coming in from the National Highway Traffic Administration then in the year 2015 alone about 3477 people lost their lives in accidents.

All of these accidents involved drivers who were distracted.

You can rest assured that smartphones caused the majority of those distractions.

Things like,

  • Making calls
  • Check various mapping applications
  • Sending Texts
  • Taking pictures

can cause a driver to become unaware of what is happening in his/her surroundings.

That is the biggest reason why lawmakers in the US and, of course, around the world are rushing towards policies that will put several restrictions on drivers and their in-car smartphone use.

Why are we telling you all this?

We are telling you this because you have to make sure that any in-car setup that you come up with must abide by all the laws of your land.

Laws in different regions vary according to the culture and norms of the society.

But most of the times, they just take the help of common sense.

For example, in the United States of America, there is not a single state that has banned all types of cellphone use when people are driving vehicles.

However, there are a total of 14 US states apart from Puerto Rico, DC, US Virgin Islands, and Guam that have banned all types of handheld cell phones use while the person is in the middle of driving a vehicle.

Around 38 US States have prohibited all types of smartphone use by drivers who are not experienced enough.

A total of 47 US states along with US Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico and DC have outlawed drivers from text messaging their contacts while driving.

How To Mount Your Smartphone

As far as convenience and safety go, all driver should consider a cell phone mount as absolutely crucial.

Remember, you’ll be traveling, and you would not want to hold a smartphone device in your hand all the time.

So it is very important that you pick the right kind of mount.

A mount that will meet all your requirements.

After that, you also need to make sure that you pick the absolute perfect position for that cell phone of yours.

That way you’ll have an easier time seeing the screen of your smartphone device, even at a glance.

Remember, you want to see your smartphone screen clearly but not at the expense of what’s on the road.

So you don’t want your smartphone screen to distract you.
Or even obscure your normal review of your surroundings.

Keep that in mind while buying a cellphone stand because that will enable you to try out and test several different locations for your cellphone before you can make up your mind and select a single best position for your mount.

After you pick one position, stick with it.

Why?

Well, firstly because it will de-clutter your mind of various tasks.

The second reason is that once you have positioned a mount, they are designed to just stay wherever they are.

In other words, it will be very hard for you to remove it once it is set in a place.

That is the reason why they are so secure even when you are transit.

You might need to borrow one of your friends to hold your smartphone mount.

Once your friend has the mount in place, you need to trundle around for a bit in any car park to just have a look around and try out different positions and configurations.

We have to warn you that you do not want to do this while you are on the road.

That would be dangerous.

Use a car park so at least your car is moving somewhat.

As far as mounting positions go, there are three options.  

These are,

  • CD player
  • Air Vents
  • Windshield

The cellphone mount themselves have types.

These are,

  • Cradle
  • Magnetic

Which one should you choose?

Both are okay.

In other words, it is your choice.

And of course your vehicle’s own internal layout as well.

Then you can decide on your preference.

Before deciding on anything, it is always better to check out some online reviews.

And of course, some sincere user feedback through various forums.

Only after doing that should you part ways with your hard-earned cash.

Remember, the mount is the foundation of your entire in-car smartphone setup while you are traveling.

Hence, you need to take it seriously.

And get it right.

If you don’t position your smartphone device in a safe location then you might have to take your eyes off what’s ahead of you.

And that, even for a single second, can prove enough to cause some real damage.

So which one should you buy?

Well, there are lots of mount options.

One is iOttie Easy One Touch.

The other is Ram Mount Ram X-Grip.

Both cost about $25.

Remember that both of these are windshield mounts.

If you want to buy mounts for air vents then perhaps you would like Kenu Airframe+ which costs $30.

You also have the option of buying Mpow Grip Magic Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount which costs $8.

For those who want their mounts on their CD player, we recommend Mountek nGroove Grip.

This costs around $22.

All of these cell phone mounts provide a secure foundation for your smartphone.

Moreover, they are compatible with a variety of smartphone devices.

The very reliable review site Wirecutter recommends that users should go with either Exogear ExoMount Touch CD  which costs $29 or TechMatte MagGrip CD Slot which sots $11.

Remember that all of these prices come from Amazon.

Hence they are accurate but they may change after a while without any notification.

If you aren’t into buying mounts, then perhaps you would like to go with another option.

That option is to make use of your vehicle’s built-in dashboard.

You can take advantage of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

If you do go with this option then the dimensions of your smartphone would not matter much.

Of course, you’ll have to make sure that your smartphone device is actually inside the car.

We will talk more about this topic in a bit.

How To Set Up Your Smartphone In Your Car While Traveling

We know a lot of methods in which you can get your smartphone car-ready.

And of course, safe for use in your car.

If you are on the Android platform then the most popular and obvious choice is to simply go to Google Play Store and download an app called Android Auto.

This app can run on its own, independently on Android phones as well as the vehicle’s dashboard system.

When you download and install the app it will automatically apply a new interface, chunky in nature, to your smartphone device.

The interface is very well thought out.

In other words, it is very forgiving when it comes to inaccurate user stabs at the phone’s display while the driver is on the road and moving.

The Android Auto app also has a voice control feature.

By default, it enables that feature for the user.

Our research shows that this feature makes it easier for the user to read the screen.

The front screen is filled with big cards.

These big cards show different options such as,

  • Messages
  • Destinations
  • Weather

Popular apps such as Google Maps and Spotify actually come with special interfaces for apps such as Android Auto.

Users who live to dive into various settings for Android application will find joy in Android Auto.

One of the settings allows users to switch off all message notifications.

That is great for those users who don’t like disturbance while they are driving.

The app also allows users to set up their own auto-reply feature.

This could be anything.

Anything like, “unable to reply because I am driving”.

The auto-reply features works across many different apps such as Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts.

The Android Auto app also has the facility where it enables users to launch the interface automatically when the app detects Bluetooth stereo.

Ok, so maybe you don’t want to use the Android Auto app.

Since this is Android, you have lots of other options.

The two options we recommend are Drivermode and AutoMate.

In terms of operations, both work very similarly to Android Auto.

But in comparison, AutoMate probably has the most intuitive and user-friendly interface.

As far as functionality goes, Drivermode is the better choice.

What do we mean by that?

We mean that Drivermode fundamentally removes the need for the driver or the user to even look at his/her smartphone screen.

How?

Well, users can reply to all sorts of messages and modify their navigation direction with nothing but the use of their voice.

Drivermode allows for much more though.

There is no cause for complacency here.

Because the smartphone can still distract a driver while the driver is talking to his/her smartphone via Google Assistant and/or listening to some audio content.

The point is, the driver has to make sure that the main purpose of the driver being in the car is driving.

If you find that your smartphone device if affecting your driving, then you need to turn it off.

Period.

For iOS users, there is a lot less flexibility.

The one good app we know off is CarPlay.

CarPlay, in order to work properly, required a proper and working head unit.

We’ll talk more about that in a moment.

With CarPlay, users can definitely make their iPhone experience and usage much safer while they are driving.

To do so, they have to make sure that they enable the Hey Siri detection.

It has to be ENABLED all the time.

Users can do that with the Settings menu in Siri.

With iOS 11 things have changed a lot.

It has improved Siri’s functioning.

iOS 11 also has a driving mode.

This mode blocks all incoming user notifications.

Moreover, it can also reply to the user’s messages with the user’s input.

Some users may not have iOS 11 on their iOS devices.

For them, there is always Siri.

Siri can look up directions for them.

It can also make calls and send messages.

You don’t really need to look at your smartphone screen.

Or even try to reach your smartphone screen.

Remember, doing so will put the driver as well as any passenger at potential risk.

Users who don’t want to utilize the built-in options Apple offers can go with iCarMode.

It is the best alternative to CarPlay.

When you install it, it will automatically add a couple of oversized control button directly to the phone’s interface.

This action is very much like Android Auto.

iCarMode also makes it relatively easy for users to dig into applications such as Contacts and Music.

Other Dashboard Options

As mentioned at the start as well, both Google and Apple offer their own version of car dashboard alternative that users can freely use.

All you need is a compatible head unit that is fitted right into your vehicle.

Essentially, all that these apps do is beam the user’s smartphone display to the vehicle’s head unit.

Along the way, they also tweak the user interface so that it is more convenient for the user to use the smartphone.

It also means that the user still has to rely on his/her smartphone device for data and computing power.

As you would expect CarPlay, as an app, prioritizes the company’s (Apple) own applications.

It can work whether either a Bluetooth device to successfully hook up to the vehicle’s head unit or a USB connection with an appropriate cable.

Users are free to use the home button on their iPhone devices or any other kind of equivalent button on their vehicle’s dashboard (assuming they have one) to open up applications such as Siri.

With the help of Siri, they can then start to get relevant directions along with making calls and sending messages.

As mentioned just now, users can use Siri to play different audio files as well.

All that users have to do is give Siri the relevant command via the voice interface.

So is CarPlay as good as Android Auto?

Yes.

In other words, Android Auto pretty much offers all the features that CarPlay offers.

The only difference is that Android Auto shows all these options on the user’s dashboard screen rather than displaying in on the user’s smartphone screen.

It also,

  • Pops up information card notification as the user is driving
  • Simplifies all the controls
  • Prioritizes the voice control feature
  • Enables users to reply to all incoming messages with the help of various reply templates

Of course, the user actually has to agree to use these features.

At the time of writing this guide, Android Auto only supports wired connections.

If everything goes well, Android Auto will also offer wireless capabilities very soon.

Update:

Android Auto now supports wireless connection.

 

There are some things that both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can’t do.

For example, they can’t control all the related settings of the user’s vehicle.

Yes, we’re talking about settings such as that of your car’s air conditioning unit.

This is perhaps one of the many good reasons why users should allow Android Auto like apps to only run separately on their smartphone devices.

Google and Apple have to approve compatible applications.

That means users will not have the chance of using their favorite navigation app and/or music app as of this moment.

The good news is that most new vehicles now ship with dedicated head units which support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Some support both.

Users who can’t afford a new car but want to use these apps in their old vehicles can buy dedicated equipment like Sony XAV-AX100 for $400.

This works with both Android Auto and CarPlay.

There is also Pioneer SPH-DA120 which costs $400 but only works with CarPlay.

Conclusion

Traveling with your smartphone at your side is a tough business if you are looking for optimal security and safety.

You have the option of buying or upgrading your car and luckily enough there are lots of options for you.

In this guide, we have given you all the tips you need to make the best use of any smartphone device whether it be Android or iOS while you are moving either locally or abroad.

Using our guide, you’ll guarantee that your smartphone device is ready to serve you while you are away from home and safe while you are driving.

 

 

 

 

Zohair

Zohair

Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.
Zohair

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How To Prepare Your Smartphone Before A Trip (The Complete Guide)

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