I’m imagining here that most, if not all, folks who own an iPhone 4 use it as a direct replacement for their MP3 player. Convergence is fantastic when it prevents you having to carry additional devices and the single device works as well as your previous music player. I did exactly that and now use my Iphone to access all my music on the move. How we move about though can vary; on foot, by plane, cycling etc.
Whichever method of transportation we use, we expect to be able to access our music quickly and easily. Playing your music in the car though is not as straightforward, or safe, as it could be. The guys at www.squbo.ru have realized this and released MotorMusic. The idea is that instead of having to touch quite small controls in the pre-loaded Ipod software, users can swipe the screen to increase track volume and move forwards and backwards through their music tracks.
The car I currently drive has Bluetooth built in which supports the playing of my music through the car speakers and using controls on the steering column. For the purposes of this article, I compared the MotorMusic app with the standard Ipod software and the built-in controls in my car.
The first thing you need to do when you access the MotorMusic app is create a playlist from the music already in your iPhone. This is very easily done using the menu that drops down and I’m guessing is purposely the same as creating a playlist using the default Ipod software. (The free version of the app which I tested, allows for 5 tracks only in a playlist, but this is adequate to test the app’s capabilities)
Once you’ve created your playlist you play the track by touching the screen once, and again to pause. Swiping up increases the volume by one notch whilst swiping down decreases the volume by the same amount. Swiping left restarts the track (or if you’re already at the start, jumps to the previous track) and swiping right moves to the next track in your newly created playlist. There are also two large ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons at the base of the screen which also serve to change the volume level accordingly. Shuffle and Repeat options are available via the large Menu button at the top of the screen.
So, how did this app compare to a) the controls in my car and b) the Ipod software we’re all familiar with ?
Firstly, I found I still needed to glance at my phone to change tracks etc using this app. Admittedly, this is no different from glancing at a sat nav screen for example, but using the controls in my car, my hands are already on the steering wheel so I don’t need to look directly at my phone. To be fair though, with practice, you could probably swipe the screen correctly without looking as you become more familiar with the software. Compared with the Ipod software though, this app is a lot quicker, easier and therefore safer to use.
- Quicker, easier and safer then the stock Ipod software when accessing music in your car;
- Free version available (limited to 5 tracks) so you can determine if it’s a useful app before shelling out your hard-earned cash.
- Not as useful if your car already comes with controls for music players;
- I sometimes found I paused the track instead of forwarding/skipping back as the screen registered a touch rather than a swipe. This may improve as you become more adept with the swiping.
MotorMusic is available in the App Store priced at £0.69