Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 Update Adds Driving Mode

Users can silence incoming calls and texts so they won’t be distracted by them, and they can configure Driving Mode to send automatic replies to calls or texts while they're driving.

Microsoft on Oct. 14 announced the new features in its Windows Phone 8 Update 3, which will roll out to existing phones during the next several months. Darren Laybourn, manager of the engineering team responsible for delivering updates for Windows Phones, explained them in a blog piece that said the team had three main engineering goals in mind:

  • Enable incredible new Windows Phone devices
  • Enhance the platform with new capabilities for current users and partners
  • Improve overall quality

More powerful hardware and better accessibility options are two features he highlighted, but the biggest one from a safety perspective is the new feature called Driving Mode, which is intended to reduce distractions for drivers. Working with a connected Bluetooth device allows Driving Mode to start automatically when the vehicle is started, and it allows incoming calls and texts to be silenced so the driver won't be distracted by them. Users can configure Driving Mode to send automatic replies to calls or texts when they're driving.

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