UI Misfeature of the Day

My 2005 Prius has Bluetooth connectivity to my cellphone, which is a good thing for the rare occasions that I need to use the phone while driving. One of those occasions arose this morning as I was coming to work — there was a big bag of something in the traffic lanes on the highway; I was able to avoid it, but thought it would be a good idea to call 911 to let the CHP know about the problem.

The Prius tries to avoid letting drivers distract themselves with toys like the GPS or the cellphone, so it makes large parts of the UI inactive while the car is in motion. Including the phone keypad – you can only dial 15 phone numbers you preprogrammed into the car’s memory. And there is no exception for 911.

So I had to dig into my pocket and pull out my iPhone to call 911. Of course, the iPhone is a touchscreen phone, so I also had to look at the phone while I was dialing.

I guess I’ll use up one of my memory slots for 911 so I’ll be prepared for next time.

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2 Responses to UI Misfeature of the Day

  1. Alex Hernandez says:

    the other way is to use a hands-free device, almost every cell phone has one with voice enabling dialing. So no need to keep your hands off the wheel :-D

    Alex

  2. David says:

    Unfortunately, voice-activated dialing is one of the features Apple chose to omit from the iPhone. It’s about the only feature I miss from my old Motorola phone, but I do miss it!