Apple Watch May Soon Limit Notifications While Driving
Apple was recently awarded a patent for new technology on their smartwatch. The Apple Watch may soon be upgraded to automatically detect when a user is driving and minimize push notifications that come through at that time.
The new technology would use the motion sensor built into the watch to determine if a user is turning the wheel of a vehicle or making other gestures commonly made while driving. In driving mode, the watch would only receive notifications for emergency phone calls and other high-priority matters. Emails, text messages, past credit card charges, and other information would not be displayed while the person is driving.
The release date for the driving mode is unknown, but some speculate it will be introduced with iOS 11 this fall. With that update, users will have the option to put their watches in “theater mode.” This turns the watch on silent and keeps the screen dark.
There are apps available to reduce smartwatch notifications while driving. CarPlay controls the number and type of notifications that come in, but the display still wakes up when your wrist moves. This can be distracting for some drivers.
The watch has a built-in Do Not Disturb setting, but the screen lights up just like in CarPlay. The upcoming Theater Mode is the best overall alternative, but it has to be manually turned on and off. Hopefully, Apple will release a driving mode at this time for better convenience and improved safety on the road.