Stay connected better while driving with Mobile Home [Review]

IMG_9685If you drive a lot, such as myself, something you may do is use your phone while driving. We all tend to admit that it isn’t the safest thing to do, however we all (or at least, most of us) seem to do it anyway. With this, however, I found that I was keeping my eyes on the road more than before because I was using Siri instead of holding my phone in my hand. It definitely does what it needs to do, and it looks nice while doing it.

Mobile Home is exactly what it sounds like, it is a mobile Home Button – it even looks like a giant home button (pre-iPhone 5s, at least). It has the easily recognizable rounded square inside of an concave glossy button. They way it works is by connecting via Bluetooth to your iPhone and acting just like a normal home button. It uses iOS’s built in Bluetooth functionality that wireless keyboards use to mimic the home button as well, instead this time it is just the home button, not a keyboard (that’d defeat the purpose).

I have a Bluetooth system set up in my car, so this was that much better. I already am able to listen to Siri over my speakers through Bluetooth (or through a direct 3.5mm headphone jack) so having this also nearly eliminated any reason for me to have my phone in view while on the go. I regularly make multi-hour trips around the state that I live in, so this was very easy to start using and getting used to. The best part? It’s extremely easy to use. There isn’t a set up other than connecting it like any other Bluetooth device, you don’t need to install any apps or anything else to make it work. Just connect through Settings and you’re ready to go.

Think about all the things you can do with Siri: text messages, start phone calls, check emails, check weather, get dinner reservations, look up movies, post to Twitter and Facebook, get turn-by-turn navigation directions, and so many more things. Now, with this device sitting within easy reach in your car, you can do all of these things without ever having to worry about pulling your phone out of your pocket in order to do it from there. It is a much safer way to use your phone while driving. When I go on 2-4 hour drives, it isn’t always possible to not use my phone while driving; however, this has made it much safer to do so.

If you are worried about it having an adverse effect on your battery life, don’t be. Bluetooth nowadays has a very minimal impact on battery life for mobile devices, especially a device that is simply emulating the pressing of the home button. For the device itself, the estimated battery life is 6 months with normal usage, so depending on how much you use it, you may not have to change the battery for a long, long time. I use a Pebble and Google Glass quite often with my iPhone and even those devices don’t have a large impact on my iPhone’s battery, so don’t worry about something like this.

If you are interested in Mobile Home, you can pick one up for $79.99 and find more information over on the site here: www.drivewithsiri.com. If you drive often and are constantly on the go, I definitely recommend one of these. The price seems feels a little higher than is ideal, but it does it’s job and it does it well. Something also to keep in mind is that this is not meant to be a full hands free system, you will have to have that already installed in your car, unless you just want to have your iPhone turned up really loud, I guess that would work too.

What do you think? Are you going to pick up one of these? Or do you not use your phone at all while driving? Let us know in the comments, or tweet me @TiP_Kyle.

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  • Ralph

    What if you use a pass code lock?

    • Kyle Frost

      Yes! As long as you have Siri enabled for your lock screen. Some things will still require you to unlock your device, however (emails, for example), as a safety precaution (this is Apple doing that, not Mobile Home, however).

  • RedGeminiPA

    This is interesting, but the price is just a little too high. I’d consider paying about half that price.

    • Beanco Tech

      Long press will bring up Siri just like the iPhone’s home button.

  • RedGeminiPA

    This lead me to find the Satechi BT Media Remote for iPhone, which will work better for my needs, and offers much more functionality. I wish it would power itself off, but it’s only $34.99… I also found a coupon code for 10% off, and Shipping was only $3.86

    http://www.satechi.net/index.php/satechi-bluetooth-multi-media-remote-control-for-iphone-ipad-all-bluetooth-os-devices

    • Beanco Tech

      The Satechi device is a good product. We never want to belittle other vendor’s goods. It’s a matter of proper product for the proper usage case. Satechi is an excellent remote meant for indoor usage. It’s button size is not optimized for eyes-free usage. It’s manual on/off would mean battery drain if left on. No mounting available would mean a “moving target” when you’re trying to hit the button while driving without looking. In short, it will do the trick but it was not specifically designed for the automotive market.

  • Beanco Tech

    We want to sincerely thank Kyle for the in depth review of our product. Every comment made has merit. Kindly allow us to clarify several points in the review / comments.

    1. Mobile Home’s lack of a mic and speaker is by design. Mobile Home was designed for vehicles WITH in-car hands-free capabilities already. Vehicles with hands-free already would have in-car mic and speakers. People who have spent hundreds of dollars on that in-car option wants to make use of that investment. Doubt they will want to use a $40 aftermarket device’s (e.g. Kinivo) mic and tiny speaker when they should be using the in-car mic / speaker system. Remember, the iPhone’s output can only be directed to 1 target (either the in-car bluetooth system’s mic/speakers or the aftermarket device mic/speaker). That is why Mobile Home does not contain a mic / speaker.

    2. The mounting clip can be used on the sun visor or in most cases, the door’s side pocket. The side pocket is a popular placement because it can be reached without the arm being in the field of vision. Mobile Home was designed with safety in mind. The Satechi device’s home button is super small. Try to hit that while driving (not recommended). Moreover, the device would slide all over the place. Mobile Home was created specifically for the automobile: Button has been optimized for ease of operation without looking at the device; Flexible mounting options to minimize fumbling around for the device; Automotive grade components – try leaving the Satechi remote out in a car during the summer in Arizona.

    3. With 20+ states already having laws / regulations which fines drivers for using or operating their mobile phone while driving – pressing the button on the iPhone is technically speaking a potential violation of those statutes. How much is a ticket in your state, county, or city?

    In short, Mobile Home was designed to be a niche product. It’s directly aimed at people with cars which already has in-car bluetooth hands-free capability. Most of those systems can only make phone calls or send fixed text messages. Siri is every dynamic. Having access to Siri THRU the existing in-car mic/speaker offers a seamless experience for the user of those in-car systems. Instead of pressing the steering wheel button, they press the Mobile Home button for a different set of features. If the vehicle does NOT have any hands-free capability, Mobile Home is not the right product. There are many other products out there with integrated mic/speaker which would be a perfect fit.