How do I hands-free phone, esp. Android
September 15, 2019 8:32 AM   Subscribe

On Friday, a Maine law will go into effect prohibiting using/ touching a mobile while driving. I love using GoogleMaps/ Driving/ GPS. I listen to podcasts and music stored on my phone. On long highway drives, I occasionally make calls. Android, older car with audio jack, no bluetooth.

I do not ever text and drive, but would like to be able to send an occasional ETA 10 minutes message. I have ITTT(IfThisThenThat)and never use it. I have a gmail account. Ordered a jabra earpiece.
posted by theora55 to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Generally speaking, this is what Google Assistant is for.
posted by pipeski at 8:45 AM on September 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yup, Google Assistant is going to be your go-to. Be sure to enable "access with voice match" in the Google app's settings (settings--->google assistant--->assistant --->assistant devices--->phone) so that the "OK Google" or "Hey Google" command works even with the screen off or while you're in another app.

If you are a root-your-phone type, you can use Tasker to automatically send an "I'm X minutes out" text when you reach your preferred distance/time to destination, but without root, Assistant and your voice will get you what you need most of the time.
posted by pdb at 9:29 AM on September 15, 2019

Yes. Google Assistant will do all of this. Just set it up so that the headset keeps the phone unlocked when connected through Bluetooth and then instruct the phone to do the things you describe, e.g. "OK Google! Send an SMS to 'Dad' which says, 'Hi I'll be there in ten minutes'", and then follow any voice prompts.
posted by howfar at 9:30 AM on September 15, 2019

Here is a pricier option: you could buy a touch screen stereo and install it in your car. One with Android auto would allow you to call, text, use Google maps...

I got a used car this week that's from 2008, and I'm spending $300 on a new stereo since I need to be able to do all those things for work. At the website I linked to, you can tell them your car model and they'll show you stereos that are compatible with it and for a little extra money, they'll do some of the wiring for you.

It does cost quite a bit more but it's worth it for me. And I'm installing a backup camera that'll connect to the stereo screen which will be really nice too! I'm doing the work myself after watching a million YouTube tutorials but Best Buy or Amazon do installations too.
posted by mollywas at 9:52 AM on September 15, 2019

Response by poster: Is there a way to have Google Assistant turn itself on only in the car? I don't want to share my entire life with Google also, battery.
posted by theora55 at 10:49 AM on September 15, 2019

you could buy a touch screen stereo and install it in your car

I never understood this. So we're all making laws against using phones, because operating these small touch screen devices takes your attention away from the road if you need to use them. And to comply with this law, we're installing slightly larger touch screen devices that take your attention away from the road if you want to use them.
posted by DreamerFi at 11:21 AM on September 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

If you don't have bluetooth in your car you can get an adaptor for $20. Then install Android Auto so it'll read out texts you receive while driving, and allow you to answer via voice.
posted by COD at 2:29 PM on September 15, 2019

DreamerFi is right, it is a weird world. Thing is, the big screen is fixed (no fumbling to find the phone, orient it etc), has big(ger) buttons, is wired into the car's speakers, and has a bigger, better, and better placed microphone. I use one to make/receive calls, having replaced the car radio with a more capable Bluetooth device, and it is a godsend. Music is on a thumb drive for me.

My experience with those cheapo adapters has not been good, even when they work the quality/reliability leaves something to be desired compared to the updated stereo unit in the car (as it should, given the cost!).
posted by GeeEmm at 3:35 PM on September 15, 2019

Yeah, you don't need another screen to use Android Auto. Just get a mount for your phone (like if you want to see the screen for GPS), install Android Auto, and open it before you start driving. Then you can say "OK Google, send a text to Sarah" and it'll ask you what you want to text. You can tell it to call people, play music, get directions, read your calendar, etc. hands free.
posted by beyond_pink at 6:46 AM on September 16, 2019

After wrestlng with all kinds of bluetooth adaptors and phone mounts I eventually replaced the stereo in my 2005 car with a new Sony one that does everything properly (modern Bluetooth, displays the phone's UI on the stereo's screen for navigation/podcasts/music etc, has socket for backup camera). I got a CarPlay (iPhone) compatible one but you can also get ones that do Android Auto (or both).
posted by w0mbat at 9:22 AM on September 16, 2019

Response by poster: It turns out my phone is not willing to run Google Assistant in listening mode (Voice Match will not configure),and that's why it seems so difficult. Working with phone co. support. Also,the Maine law will let me touch the phone to enable a voice command, so it should be okay.
posted by theora55 at 1:23 PM on September 17, 2019

Response by poster: I had to wipe the phone to factory setting, then I could install and configure Google Assistant. thanks for the answers.
posted by theora55 at 1:58 PM on October 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

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