Many of us use our iPhones as a tool in the car because of the GPS functionality, music, and whatever else may be the case. Apple has an Airplane Mode built into the iPhone for when riding on an airplane, but why isn’t there a Car Mode for when we are in our cars? Thanks to a new jailbreak tweak dubbed Car Mode
by iOS developer Lior Katz, there now is a Car Mode.
Taking a moment to think about why our iPhones come loaded with Airplane Mode, it’s because we should have our cellular radios turned off on an airplane. We can still use Wi-Fi. With that in mind, what would a Car Mode entail? Well for one, we wouldn’t really need Wi-Fi while on the road, because there’s probably not a wireless router in your car. On the other hand, many modern cars have Bluetooth-compatible hardware. We also use GPS and data a lot while on the road for getting where we need to get to. That’s the general idea behind Car Mode.
Unlike Airplane Mode, which turns off all of your wireless radios until you enable Wi-Fi manually, Car Mode allows you to manually configure which things get enabled and disabled. All of these options can be configured from the Car Mode preferences pane located in the Settings application after the tweak is installed (shown above).
From the first section of options, you can configure how Bluetooth devices interact with your iPhone. It will allow you to turn on a feature called “Auto-Detect,” which will alert you when a Bluetooth device is connected or disconnected. The alert can then be manually dismissed or automatically dismissed after a set amount of time in seconds (1-60). The feature can also enable or disable Car Mode when you dismiss the alert and it will play a sound on connection and disconnection.
In the second section of options, you can choose the services that you want enabled or disabled when you start Car Mode. A recommended setting is to turn off Wi-Fi, turn on Bluetooth, and turn on location services. This will allow you to use any Bluetooth devices you may have in your car and also allow you to use any mapping applications you may have installed on your iPhone. With Wi-Fi off, your iPhone won't keep searching for Wi-Fi networks, which you are obviously not going to be using in your car unless you're tethering. You can also automatically launch any applications you want to when Car Mode is enabled. You can launch as many as you want, but we recommend only launching your favorite mapping application so you can use it to get around in your car.
In the third section of options, you can choose what features are enabled or disabled when Car Mode is turned off. For this section, it is recommended that you leave location services on, turn Wi-Fi back on, and turn Bluetooth off (unless you use Bluetooth devices outside of the car, then you would leave that on as well).
Car Mode is integrated with SBSettings, as this is the easiest way the tweak can be enabled and disabled by the user. The preferences pane contains a section for the SBSettings controller, which will come with options to close SBSettings when Car Mode is toggled and the action that happens when you tap the toggle.
Car Mode offers a good amount of options for people that use their iPhone on the road, but as we must recommend, you should always configure your iPhone for the trip before you actually start driving. Using your iPhone while driving increases your chances of an accident and that would be a bad, bad thing.
If you think adding a Car Mode to your iPhone would be a useful feature, definitely give this tweak a try. It works excellently for disabling unnecessary battery-hogging hardware on the road and enabling the features you need. Note that SBSettings will not be installed with Car Mode and you will have to install it manually if you do not already have it.