All car music apps are designed with simplicity in mind to some extent, because the whole idea is that they keep your eyes on the road, rather than forcing you to use tiny buttons and extensive menus. Chilli X’s PlaySafe ($1) is no exception.
The app is of the “don’t switch horses midstream” variety, in that you’re encouraged to decide what to listen to before you start driving. If you don’t, you’ll have to deal with an interface similar to the native iPod one, defeating the purpose of using a dedicated car music app.
PlaySafe lets you can import songs, playlists, artists, audiobooks, genres, podcasts, composers, compilations and/or albums, as well as cherrypicking individual songs rather than the entire list. When you’re doing this, PlaySafe recommends not choosing more than 250 songs in order to avoid “memory issues with some devices,” despite the existence of an Add All Songs button at the top of the import screen. However, on our iPhone 4, we imported over 600 songs at one time without encountering any problems.
The controls (swipe left for rewind, swipe right for skip, or tap for play/pause) are easy to use, but more responsive than other car music apps. The next song starts playing almost immediately after you swipe. However, there’s no fancy stuff — no customization, no way to view your playlist, and so on.
Responsiveness and ease of use are the best things about this car music app. If you just need something simple to help you listen to music without crashing your car, it fits the bill –but if you’re looking for more advanced functionality, you’re better off with something else.
If you use your iPhone or iPod touch to listen to music in the car, PlaySafe might just save your life!
"The idea behind PlaySafe from Chilli X is an inherently great one - one that’s hard to believe Apple hasn’t incorporated into the iPod touch and iPhone already" - iLounge
"Simple, elegant, and potentially life-saving." CNET
PlaySafe is designed to make using your iPhone or iPod touch easier to operate when driving (and therefore safer). We've made the whole screen one giant button so you don't have to take your eyes off the road and search for tiny icons. You can easily control your music with simple finger gestures without even looking at the screen!
Just tap anywhere on the screen to start or stop the music or swipe sideways to skip to the next or previous tracks.
If you do decide to sneak a look at the screen you won't be disappointed - PlaySafe looks great too. It's minimal interface leaves plenty of room for your cover artwork to shine. Touching the screen causes huge on-screen icons to fade in and out so you can tell at a glance what you're doing. The track information is displayed in a large font which intelligently scales so you won't have to squint. PlaySafe looks great even if you don't have any album cover art - the default display looks better than some of the covers in our collections anyway.
PlaySafe works in both portrait and landscape modes so it doesn't matter how you mount your phone.
The first thing to do is to choose what you want to listen to on your journey - please do this before you start driving! Just click on the ‘tunes’ button in the bottom left of the screen and add songs to your playlist exactly as you would with your iPod app.
Please just choose the music you want to listen to rather than trying to add all the songs in your library. This can cause a very large playlist and memory problems when next loading the app. We recommend you create playlist with no more than a few hundred songs.
Just tap the screen anywhere (apart from the narrow control strip at the bottom) to start and stop the track. The Pause icon will stay on screen for as long as the music is paused.
Swipe to the left for the next track or to the right for the previous one - just as if you were scrolling through albums in coverflow.
URGENT: Some users are reporting crashes when adding all their songs to PlaySafe. If this happens, delete and re-install the app and everything should be fine.
Note 1: PlaySafe doesn't make copies of your songs - it just references them in your iPod library, so if you delete the songs from your phone, PlaySafe won't be able to find them.
Note 2: You can’t edit playlists within PlaySafe. Adding new songs overwrites your current playlist.
Note 3: A bug in OS 3.0 prevents 3rd party apps from linking to podcasts - we're looking into it but might have to wait for Apple to fix it.
- Control music playback without looking at the screen
- Large on-screen icons
- Intelligently scaled fonts
- Starts playing music automatically on launch
- Portrait and landscape modes
- Turns off auto-lock to prevent the iPhone/iPod Touch sleeping whilst it’s running