We often hear people say that the iTunes App Store boasts close to 800,000 apps, but the implications of this statement are rarely mentioned. The presence of so many different apps means that we now have apps for all occasions, pretty much every kind of users, and a variety of purposes. As dangerous as it can be, a lot of people just can’t help but whip their phone out every time a new notification shows up while they are driving. Thankfully, there are apps that can help you multitask in a safer manner. DriveSafe.ly reads out updates from various sources, while a similar Cydia tweak exists for adding this functionality to the stock Messages app as well. Secretary is a new Cydia release that takes the features offered by VSNotifications to the next level. With this tweak, you get a spoken summary of any items that need your attention, and also get incoming text messages read out to you.
Secretary has to be configured through its Settings app menu. Like most Cydia tweaks, it has an ‘Enable’ toggle. You can choose the language for the notification summary, since the tweak supports all languages that can usually be added to the iOS keyboard. A good thing about Secretary is that you can choose a volume level exclusively for it, which won’t be affected by the volume at which you might be listening to your music.
The reports read by Secretary consist of the following information:
- The number of calls you have missed
- The total count of texts awaiting your attention
- Content of new messages
- Upcoming calendar events
You can choose to omit any particular item from this list by toggling it off. For calendar events, users can even define the exact time window that is considered to comprise ‘Upcoming’ by Secretary.
The tweak can be configured to read reports whenever you connect a Bluetooth headset or wired headphones. The Secretary menu even has options for letting users control the speed at which reports are read.
Most of the features offered by Secretary work only when you connect a headset to the device, but the tweak is capable of reading out new texts even over the speaker. Of course, this works only when no headphones are plugged in.
Secretary is a useful tweak, and can help you a lot during driving or whenever you don’t have time to take your iPhone out of your pocket. You can get this $1.99 download from the BigBoss repo of Cydia store.