Applause, the 360° app quality company, today announced that it is partnering with messageLOUD, the mobile text-reading service that reads messages and email aloud, to ensure that messageLOUD works under real-world conditions and keeps drivers who need to take incoming messages, safe.

messageLOUD utilizes software testers from Applause’s global community to ensure high-quality, accurate messageLOUD experiences in multiple countries around the world. For messageLOUD’s launch, Applause provided program management and testers in specific locations across the USA, UK and South Africa. The testers used messageLOUD on their own smart phones, in their own vehicles, traveling on busy streets and highways to put the app through its paces and identify issues. The companies will continue to work together on new builds and continuous releases of messageLOUD across new geographies.

“By working with Applause, we have been able to make sure critical issues were found and resolved before release,” said Garin Toren, CEO of messageLOUD. Distracted driving kills thousands and injures more than half a million people each year in North America alone. Our mission at messageLOUD is to eliminate accidents and deaths due to smartphone usage while driving. And Applause, with their global community of professional testers, is uniquely-positioned to help us make sure our app works the way it is supposed to in the real world. Not in a QA lab, but in actual vehicles where our app can be the difference between life and death.”

Texting while driving is now the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Yet, at any given hour across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using smartphones while driving. Despite the fact that 45 states have made texting and emailing while driving illegal, it’s clear people are actively using their phones. According to a distracted driving study conducted this year by the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, 70% percent of drivers admit they use their smartphones while they are driving. According to the study, 61% of people admit to texting and 33% read and send emails while they are behind the wheel.

messageLOUD is designed to combat this national, distracted driving pandemic with a singular focus on consumer safety. messageLOUD automatically reads texts and email out loud so people can put their phones down and drive safe while using an innovative technique for eyes-free response and interaction. messageLOUD uses the full screen on your smart phone as the user interface which allows only simple screen swipes (up, down, double-tap) to execute a concise set of interactions. Users can also set up auto responders and use settings to tailor which messages they want to be read out loud.

Applause works with the messageLOUD QA team running weekly test sprints to ensure the app is problem-free. With professional testers in more than 200 countries and territories around the world, Applause was able to scale up the number of testers quickly in both the U.S. and internationally in order to identify issues prior to launching the app. While the messageLOUD in-house team found over 80 bugs internally, the Applause testers put the app through its paces in the wild under real-world conditions and found an additional 100 bugs over a 6 week period, which enabled the messageLOUD team to address critical issues before its initial release on December 14th.

“To achieve digital success, it’s vital that brands listen to their users, and recognize that those users define app quality and decide which brands win or lose,” said Applause CMO/CSO, Matt Johnston. “But for Applause, working with messageLOUD is about more than creating great apps or brand loyalty. It’s about testing and improving an innovative technology that is saving lives. It’s the ultimate validation of our in-the-wild testing approach and ensuring that mobile apps work in the real world.”

“Working with Applause enabled us to make rapid improvements and get to market faster than we otherwise would have,” added Toren. “And the quicker we get to market with new builds of our app means more people downloading it and using it. And that can save lives.”

messageLOUD is available for download at the Google Play Store, with an iPhone app to follow soon. A discounted yearly subscription to messageLOUD is also available from messageLOUD’s website enabling gifting to family, friends or your employees.