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Review of Nokia Phone App, “Dad’s Cab”

I was recently contacted by a media group representative doing some work on a Nokia phone application, who asked if I would write a blog post about a new app they were targeting at fathers.

A few comments up front:

  • I do not own a Nokia phone, therefore I have never used this application, nor do I have access to use this application. My knowledge of this application is from screen shots, documentation, and videos provided to me by the media group rep.
  • My daughter is not yet at the age where I am carting her around to various sporting and social events, so I’m not the exact demographic targeted for this application. However, I was once a multi-sport teenager with various extra curricular activities and can relate to the burden I put on my parents and their vehicles.

So with these statements made, I here is a conceptual review of the Nokia Phone Application, Dad’s Cab.

How It Works

As the name suggests, Dad’s Cab is a Nokia phone game aimed at fathers and their children, which plays on the stereotype of kids using their fathers as chauffeurs, whereas the dad drives them to and from school, friend’s houses, sporting events, and other childhood activities.

The application uses GPS on Nokia cell phones to track the distances traveled, and ‘bills’ the young passengers accordingly. Once the ride is over and the fare is calculated in British Pounds, the passengers are expected to pay for the journey, but instead of using cash, it recommends payment through a barter scheme where the child must fulfill a favor or request for the dad, such as “Introduce Me To Your Friends” or “Don’t Complain When I Cook”.

Continuing the taxi metaphor, the fare can be increased by the father by adding predefined “Extras”. While city cab fares increase based on tolls and number of passengers, in the Dad’s Cab application the parental driver can apply extra costs like, “Toilet Stop Surcharge” or “No Hello / Thank You Toll”. Again, the resulting fares are translated from Pounds into tasks for completion by the child.

My Take

Dad’s Cab is a creative mobile game for Nokia customers who fit the description of a parent who is an active chauffeur for their children. Overall, it appears to be more a novelty or cocktail party anecdote than something that adds empirical value.

Having said that, I do think it provides for a certain entertainment value while parents drive in the car with their children. It also helps associate some type of value, albeit sarcastic, to otherwise mundane – but annoying – topics (i.e. fighting of the front seat, backseat driving). I could see children having fun seeing how much they “owe” their parent for a recent trip and how they will pay for their voyage.

I do think that this is only applicable for children in a certain age range – the kid needs to understand the concept or taxis and payments but he/she must also not be too sensitive to interpret this transportation tracking as being an unwanted burden placed upon a child’s father. Wouldn’t want the kid to feel too guilty about getting a ride somewhere.

Overall, Dad’s Cab is entertaining, a bit geeky, and probably adds some distraction to sometimes tedious car rides.

Where to Get It

It’s completely free and available globally for download from Nokia’s Ovi Store:

YouTube Demo:

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