State Farm Android app texts while you drive, so you don't have to

State Farm updates its Android app with a widget that automatically responds to incoming text messages while you drive.

State Farm hopes its On the Move widget for Android phones will remove the temptation to text while driving.
State Farm hopes its On the Move widget for Android phones will remove the temptation to text while driving. State Farm

In an effort to curb the temptation to text while behind the wheel, State Farm Insurance Company is updating its Pocket Agent application for Android with a widget that will do your texting for you, sort of. The On the Move widget is essentially an SMS auto-responder that will intercept incoming text messages and automatically reply with a canned response.

After loading the app, users are able to compose and save their automated responses. Although the widget is primarily designed for use while in a moving vehicle, multiple responses can be saved and used for different situations or moods. For example, one could specify a professional response during the day, but choose a more whimsical reply for after hours or create a reply for use while in a movie. Users are also given the option of having the app respond to all incoming SMS messages or only to senders listed in the user's address book. Check out the application in action in the embedded video below:

Similar auto-response widgets can be found as part of the free Vlingo voice and MotoSpeak applications for Android. (Of course, the latter only works for users of approved Motorola hands-free devices.) State Farm does not have analogous widgets or functionality for the iPhone or Blackberry versions of its app, but states that its "development team is currently evaluating options beyond the Android offering."

The State Farm Pocket Agent app is compatible with devices running Android OS 1.5 or higher and is currently available as a free download in the Android Market or on State Farm's website. The On the Move auto-responder widget will be rolled into an update that should hit on Monday, August 23.

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